The Impact of God’s Word on My Heart
I desperately need daily input from the Bible. Because it is “alive and active,” according to Hebrews 4:12, I can examine the same verse or passage from time to time, and the Holy Spirit will “speak” truth in applicable ways for what is happening in my life at that particular time. God’s Word is so powerful!
Since I need a steady flow of God’s Word into my life, God has orchestrated four ways for me to receive its input.
I read God’s Word from cover to cover each calendar year. It is not simply a goal, but a daily “shower” of truth. We are bombarded daily with falsehood from our culture. Satan constantly attempts to overwhelm us with his thoughts of baseless lies in our minds. I need truth to combat everything false that is thrown my way.
Reading God’s Word does exactly that. It typically is not volumes of deeper truth, but gentle reminders of known truth. It is like taking a daily shower. On any given day, I’m not sure I really need one, but those around me appreciate it.
God continually amazes me with his ability to show me truth in his Word, and then provide an opportunity to use that truth in a conversation or situation that day. He is amazing!
There are times I simply need to digest God’s Word in a deeper way (and I’m not referring to lesson preparation time). It may be a topical study, or God may lead me to a passage he wants me to dwell in for a while. He may pique my curiosity to deliver me to a place in his Word. However he does it, he leads me to a deeper understanding.
One daily practice I find helpful is to take a few verses each morning and write down four or five “gems,” Bible verses that especially speak to the challenges of that day. Most days it will take three or four verses; some days I need only one verse.
I study through one of the Gospels and then study through Acts to the end of Revelation. I then take another Gospel and repeat the process. It takes me approximately four years to cycle through the New Testament with this method. I look for things to apply to my life that day. He is phenomenal in his timing!
One of the more important things I do in life is memorizing God’s Word. My current goal is to memorize 10 verses per month. Chris Long, a board member with Intentional Impact Living Ministries, has held me accountable for this practice for the last seven years. He is faithful in keeping me accountable, and I attempt to be faithful in getting to know God better.
Important things typically are not accomplished unless there is some urgency. Chris helps keep me focused on the urgency of memorizing God’s Word.
There are times I need to stop what I’m doing and really focus on a verse or a passage. Meditating over Scripture is similar to studying God’s Word, but it requires a greater sensitivity to his Holy Spirit. The Spirit can teach me great truth if I allow him the opportunity. God desires that I become better acquainted with him through his Word and his Holy Spirit.
The times I “camp out” in his Word and simply listen are powerful moments of learning and understanding. God knows exactly where I need to be in his Word to sand off the rough edges of my character; he knows what I need in his preparation process for what I will encounter around the next corner.
These four practices do not make me a theological giant, but they do make me a pursuer of God’s heart. God’s Word reveals his heart. If I want to know God’s heart, I need solid exposure to his Word.
Dean Trune is director of Intentional Impact Living Ministries in Lansing, Michigan, and author of two books concerning our relationship with God, Deepening Our Passion for God and The Path Toward Passion.