Monday, July 09, 2007

being in Scripture and in life

I've been enjoying reading from Dietrich Bonhoeffer lately, and one of the things that seems to especially resonate in my reading of him is the importance of joining our time in Scripture with living in real life, as we seek to live in the will of God for us in Christ Jesus.

I believe in being much in Scripture; there is no substitute for that. At the same time Scripture, the Word of God impacts our lives in the here and now, it is down to earth, right where we live. Even though since it is God's Word, it must continue to come from him to us, impacting us in ways that are really beyond us, not surprising since it is, after all, the Word of God (yes, and Jesus is the Word of God to us as well, you might say the Word to whom God's word points).

What I want to say here is that our Scripture reading, prayer and waiting on God needs to and will, if we persist in this, impact our lives, right down to our heart's desires, thoughts, attitudes, words and actions. Bonhoeffer emphasizes being in the entire Word, reading it regularly from cover to cover. But at the same time he also taught that one should take a passage, and even a small part of it, and dwell on it for an entire week. I confined myself to a single passage at work last week, and found it a blessing for me, in fact I'm really not quite done with that passage even now.

Bonhoeffer saw that this was all to be worked out for us in life and he expressed that so well. This is not easy, and there are no cookie-cutter or formulaic ways that will insure us that we're following Christ. It's a God-thing so why should we expect to figure out exactly how or even what is going on? We must be continually open to God, seeking his will, seeking his face, desirous and eager to follow him.

How does this work out in your life? Is this becoming a passion for you?


L.L. Barkat said...

I like the idea of taking a single passage. Letting it settle in, open me up. How do you choose your passage?

Charity Singleton said...

Ted -- I also like your ideas of taking a single passage and getting comfortable with it. That's been a growing discipline in my life with God's word. I was so blessed Saturday night to have wrestled with the Lord in prayer, pouring out my heart. And then opening to the Psalms for the day and having the Lord pour out his heart into me. A two-way conversation I REALLY needed.

Ted Gossard said...

L.L., That's a very good question and I really don't know how to answer it.
I try to pray about it. I think my first week doing it (last week, as we're being banned from doing any reading on the floor, hence my Bible and reading from it in glimpses is now gone) it seems to me the Lord put Isaiah 61:1-3 on my heart. I knew it was good, but it spoke directly and powerfully to me it seems, especially as the week drew near to a close. I was still on that today, but must choose tomorrow. Any ideas? :)

Really, no matter what passage I choose, since it's God's Word, I know he can speak to me through it. May pick a psalm that hit me on the way to work this morning for the rest of this week.

Ted Gossard said...

L.L. (I cut this comment in half): You and Charity and others really ought to get hold of Bonhoeffer's book, Life Together. It's a treasure trove, even though just over 100 pages.

I just pray, be in the Word then pick one, I guess.

Ted Gossard said...

Charity, So good to hear. Bonhoeffer has some very interesting things to say about the psalms and praying them in his book. I'm getting it better now, I think.

I'm trying to allow more time for God to get through to me, I mean silent time, pure silence, and being in Scripture with prayer. I want to grow in this.