Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Finger Painting

Whenever I study the Word, I take my time, meditate on it, read different translations, review commentaries, and ask God what it is He wants me to know. Sometimes I have to sit on it a while before I get what I’m supposed to understand. Sometimes I get distracted while I wait. I know that surprises you because if you know me at all, you probably think “Distraction” is my middle name.

At any rate, my life has been a bit chaotic and stressful lately, so in-depth Bible study has taken a back seat. That doesn’t mean I don’t pray or have a quiet time. It just means the time I spend in the Word, meditating and going deeper has been cut. I know that I need to be digging in the Word just like I know I need to be eating healthy foods and not fast food. I feel so much better when I’m digging deeper and eating healthy. Don’t you?

Thankfully, God never moves. He never changes. He’s always there waiting for me to come to Him, to crawl up in his lap, to be still and listen to Him sing over me (Zephaniah 3:17). He’s there waiting to speak to my heart, to heal my hurt, and to fill me up. That’s a good God, isn’t it?

The reason He want us to dig deeper, to grow in our relationship with Him is so we can learn discernment – what’s right, what’s wrong, is the Scripture being misquoted or misused. He has spread out a feast before us, but when you don’t move past the baby Christian phase, you’ll never be able to digest the feast. Hebrews 6:1-2 in the Message puts it like this, “So come on, let’s leave the preschool finger painting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art. Grow up in Christ. The basic foundational truths are in place: turning your back on ‘salvation by self-help’ and turning in trust toward God, baptismal instructions, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead; eternal judgment. God helping us, we’ll stay true to all that. But there’s so much more. Let’s get on with it!” We are to use our knowledge of the basics listed in verses 1 through 3 to move beyond, to grow deeper. If your faith and knowledge and wisdom of Jesus Christ is limited to those things in verses 1-3, then you are still a baby in preschool finger painting. How long have you been a Christian? Are you still finger painting pictures of what your knowledge of Christ is? There is a time and place for being a young Christian, but staying or being stuck in preschool is not healthy. Have you ever seen a healthy 17 or 18 year old in preschool? No. They are in high school learning more advanced things.

I want to encourage you to never stop digging. I want to encourage you to keep growing and producing fruit. Be like the ground that receives the much needed rain and produces fruit as opposed to growing thistles and thorns. The Bible says in Hebrews 6:8 that the thistles and thorns are burned. They are useless.

So, stop what you are doing, crawl up into your Father’s lap, and let Him speak to you through His Word.. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” You can count on Him because in Philippians 1:6 it says, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” So study on. Study on.

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