I appreciate that this is a weird question & kind of a backwards idea to knowing the Bible. Nonetheless, I think it’s a really significant thought & definitely worth your consideration. I say this because I grew up with heaps & heaps of Bible content: my mom started memorizing Proverbs when I was around 8years old, I went to Sunday School every week, took Bible classes in high school, etc. I would say that I have a relatively firm grasp on the Bible.
But I don’t think that having a sturdy grasp on the Bible is as important as the Bible having a firm grasp on us. I say this because we can far too easily quote the Bible instead of live it, or let the Bible live through us.
I think about this in terms of Paul’s words in Colossians 3:16, about the Word of God living richly in us. If I’m going to let the Bible know me, then I need to give the Bible access to my thoughts, emotions, secrets, dark corners, painful memories, relationships, character, priorities, etc. When the Bible lives richly in me, when the Bible knows me, then I find that I grow & mature in being Jesus’ follower. Let’s not only know the Bible, but let’s allow the Bible to fully know us!
In an effort to counter-balance my post yesterday with, “stop waiting”, in all fairness, maybe God is doing the pick & shovel work of cultivating patience in my heart with some fertilizer augmenting, maybe. The reason I’m thinking about this possibility is from some recent experiences in a trip to Cambodia for Saving Moses. In this extremely brief trip, I found myself becoming really tense about accomplishing much – a very long way to travel for such a really short trip to get massive amounts of stuff done. Did we accomplish some things? Absolutely!!
But in those conversations I had in Cambodia when someone would say, “I’m happy to do this in the next three months”, or “Let me pray about it” or “Let’s see how this this plays out with some time”, I found myself becoming increasingly uptight. And then I heard this small voice in my heart, “What’s your hurry? Why are you in such a rush?” In my natural thinking, those questions sound like fertilizer augmenting – they smell bad, feel yucky, look revolting & have the greatest resurrection potential for me to grow at this time.
Here are some things to consider about patience, tick tock:
slow change often lasts longer than quick fixes
patience develops roots and roots often last longer than flashy
roots are the groundwork for abiding which facilitates fruit
patience takes my focus off of situations and puts it back on God
Once upon a time, in an ancient & almost forgotten century, there was a movie called When Harry Met Sally. In the movie, there are these brief interviews with couples who have been married for eons. What has lingered in my memory from these interviews & from watching couples who are old & have been married since before time, is often the rich texture, the broad understanding & genuine respect that these relationships evidence. There’s something very alluring & appealing to seeing these long-term relationships. With all of this being said, I don’t really consider myself to be much of a romantic person (skip the roses, chocolate & I’m unable to muster the interest to endure watching Pride & Prejudice, no matter who the actors are). BUT, what I do like are the results from these long-term committments.
So here’s my point: the results we often crave in our lives (significance, love, fulfillment, intimacy, satisfaction, achievement, etc) are often nothing less than the consequences of committment, a word that is often disdained in our modern culture. Perhaps when Jesus talked about abiding in Him to bear much fruit / results, just maybe He was talking about being committed to Him in a deeply personal & daily relationship. Just a little food for thought ,)
I had this totally delicious conversation w a friend today about abiding in Jesus. It was a thoroughly delightful conversation because we talked deeply about what it means to abide in Jesus as He talks about this in John 15. Here are some ideas related to abiding:
being present – I love getting to give Jesus my total attention for no other reason than He is nothing short of riveting
receiving – for me this is tricky because of my independent nature, but the more I receive from Jesus, the more I want to receive
access – when I abide in Jesus, He has unlimited access to all of me & even though it can be painful on occasion, I find that letting Jesus have total access to all of my life is nothing short of sublime
So how does this relate to being fruity? I’ve found that the better I abide in Jesus, the better the fruit / consequences in my life. I’m less impatient, more kind & gentle, I’m more generous and I’m a better human. Fruit is a reflection of the root ,)