If you are honest, you have to admit that you know far more than you are presently put into practice. If you never heard another sermon, you would have enough biblical truth to work on applying for the rest of your life. You may feel spiritually satisfied by the fact that you go to church every Sunday, that you have your devotions every day, and that you go to the Bible study every week. But if you’re not applying what you are really reading and hearing, then you are only kidding yourself. You’re forgetting the whole point of looking into God’s word in the first place….Every time you hear the word of God preached, you are training yourself to either obey or disobey God. – Ken Ramey, Expository Listening
I have an insatiable appetite for knowledge. I love to study and learn so much that I often have to check myself. Many times, I would rather seek more knowledge than to seek into practice what I already know.
At times I have heard the Holy Spirit questioning me when I am reading too much, What are you looking for? What are you trying to obtain? Is it more knowledge you are trying to obtain or me? I’m right here. Waiting. Spend time with met through prayer and in meditating on my word. Back away from the books for awhile.
I wish I can say that I have always put the books down to spend time with Christ. Sometimes I have. Sometimes I haven’t. Dealing with Christ in books sometimes is easier then dealing with Christ in person. Eating from the Tree of Knowledge is sometimes more appealing than eating from the Tree of Life. It’s easier, less painful to learn second hand from a book than first hand from life experience.Continue Reading
It’s hard to share portions of your life and God’s work in it because each story is like a page torn out from a book. You may get a glimpse, a taste but you can’t see and understand His complete work which intertwines and underlies all the stories in your life together, and then intertwines them with the stories of another person’s life that you played into, then intertwines them into the stories of the life of your community, your state, your nation, the world and finally into God’s own story of redemption, the great biblical narrative that rules and holds them all.
It’s like looking at the night sky and seeing a star, and then seeing the solar system that it is a small part of and then seeing it is actually a part of a bigger galaxy which is in turn a part of many galaxies and on and on you go as your story gets smaller and smaller when placed in perspective. It is just a pinhole of God’s glory and can never be contained or captured by anyone or anything. The stories we share are only bits and pieces, small glimpses of a whole that is too great to condense. Even entire autobiographies are only condensed versions of God’s over all work.
Stories are like one dimensional photographs, they are limited in what they share with us. There is so much going on behind the scenes and influencing the scenes that we will never be aware of. They are not relevant to the particular story or the point that the story is trying to emphasis. When a story ends, we no longer know what happened to the lives of the people. They go on. They started before the story and will continue after the story. Our glimpse is only a momentarily glimpse as through a peep hole. So much is left out.
I have told the glad news of deliverance
in the great congregation;
behold, I have not restrained my lips,
as you know, O LORD
I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
from the great congregation.
– Psa. 40:9-10
Everybody loves a good story. No matter how young or old you are stories captivate our attention and their memories and truths stay with us long after they have been told. We easily forget long dissertations, books, studies, sermons about the same truth. But a story we can relate to, it engages our whole being, our mind, our imaginations and our emotions. A good story is a truth that we can step into and dwell in and which also steps into and influences us by depositing truth into the depths of our heart.
In what often feels like a chaotic and unpredictable world, a good story reminds us that there is an author in charge behind the scenes, there is a time and purpose for everything, a rhythm and order behind each event. Nothing in a story occurs by chance, but was intentionally written in. Every event and spoken word has a point and is leading up to something else, a grand finale where all the pieces of the puzzle finally come together and everything finally makes sense. We can face the pain and endure the long dry chapters, and the temporary injustices if we know that in the end, it’s going to be ok. When every tragic injustice has been righted, when every suspenseful question has been answered, when every broken relationship has been reconciled and restored and every insurmountable conflict has been overcome and resolved, we know we have come to the end of the story.Continue Reading