Yea, my first blog post as part of Life in Progress Ministries! Very exciting times. Klinton, myself and our spouses are anticipating that God will accomplish great things and open many doors of opportunity for this ministry.
I want to share something on my mind and heart today, a conviction really. All of us can relate to going through times when we had no clue what to do. We had no clue what our next move should be, no clue what to think or how to behave. So, we began to pray. Prayer is good. Prayer changes things. There IS power in prayer. Prayer is the way we communicate with God; giving thanks, asking for provision, begging for help, repenting of sin…you know the drill. But, have you ever considered that prayer is an incomplete way to communicate with God?
Klinton and I were discussing this morning how desperately we need fresh knowledge of God. We need to know who He is and what He wants. God is an incomprehensible and complex being. (Which is what makes a relationship with Him forever thrilling!) There is so much to know! Ironically, as I minister to women,most — if not all — are faithfully praying. They need help. They need encouragement. They need comfort. They need answers. They need hope. They NEED. And prayer is a proper response. Please don’t get me wrong. But, I’m wondering if prayer is enough? Prayer is YOUR word to God. What you and I most need is HIS word to us. We need knowledge for decision making, knowledge for understanding, knowledge for comfort, and knowledge for life. We need to know.
I have been guilty of only praying and expecting answers. I’m learning that God speaks to me through prayer, but more directly and more personally through His word. There have been times in my life that I have tried to take spiritual shortcuts to get answers. I’ve asked someone else, read articles, watched TV programs and read blogs. To be honest, at times the answers I found did pacify, but they never satisfied. I’ve learned not to sacrifice Biblical knowledge under the banner of prayer. Pray. Prayer is beautiful and necessary. But, also open your Bible and discover God for yourself. Reading and studying and meditating on the Word of God is life-changing and life-giving. It is the Word that gives life. Jesus said, “it is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life.” Jesus said man should not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. God’s word should be life to the believer. Yet, so few self-proclaimed believers know the Bible. Does anybody else see the problem?
I love these verses that so eloquently explain why we have the written Word:
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4 (ESV)
All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
The more I study the Bible, the more I realize how much I need it and how complete it is in covering my every need; spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and physically. It is the scriptures that change me. It is the scriptures that reveal God to me. It is the scriptures that give me hope, purpose and direction for my life. Sadly, I am often guilty of passively reviewing the Bible or depending on someone else to teach me what it says and what it means. The Holy Spirit desires to be our teacher…God…your teacher. Who better? Don’t take the shortcuts for finding answers. Gain the knowledge you need for your life. Pray. Go to church. But, take time to study and examine God’s word for yourself.
“The scriptures are written for our use and benefit, as much as for those to whom they were first given. Those are most learned who are most mighty in the Scriptures.” Matthew Henry