Do you find it difficult to pick up the bible? How many different excuses are there that get in the way? Do you find the time to read magazines or books but there is something inside that just doesn’t want you to pick up the bible and find out what God has to say?
If so join the queue!
What you are experiencing is a spiritual battle, a battle that exists in all of us. We all have a sinful nature, a nature that is naturally separated from God. At the core of that nature is ‘Pride’ pride says ‘I don’t need anyone else telling me what to do’; ‘I’ve got this, it’s everyone else that has the problem’; ‘whatever I read must reinforce what I already know, if not I will reject it’.
The other thing we need to understand is that the devil has one strategy and one strategy only; to separate us from the love of God. The devil may be cunning but he is also predictable, his core tool for fulfilling this strategy is to speak to our pride. All he has to do is reinforce the sinful nature that we already have and ‘voila’ he has put a dividing line between us and God.
What is so terrible about the whole of this situation is that we are even persuaded that God is against us and trusting in him would lead to our destruction, when in fact the opposite is true.
So what is the solution?
Well for the Christian we have a weapon, God tells us that weapon is his word to us, the bible.
In the book of Hebrews 4:12 we read ‘ For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart’. NIV
The word of God is like a sword to be used in teaching us what is of God and what isn’t. Through the bible God tells us who He is and explains who we are. If we depend on God’s word to reprogram our mind, then we will be able to see the reality of the spiritual battle that we are in.
The power that this sword has is it divides a line between the old nature (self) and the new nature we have in Christ. The more time we invest in reading God’s word and applying it to our daily life, the more we see the difference between the old and the new, God’s word pours light on the deception of the devil. The more we read it and see the power it contains a desire grows within us to keep on reading and keep on learning.
And this is where the battle is because our pride doesn’t want anyone telling us that we need to change ‘I’m ok just the way I am’. Our old sinful self fights against the challenge to change that ultimately comes from God’s word.
However if we put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to live in our hearts. The Holy Spirit then direct us through God’s word, to bring light on the words we read and to motivate us to pick up God’s word.
Are there times when you are about to turn on the tv and you feel prompted by a tiny quiet thought in your mind as you catch sight of your bible! In this moment you have a choice to make…. are you willing to put down the remote control and pick up the bible instead.
These moments are the moments that define who we are and who we will become.
The added benefit we have as Christians is that we have the body of Christ to turn to, we have other Christians who are also on this journey of discovery who can guide us through the words we read. We have teachers who invest their time pouring over God’s word so that we can all benefit from God’s wisdom and help us understand the original context of God’s word.
What if I’m not a Christian? Is there any hope for me? Yes two fold you have the invitation from Jesus to put your trust in Him and if you are not persuaded that is necessary then you can read the bible accounts and allow God’s word to teach you of who he is.
Whoever we are it is imperative that we open the word of God as this is our very life source, without it we can not live the life God has planned and purposed for us, we can not make the choices we need to make to follow Jesus, we can not call ourselves a Christian without depending on the word of God, which is his love gift to us.