Texting: sending short messages via an app on a smart phone or a computer.
I have mixed feelings about texting. On the one hand, texting is great for communicating information over long distances cheaply. I can be sitting in a mud hut in the middle of the African bush and receive a text from my wife back in the states. When you need to get a hold of someone texting makes that convenient.
On the other hand, texting is very limited because much of the communication we experience between humans is “non-verbal.” That is to say, we gain much of the “meaning” of our conversations from voice inflections, body language, and other contextual cues that are very difficult, if not impossible, to convey over short messages.
What it boils down to, many times, is that the better we know a person in real life the more accurate we can assign meaning to the texts they send us. Real life intimacy adds context to anything that is written and often times, though the information is limited in a text, we can still “fill in” the details of what the person means because we know them well.
Likewise, with God’s text, it is our degree of intimacy with Him that allows us to understand His message. There is a lot to God, much more than could ever be contained in His text (the Bible.) Though the scriptures communicate a lot of basic information about God and what He has thought and done throughout the ages, our understanding of what He says today is depended upon how well we know Him. Here is a truth,
“Revelation depends on relationship”
Knowing God depends upon being with God. Letters are good, but being in His presence is better. In fact, the better we know Him personally the more His letters mean to us.
Texting in real life augments our ability to communicate but it cannot and should not replace actual, physical relationships with the people we love. It will, do in a pinch, if we cannot be with our friend, family, or spouse, however, it is only a stop-gap for the real deal which is face to face communication. Given the choice, the real thing is always better than the substitute.
In the same way the Bible augments our ability to communicate with God. However, the Bible cannot replace an actual, real life relationship with Him. When it is all you have it is better than nothing but being in His presence is always preferable.
In conclusion, we must seek real relationship with our Father and put that above all the different ways people have figured out to know Him without being with Him. Communing with Him through prayer and listening to His voice throughout the day are some of the best ways to know Him. Another vital way is to be with the Body of Christ so that “God in us” can minister to each other through us. As we yield to God and He flows through us we experience Him in different ways and get to know His nature. This is one reason why doing good works is so important.
Get to know God personally so that when you read His “text” you will have some sort of “context” to help interpret His message. Keep the Bible in right perspective and do not make the mistake of thinking that the scriptures are all there is to our King. God is so wonderful and awesome that a million volumes of scripture could not contain but a tiny fraction of His greatness. Amen.
How can I apply this teaching to my life?
Instead of reading the Bible to find God why not find God first and then let Him direct you if and when to read it? Start with prayer and seek God’s face until He directs you to read the scripture. Be led by His Spirit and whether or not you need to even open the scriptures today.
When I finished Bible College I was full of scripture that I had no desire to read another verse. I simply stopped reading the Bible for years. During that time I simply allowed God’s Holy Spirit to speak to me and gradually, at His direction, I would start to read as I felt led to do.
Reading the scriptures is not wrong or bad. However, it is the way that you approach reading them that matters. If you are reading them simply because you feel obligated to do so because you have been taught that is what a good Christians must do, then you are probably not getting much good out of it. If, however, you feel drawn to read certain scriptures and God is really feeding your spirit and soul then that is profitable.
Christianity is heart felt and heart led. We cannot boil down our relationship with our Creator to a set of rules that we must follow to please Him. Natural minded things bring natural minded results. Spiritually minded things bring spiritual results. If you sow to the natural man you will only benefit the natural man. If you sow to the spiritual man you will benefit the spiritual man. If you read and study the Bible through your natural minded man it will bring about legalism and death. If you read and study the Bible through your spiritual man it will bring about revelation and life.
The bottom line is “learn to be Spirit led in all you do.” That is the path of life.