By Kelly Carr
My nose has been buried in books for as long as I can remember. My mom saved some of my childhood books so that I could read them to my daughter. Ah, memories.
I read stories so often I would sometimes find that my thoughts took on narrative form: Kelly walked down the hall with fierce determination, finding inner strength to face another day.
Letting God Speak
Even though I’ve been reading/hearing the Bible since birth, there are still new perspectives I gain from God’s Word. The Bible strikes me anew when I take the time to let it. That’s the key—letting God speak to me through Scripture.
Am I truly engaging with God’s message? There are days when I subconsciously treat the Bible like an unwanted homework assignment—I’m supposed to do it, so I shun it as a chore. I love reading. Why am I dismissing it? At other times I skim, only half paying attention, assuming I know it all since I’ve read it before.
In these cases, Scripture becomes just another book. But, as you’ll see quoted throughout this issue of The Lookout, God’s Word is more than a book, it is “alive and active” (Hebrews 4:12). God is ready to move through the words if I am paying attention.
I was reminded by Jen Hatmaker, in her book A Modern Girl’s Guide to Bible Study, that a huge part of truly learning from Scripture is to ask God’s Spirit to speak through it to our hearts, to show us new meaning, and to change our lives in the process. But I don’t always take that extra step. Why not? That’s a prayer God is ready and waiting to answer.
Listening to His Voice
When I have prayed for God’s Spirit to teach me, he has shown me something new, even in passages I’ve read many times before.
When I’m truly listening, how can I not feel chills in hearing this description of Jesus? “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word” (Hebrews 1:3).
And when my soul truly longs for the Lord, what better words express that than hearing David cry out from the desert? “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. . . . Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you” (Psalm 63:1, 3).
And when I desire to truly be in the presence of God yet feel unworthy, when I want to grow yet struggle to feel as if I can overcome my own trip-ups, the Holy Spirit whispers to me 2 Corinthians 3:17, 18:
“For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image” (New Living Translation).
I thank God for giving me a piece of himself that I get to read over and over again.
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