Last month I went a Women’s breakfast at my church. I walked in and sat down. My eyes surveyed the room, taking notice of who was there. Many people I knew, but there were a couple new faces. I had not seen them before and I didn’t know their name or who they were. When I see a face and I don’t have a name, it bothers me so I went over to say hello and introduce myself.
I asked what their names were and I took time to hear a little bit about who they are as people. It is a gift for me to be able to have conversations with others the way I am able to now. These social situations always used to be hard for me. I would not be out mingling with others at all. Most likely you would have found me in a corner seat alone or in a conversation with the person next to me.
I left that breakfast knowing two new names but most importantly I knew more about the people with those names.
Recently, I have started studying the book of Matthew. I have read Matthew many times over the years but there has been something different this time around. One thing I have realized is in the past I have read the bible to try to know what was in the bible. I have read God’s Word because it is what I am supposed to do. The emphasis has been to memorize scripture and make sure I know it in my mind.
As God continues to transform my mind and heart, I have begun to study scripture with more of the focus on knowing God. Not to know about Him or to be able to quote it, or brag that I can spit out all the verses without looking at them, but to KNOW God and to KNOW His heart.
This has renewed my experience in God’s Word.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)
It has amazed me how much God’s word has become alive to me. The more I study with this focus, the more I see and understand God’s heart. As I read, He shines a light on my heart and my misunderstandings are exposed. The experience humbles me and brings me to places of repentance and thankfulness. It shows me places I have grown and where I need to grow.
This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3
If we go into God’s word to know about God, we will miss out on knowing God. if we study God’s word because it is what we are supposed to do to check off our christian to-do list, we will miss out on the joy of experiencing God in relationship.
I was reminiscing back to when I first came to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I was going to a church and learning about God from one perspective. I had friends who went to another church and I was confused because it almost seemed like two different Gods. I wanted to know who God really was. That is what started my journey to find Jesus.
Somehow along the way, that got lost for me, but God is bringing me back to that place. My mind is being renewed and He is revealing Himself in some powerful and special ways. His Word is becoming alive and He is working in my heart in new and fresh ways.
Have you gotten lost along the way?
Have you been distracted from the simple focus of getting to know God as you read His Word?
Let’s refocus together! Remember that God, loves you, He sees you, and He knows you. He wants you to know Him. That is what relationship is about.