For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
On the way home from church, I told Helen that I had introduced the congregation to Sock Puppy. “Why?” She asked. I explained that the ‘fluff’ represented God’s Words. She interrupted and said, “Oh! Was the sock our heart?”
I smiled and said a prayer of thanks for Louise Brooks and our incredible Kids’ Small Group Leaders.
“Yep. The sock is our heart.”
Isaiah 50 tells us about a servant who has a regular experience of stuffing God’s word into his heart.
The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.
It’s amazing how much stuffing you can get in a sock. And it’s amazing how much of God’s word you can stuff in your heart. Here are some ways at Restoration that we can push the words of God deeper and deeper into our soul.
During our service, we intentionally read Scripture, sing Scripture, pray Scripture, and use Scripture to invite us to the Lord’s table. We all know that lectures are not the most effective way to digest information. But hearing the Word of God is a great place to start. And you hear a lot of it in our worship service.
In our church, if you make a membership commitment, you commit to being an active participant in a Restoration small group. That is a huge ‘next step’ from just showing up on Sunday. It’s a choice to carve out another 2 hours during the week. It’s a choice to be vulnerable– to let people know you, pray for you, and apply the Scriptures with you. It is another step of contextualization that allows you to talk about your specific situation and what this passage means to you. It gets the words in you.
There is one more level of immersion… Morning by morning, every day, the servant is receiving words from the Lord God. The servants has words to give because he has received words from God.
Do you spend 15 minutes every day reading the Bible and listening to what the Lord God wants to say to you? Morning by morning, every day, is how you get enough Scripture to handle the increasing difficulty and complexity of the tests in life.
A few simple ideas:
- You need a chair. For these 15 minutes, it really needs to be a place where the voice of the Lord is the only one you can hear. So reading Bible on the metro, praying to God while you drive— these are very good and I encourage you to not stop— but this 15 minutes is different. In this chair, you’ve pushed away distractions. You have literally left your phone in another room. You’ve said no to other things like sleep. You have built expectancy and anticipation that when you sit in that chair, the Lord will open your ear to hear. So, where’s your chair?
- You may need a plan. The bible can be an overwhelmingly big book. Here are 12 Bible reading plans that can guide you through the Bible in a year. My favorite is the M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan. It’s a bigger chunk each day, but it takes you through the New Testament and psalms twice, plus the Old Testament every year.
- It must be a priority. Like everything that matters, ‘morning by morning awakening your ear to hear’ will leak. Something will always seem more important.
- One thing you don’t need (and this may surprise you). You don’t need to have a lot to say. YOUR words are not the most important words in these 15 minutes. You will talk for the rest of your day. And God will listen to everything you say directly to him and everything you say directly to someone else. But in these precious moments, His words are paramount. Reading His words in the Scripture. And then being still, listening for anything the Holy Spirit would say directly to you.
A place, a plan, priority, and silence. 15 minutes. Every day. Letting the words of the Lord God fill you and push into every space of your soul. So that in this life, you may be faithful to Him, and in the age to come, have life everlasting.