“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11, NIV)
For disciple of Jesus, walking the narrow path that leads to life (please see Matthew 7:13-14 for full scripture reference) is as natural as breathing; but it doesn’t begin that way.
It may take years for us to reach the place where we are naturally in stride with the will of God, and we will never arrive at that point without first subjecting our ambitions, habits, preferences, prejudices, and pastimes to the scrutiny God’s word — and modifying our actions accordingly.
To sin is to miss the mark. There are some deficiencies in our living that are the result of ignorance, but these instances are few — and become fewer and fewer with each year of life!
Most of the shortcomings in our relationship with God are the result of willful disobedience. We yield to our bad habits, craven ambitions, and prejudices because it is far more comfortable to continue living there than to change-up our lifestyle and come alive to God’s plan.
The key to staying in stride with our heavenly Father is to read His word; to heed His word; and to hide His word in your heart. – Luther
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NIV)
A while ago, I heard a podcast of a panel of bible teachers/scholars who were discussing the widespread lack today of “bible engagement” by Christians. There seem to be many reasons — but no excuses — for why we keep the word of God at arm’s length, instead of embracing it, and becoming intimately familiar with all that it says.
Paul’s letter to his protege Timothy reminds all of us of the primacy of both carefully reading and faithfully heeding scripture in the daily living of the Christian.
On this topic, Oswald Chambers (1874-1917) offered a thought worth pondering — and accepting: “Am I learning how to use my Bible? The way to become complete for the Master’s service is to be well soaked in the Bible; some of us only exploit certain passages. Our Lord wants to give us continuous instruction out of His word; continuous instruction turns hearers into disciples.”
It is difficult to be a faithful disciple without also knowing the heart of the Person we have chosen to follow. Holy scripture introduces us to our Father’s heart. – Luther