There is a temptation for older Christians to settle into a routine — into a self-perpetuating "system" of Christianity. We attend church, listen to Christian music, give our offerings, and occasionally attend prayer meetings. It's very easy for the machinery of Christianity to act like a boat which will carry those who step aboard with very little effort on their part.
When water stops moving, it often becomes stagnant. The antidote to spiritual stagnation is the Word of God…not new doctrines and revelations but new applications and timeless truths. "The Lord yet has more truth to break forth from His holy Word" (Puritan Pastor John Robinson, 1621).
It is possible to "study" the Word of God but not "see" the Word of God. Perhaps it has to do with the idea of having "eyes to see" and "ears to hear" mentioned in Scripture (Deuteronomy 29:4; Ezekiel 12:2; Matthew 13:9). Not everything we take in with our physical eyes and ears is also taken in by our hearts (James 1:21).
When was the last time you discovered something brand new in the Bible? Something that made you get up out of your chair and go tell your spouse of your discovery? Or call or email a friend and say, "Are you aware of this verse . . . ?" My friend, that ought to be our regular, perhaps even our daily, experience. Far too many Christians have settled into a complacent attitude toward the Bible. They can name the 66 books, repeat some key verses by memory, and rattle off the major doctrines. And there's nothing wrong with that. But it's been so long since they shouted "Eureka!" during their Bible reading that it might bring the family running in alarm if they did (Proverbs 2:1-5).
Yet the Bible is ready to consume our hearts with its fire if we will only give the Spirit free reign to reveal the Word to us. Here are seven ways the Bible can "fire up" your Christian life if you will give it the opportunity:
1. The Bible will produce spiritual growth. An excellent way to track your growth through Bible study is to keep a journal of what God shows you. If you prayerfully study the Bible but have nothing to record — no insights, amazements, astonishments, questions — then your fire for the Word is on the verge of going out. Ask God to rekindle it. (Job 19:23-27)
2. The Bible will provide cleansing for your life. The Bible is like a light shining into a dark closet; the darkness flees at the entrance of light. Just so, darkness cannot abide in the presence of the light of the Word in your life. (John 17:17)
3. The Bible will prevent you from sinning. In other words, "forewarned is forearmed." It's hard to perish for lack of knowledge when you are mining fresh knowledge daily from Scripture. (Psalm 119:11)
5. The Bible will preserve hope in times of discouragement. As the sun burns away fog, so the fire of the Word of God will burn away the mental and spiritual fog which can envelop us. (Luke 24:32)
6. The Bible will promote success in whatever we do. This doesn't mean we will never fail, but it does mean God will prosper our way which sometimes He does through adversity. (Psalm 1:1-3)
7. The Bible will prepare you for powerful prayer. The secret to prayer is to pray according to the will of God. The more of the Bible you know, the more of God's will you know, and the more effectively you can pray. (I John 5:14-15)
There are many men and movements in this world willing to consume you and me if we let them. But there is only one which should — the Word of God. Start your quest for holy fire today and begin discovering those truths which are yet to "break forth from His holy Word."
Dr. Jeremiah is the founder and host of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California. For more information on Turning Point, go to www.DavidJeremiah.org.
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