I had to give my congregation a heads-up that I was going to say something that sounded a little like heresy, so they wouldn’t throw me out of the church. So I’m giving you the similar heads-up now: Read this all the way through before you label me a heretic.
Our P119 spiritual workout relies heavily on the Word of God. If we are going to grow as Christians, here’s what I believe:
There is no substitute for the Bible, but the Bible is not enough.
The Pharisees of Jesus’ day knew the Scriptures better than anyone, but they misapplied those Scriptures, using them as bully clubs wielded by the sin police. When we read the Scripture, we must respond to what we read. Prayer is an indispensable part of our spiritual workout, because prayer is how we properly respond to God’s Word.
Check this out—
In the He section of Psalm 119 (verses 33-40), you will read words that sound more like a prayer than any of the sections before it. You will hear the psalmist crying out to God as he is confronted by his lack of proper application of God’s Word. As he reads the Scriptures, he asks God to:
- Teach him what the Scriptures are saying
- Help him discern the truths found in God’s Word
- Lead him in the right path
- Turn his heart away from his natural selfish bent
- Allow him to see the futility of pursuing earthly possessions
- Give him boldness in standing up for God’s glory
- Remove the fear of man that would paralyze his pursuit of God
The last verse of this section is the cycle of read the word → respond in prayer in miniature. How I long for Your precepts! Preserve my life in Your righteousness. Do you see the reading of the Word (Your precepts), and the prayerful response (preserve my life)?
The Bible can be an incredible prayer book for us! Get into the Word, and let the Holy Spirit get the Word into you. You will then be able to respond back to God in His own words! And then I think you be astounded at how your spiritual life grows!
I invite you to join me next Sunday as we continue this amazing series.