My life as I follow Jesus Christ, and live life as a husband, father, friend, pastor, runner, coach, and sinner who found forgiveness and favor with God.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Avoiding God by reading the Bible?

I have a confession: I hide from reading my Bible.

You see, it is so easy for me to have a quiet time "with God" by reading my Bible, and yet never really truly hear from Him, confess to Him, and depend on Him. Nothing like cramming my 5,10,30, or 60 minute "alone time" with God with Bible reading from start to finish.

We often find Scriptures such as these...
  • Mark 1;35 "And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed."
  • Luke 4:42 "And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place."
  • Matthew 14:23 "And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone..."
  • Luke 5:15,16 "But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. 16But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray."
  • James 5: 16b,17 "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of the righteous have great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth."
Notice how it doesn't say that Jesus "got alone and read the Scriptures"...notice it doesn't say that "the effective, fervent Bible-reading of the righteous..."

I've been asking I hiding from God by reading the Bible? Do I need to just put it down, and truly be still, seek Him, and allow the relationship He desires to cultivate?

Don't get me wrong - Bible reading is absolutely powerful and necessary. It is described in Hebrews 4:12 as "alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires." But if I am truly honest with myself - my Bible reading can take the place of true face to face encounter with the Living God.

How about you - do you hide behind your Bible? How else do you find yourself being "godly" while actually avoiding Him?


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JenessaMichele said...

It's so easy to get lost in the routine of having to meet with God in the mornings, and evenings that you don't even notice it.

I know that I have personally avoided have serious conversations with God, for fear of what He would think of me, so I would just read the Bible and call it a day think I met with Him.

But that's like walking up to your mom or dad and just watching them. Which would look silly to them and be pointless, and fruitless for you.

But I have done that.

Luckily, His grace overwhelms my mistakes. :)
Once He brings these things to light, and we repent, He tends to makes us fall deeper in love with Him than before. :)

Anonymous said...

Hello Brian.

I think so many people hide fom God by getting very caught up in 'feeling' religious, reading the bible, rather than submitting oneself to God, to be personally taught by him.
I think to pray, we dont go into long drawn out dialogue with God, he knows us already and our needs.
We just need to spend time being still.