“I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.” -Psalm 77.12
Often, the busyness and endless distractions of the day take precedence over quiet reflection on the things of God. We may even be engaged in “spiritual” activity such as reading scripture, listening to a sermon on podcast, or singing worship songs while we drive to work, but if we do not take the time and effort to allow God’s truth to sink in, then our understanding will be shallow, unstable, and we will be like someone who studies himself in front of a mirror but then forgets what he even looks like after he walks away (James 1.23-24).
A teacher of mine once said: “God didn’t give us the Bible for our information, but for our transformation.” Yes, the scriptures are filled with information about morality, politics, history, sexuality, family structure, relationship advice, etc. but they were never intended to simply be a repository of knowledge like a dictionary or reference book. Rather, their intent is to actually transform those who listen, pay attention, and practice the principles instructed throughout the scriptures. They are also meant to provide a meta-narrative – an overarching story that ties human history together from beginning to end and provides context for understanding the world in which we live. We often treat the scriptures as though their purpose is to provide pithy sayings that make us feel good. We can also be tempted to consume large amounts of information from scripture through daily Bible reading plans, “devotion” times, personal Bible study, Bible commentaries, sermons, etc. but forget to personally reflect upon the intended impact of this truth – a transformed understanding of God, myself, and the world around me which will result in a changed lifestyle.
May we be people who return to simplicity and humility in our approach to God as we read and study the scriptures. May we understand that we are not simply learning from a book of knowledge, but about a person – Jesus Christ.
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me” -John 5.39