I normally hop in my car and take off without a second thought if there’s fuel, the tires are inflated, and the engine light isn’t on. I don’t need to know anything except it’s working! When I purchased a car a few years ago, this time I wanted to understand it better – even if only understanding its features better! When I pulled out the owner’s manual, I was stunned at the enormity of its contents and decided to just jump in and start at the beginning. I soon had situations where I needed to bounce around in the manual for the answer to my problems. (How do I turn off the horn after accidentally bumping the panic button – to name one!)
I may have used the same approach to reading the Bible. The comparison may be a stretch with my car’s manual, I had been overwhelmed as to how to actually begin reading and studying the Bible. Do I – Start at Genesis reading to Revelation? Read one book of the bible each month? Read a chapter of Proverbs each day of the month? Journal with colored pencils tracing themes? Many of these ways created blessings but I soon found rather than a METHOD, I needed the right ATTITUDE.
In re-evaluating my attitude, I found a deeper reverence for my studies. Slowing down and knowing I was entering into God’s world – hearing divine words – my attitude changed. “Entering” into scripture and reading with an attitude rather than a method caused me to hear God’s voice much more clearly.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16, 17
“Entering in” while reading Mark (9:33-50), I see the disciples questioned by Jesus over an argument, that hadn’t even taken place in his presence – one about their own interests, pride and envy. They all imagined themselves as rulers in the coming kingdom with one of them sitting on His right hand. Let’s not lose the irony in this passage – These were the men who in the same chapter of Mark, in their broken faith, could not heal the epileptic son.
When no one would confess the cause of the argument, He called the 12 together declaring: “You must be last and servant of all if you want to be first.” With a child in their midst, Jesus reminded them what their focus should be and how others should be the center of their attention. Welcoming ‘little ones’ in the name of Jesus, we welcome Jesus Himself. In this passage, Mark wraps up with a final charge from Jesus that we are to live in peace with each other. On the heels of their failure to heal the epileptic child and their argument, Jesus insists that they were to live in peace – not only with one another but with the ‘little ones’ as well.
Along with this and other examples found in the Bible, by ‘entering’ scripture, like the disciples, I could recognize flaws in my character and by God’s grace repent and grow in my Christian walk. The more time in God and His Word, the easier it is for me to recognize His voice and His leading.