This last Sunday, a man and his family came forward and asked if I would pray a blessing over them. Today, he came in for counseling. I think that our time together might be my favorite counseling session of all time.
The first thing I noticed was that he walked down the hallway toward my office with his Bible and journal in hand. I hate to say it, but this does not happen very often. Sometimes I wonder how many Christians remain that actually believe the Bible to be something we should know, cherish, memorize, filter decisions through, be challenged by, and be comforted with.
We shut the door. I prayed. Next, I tell him that I would like to listen for awhile so he can share his heart and story. He proceeds. Throughout our time, here are some things he did that thrilled, absolutely thrilled, my heart as a disciple of Jesus Christ (and not to mention as a pastor).
- He continually opened his Bible to read a verse or passage that God had shown him or that he was clinging to. I do not remember seeing even one page that had not been marked up or highlighted. This man had spent many hours in God’s Word.
- At one point, he looked up and told me that he was going to read a verse the way he reads when he is all alone. How? When he reads the Scripture, he inserts his name into the text so that he keeps in mind that God’s Word is written to him personally. I cannot explain how cool it was to hear him reading God’s Word with his name on it. It did something in my heart. This practice reminds me of one of my favorite quotes. Soren Kierkegaard writes, “When you read God’s Word, you must constantly be saying to yourself, ‘It is talking to me, and about me.'”
- He had a large journal. As he flipped from one place to another, it was evident that this man pours his soul out before the Lord in these pages. David wrote, “Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us” (Psalms 62:8 NKJV).
- As he shared his story, it was evident that he was leading up to a question. In this context, he proceeded at one point to read a prophecy that he and his wife had received in 2006. What? That was almost a decade ago! I was looking at a spiritual bulldog. He was not letting go of what God had spoken, declared, promised. Timing was inconsequential. God spoke it. The word lives. It is not a matter of if, but when.
- All throughout, tears came to his eyes. More than emotion, I could tell that these tears meant that this man was truly living from his heart. God would have it no other way. When someone is real, he or she is in the place needed for a real God to reveal Himself.
I was struck, refreshed, and stirred by this person who was living his life and leading his family in and through God’s Word. People would find real healing, real hope, even deliverance, if they lived like this man. Are you turning the pages in your Bible? Are you still standing on past words or are you wavering? Are some of the pages in your journal wrinkled a bit because a few tears fell? Are you marking and tearing and laughing and weeping and believing and doubting your way through the pages of Scripture?
If not, there is little hope for you. You are relying upon your own strength. You are your own god. Your own god.
Shake off the dust. Quit making excuses. Repent for your apathy. Repent for your pride. Repent for not believing. Arise! Dig. Search.