The Discipline of the Scriptures
"It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.' "
-Matthew 4:4, emphasis added
As we have just seen in Revelation 10:8-11, Jesus shows the way to God, and the way to God is eating His Word. I pray that you can joyfully identify with Jeremiah in this verse: Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart (Jeremiah 15:16). His passion for God and His Word was consistently, and relentlessly, demonstrated throughout his life as God's prophet.
Wouldn't you like to capture that same passion in your own life? It all starts by disciplining yourself to spend time listening to God speak to you! To help you start cultivating such a time with the Lord, let's look at three areas of spiritual discipline: (1) reading God's Word; (2) memorizing God's Word; and (3) meditating upon God's Word.
Reading God's Word: The Scriptures are the very voice of God, so we must discipline ourselves to listen to Him. If we never inconvenience ourselves enough to be disciplined in our Bible reading, there are truths God has for us that will be missed. Our lives then can't help but be empty.
It only takes fifteen minutes, or three and one-third chapters per day, to read the entire Bible in a year. You can begin to get alone with God when you consider that eating His Word is even more important than your daily meals. You can never have a Christian mind without reading the Scriptures regularly, because you cannot be deeply influenced by that which you do not know.
Memorizing God's Word: Second on the list of how to cultivate a time of getting alone with God is the discipline of memorizing the Scriptures. Are you wasting precious time that would have been better spent listening to God? Will you have any regrets when you look back on your life? Why not begin by memorizing at least one verse a week? That is fifty-two verses in one year!
Meditating upon God's Word: Meditation is the spiritual discipline of practicing Christ's words in Matthew 4:4: "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." At salvation, we became a soul that thirsts for God and longs to "drink in" His Word; a soul that longs for the "Water of Life" (the continual flow of eternal life) and "drinks in" freely from God in His Word; a soul that thirsts midst the arid, sun-baked, lifeless deserts of life and finds a beautiful, ever-present oasis through communing with God in His Word. This is the secret of God's great warriors, and a spiritual discipline that we each need to practice. Meditating upon the Word brings us immediately into the intimate presence of God, but too few are willing to pay the price.
E. Stanley Jones once described time spent in the Scriptures as a "time exposure to God." He used the analogy of his life being like a photographic plate which, when exposed to God, progressively bore the image of God in keeping with the length of exposure. You are called by God to intentionally, volitionally, and willfully choose to do those things that will exercise, discipline, and direct your life for godliness (2 Peter 1:5-11).
If you will read, study, meditate on, and internalize the Word of God, you will look like Jesus Christ. And that is exactly what God wants!
To find this message online, please click here.
For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit discoverthebook.org.