How has COVID-19 affected your daily routine? If you are like me, the changes have been numerous and not all to my liking. For example, I miss seeing my coworkers and the separation of defined spaces for work and home. Working from home has blurred these distinctions. For some of you, this is not something new. I find myself changing clothes at the end of the “work day” to help distinguish when I am working or not (it seems to help). I could go on, but I will spare you my list of complaints and instead mention one of the things I am doing now that I find very enjoyable. For the record, it’s not zoom calls.
I have started listening to books while I jog. Yes, I have started jogging again since the pool has been closed. While I have listened to podcasts over the years, this is a new thing for me. I enjoy non-fiction and my most recent books have been autobiographies. Two of the autobiographies were read by the author themselves, which seemed to add an even more personal dimension to the message. There is something about hearing the author read their “own words” in their “own voice” that makes it seem like they are speaking directly to me. Which raises a question: Is this how I approach the Bible? Do I realize that it is God who is speaking—directly to me?
If not, why not? The Bible is God’s personal revelation to each of us.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT)
While the individual books of the Bible reflect the life, experience, personality, and voice of the writer—each were inspired and directed by God. It is not just their words, but is His word.
“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires." (Hebrews 4:12 NLT)
Did you catch the last statement? Unlike the biographies I have listened to, God’s word penetrates and reveals what is in my heart. It serves as a mirror to show me what is going on inside. As I learn to recognize the voice of God in scripture, I will sense a greater connection with Him and greater clarity on how he would have me behave.
Unlike the audible books on my iPhone, I know that God desires for me to know him personally. During these crazy days where many voices compete for our attention, it is my prayer that you will carve out time daily to read and reflect on scripture, asking God to speak to you. As you do so, you will learn to listen to his voice as it is delivered through the prophets and writers of scripture. My daily practice is to start each morning with a short reading from scripture and a good cup of coffee. I keep a journal nearby and write down what I sense him saying to me for that day. I want to encourage you to do the same.
Yours in Christ,
Lead Pastor, Frisco First Baptist Church