Submitted by Andy McIlvain.
Is your Bible closed? How often do you read from it? A LifeWay Research survey revealed that of 2,000 Americans who read the Bible, only about a third of them read it almost every day. The average reader owns 3.6 copies of the Bible, and1 in 5 churchgoers never read the Bible.
A.W. Tozer said, “The Bible is not only a book which was once spoken, but a book which is now speaking.” God wants to speak to us today and every day, through his word. God’s word is not simply “once spoken.” God’s word is always “now speaking.”
God is always speaking to us, but we must have ears to hear. The bible states this 7 times in the Gospels and 7 times in Revelations. We must stop, slow down, and disengage from the distractions that prevent us from living a gospel-centered life.
God is not silent. We must be intentional in seeking him. God always seeks us and does so unrelentingly, night and day, all our brief lives.
God speaks to us through his Word, through prayer, and contemplation. Learn to be silent. Stop talking. Let God speak. God speaks to us through other people, through circumstances and pain that we would become both wise and unwise. Our personal pain not only speaks to us, but to those around us. God’s character and grace do not change with circumstances. Our hope extends beyond what we feel, see, and touch.
“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world,” C. S. Lewis said in The Problem of Pain.
We should not crave to hear a voice. Jesus himself warns against seeking signs, as the same sinful rebellious natures that where present in the religious authorities of his time on earth are present in you and I today.
Your prayer life should include many things like praying for those in your area of influence that are unbelievers. Start a Prayer list or diary and faithfully take the needs of these people before God every day.
Find some time to read books that encourage spiritual growth and seek out mature Christians to talk to or study with or join a study group where your questions and concerns are addressed.
Ed Setzer says in the book Transformational Groups, “God has supernaturally ordained community to sanctify his people to grow in Christ. A call to discipleship and spiritual maturity is a call to biblical community.”
Whenever we read the Bible today, we have the wholeness of revelation that Christ intended to be communicated. Our prayer life is essential to becoming more Christ-like as we grow and mature. It is a relationship that carries us safely on our pilgrimage through this world.