One of the things I love the most about God’s Word is how it strengthens the weak areas of my thinking. Today I was feeling kinda insecure (not in general, but just about one silly little thing this morning) but a few Psalms later, I felt strong.
What I read today didn’t specifically parallel my life. It was words of praise written about God’s faithfulness. (I didn’t feel like praising).
On behalf of the nation of Israel. (Very far away, very long ago).
While crossing the Red Sea. (Sounded difficult, daunting and muddy).
And then I read the petition by a shepherd king, for help, when faced by his enemies. (Don’t have enemy problems. At least not the spear-wielding type).
Neither scenario specifically fit my “need.” I haven’t often run across the quotable, frameable scripture verse detailing answers to a 21st century ‘North Dallas crisis’ of feminine insecurity or qualm. 😉
But that’s one of the precious things about God. His Word doesn’t just “fit our life” like a little self-help New York Times best-seller. It puts our whole life in (or back into) perspective.
God’s Word gives us such powerful examples of HIS historical track-record, promises of continued faithfulness, and specific guidance for our future.
Instead of us fitting God’s Word into our life, It (the Living Word) calls us… no, challenges us… rather, to “fit our whole life” INTO HIM.
Just reading God’s Word whether it’s out of devotion, discipline, or sheer desperation, will strip away the petty. It bathes our minds in a perfumed oil that keeps the flies from swarming near. And it heals the diseased and damaged areas of our thinking from the inside out.
Within minutes, my insecurity seemed like nothing. (“I’m smart, I’m beautiful and people DO like me.”) ha ha I was strengthened again.
Lest I sound like a “user” of God’s precious Word for my self-esteem sustenance, I will say this:
I know that at any given day or time our motivation can be incorrect in reading the Bible in the first place. Gasp! What? An incorrect motive for reading the BIBLE??
I’ve done it.
We can do it selfishly to “fix what hurts.”
We can do it guiltily to “appease our conscience.”
We can do it arrogantly to “appear spiritual.”
But WHEN we read the Word, the beauty of God, is that He lovingly corrects those little motive issues and those insecurities and any selfishness THROUGH the very process of reading.
No, a story about Jonah and the whale might not encourage you on a down day. But it WILL remind you of God’s patience with disobedient Christians. And of God’s provision after Jonah gets tossed overboard (a large smelly, scary way to be saved). And you might be reminded that God’s ultimate goal (and heart) was to bring correction and a second (better) chance to a bunch of people (in Ninevah) that were living the way THEY wanted. Kinda like you and me. Jonah was just the means to the end.
And reading the “story of Jonah” is just the means to the end. The more we eat, drink and breathe God’s Word, the more fully we know Him.
His ways… for our life and for others.
I’m grateful that the insecurities of my feeble person, lifted so simply through a few Psalms today. But that only makes me want to truly KNOW Him through His Word even more. Out of gratitude for the Person of Jesus that I see in every single, living, verse.
The more we read God’s Word (whether out of duty or in a dilemma) the more our thought processes are changed. Our perspective is lifted. Our eyes are fixed once again on what matters. And our trivial problems or insecurities are either healed, fade in importance, or flee in submission. As the simple act of reading your Bible converts you into a follower of His ways.
A less-insecure follower…
A follower who knows a lot of Bible stories…
And most importantly… knows the Author.