So, I was thinking about reading the Bible and what that’s all about to me. This picture popped into my head. Have you ever gone to a party, a women’s retreat, or some place similar where you didn’t really know a soul…certainly no one to whom you would sit down and pour out your heart. Before we can truly feel safe making ourselves vulnerable and transparent, we have to be introduced to someone and then get to know that person. Personally, I want to know about their heart, joy, experiences, family, work, passions, and character, before I feel secure enough sharing anything too significant. I want to know I can trust this person and that he or she will be faithful and trustworthy.
I’m struck by how many people say they pray, especially when they need something, but they never crack open their Bibles. It breaks my heart. What kind of dialogue must that be? Is it intimate? Personal? Are they able to hear God talking back to them? Do they even care to listen? Or is it awkward and more like small talk at a Pampered Chef party with strangers?
God gave us His Word, His love letters, to reveal Himself to us. It’s how we get to know His heart, His desires, His passions, His character. It’s how we begin to feel safe enough to be vulnerable and transparent, KNOWING that we can trust Him and that He is indeed trustworthy.
I have a huge circle of acquaintances and a smaller circle of people I really know. There are many Christian speakers and authors who I feel like I know because I’ve listened to their teaching and read their books. I can even tell you a few things about their families – I tend to enjoy great storytellers. However, if I ever had the privilege of meeting them, someone would have to introduce us. I may know about them, but I don’t truly know them. The same is true of Jesus. Many know who He is and they can probably even retell a few good stories about Him, but they’ve never taken the opportunity to really know Him.
When I teach on prayer I often tell people that if we want to ignite a passion to pray in our hearts, we will have to rub together two sticks; one for Bible study and one for prayer. Knowing about Jesus isn’t going to help us feel comfortable praying to Him. Prayer isn’t supposed to be about us just asking a stranger to pass the ketchup. It’s meant to be two souls in communion with one another.
If you aren’t already doing this, can I encourage you to spend some time getting to know the One who loves you more than anyone else? Get your hands on a Bible. Any Word of God will do. If you’ve never tried reading the Bible, start with a youth Bible. Just read the sweet Word of God and get to know Him. Don’t take my word for it; check out Isaiah 55 (if nothing else, skip down to verse 11).
Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me;
hear me, that your soul may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David.
4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander of the peoples.
5 Surely you will summon nations you know not,
and nations that do not know you will hasten to you,
because of the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel,
for he has endowed you with splendor.”
6 Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake his way
and the evil man his thoughts.
Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the LORD’s renown,
for an everlasting sign,
which will not be destroyed.”