(Today’s blog continues a new series on spiritual disciplines, or ways we communicate with God. The collection will include various writers who offer their thoughts on methods of spiritual development. This week’s focus is on Scripture Reading.)
The importance of God’s communication with humanity is seen throughout Scripture. Indeed, it was the decision to ignore what God said that led to the entrance of sin into the world in the Garden of Eden. It was also Abraham’s proper response to God’s word that led to the establishment of the nation of Israel, and to the possibility for all nations on earth to be blessed. Hearing and properly responding to what God says is at the foundation of a meaningful life, and Scripture is God’s attempt to communicate clearly with humanity so that they might enjoy the fullness of life he intended from the very beginning.
It is important, however, to correctly understand the nature of Scripture if we are to read it properly. It should not be seen as a rule book forced upon us by an autocratic and dictatorial task master who requires perfect obedience in order to measure up. Instead, Scripture should be seen in terms of a wilderness guide who is concerned for those under his care and so he attempts to lead them through the dangers of the wilderness so that they may all arrive safely at their destination. God’s instruction is given to help, to enlighten, and to empower all those who listen and respond as they attempt to navigate the uncertainties of life on this earth.
As the apostle Peter made abundantly clear,
His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. (2 Peter 1:3-4, NASB)
Through the reading and application of God’s Word, we are provided with all we need to enter into the grand and glorious life available only to those who know him. Indeed, it is through this knowledge gained by the reading of His Word that we can actually become partakers of his divine nature.
I thoroughly enjoyed the insight Dr. Luper gave in this post to show the importance of reading Scripture in light of God’s communication with humanity. When I was younger, I viewed the Scripture as a collection of cool stories that were exciting. As I grew older, I began to see it as the rule book that Dr. Luper mentioned. I saw it as something that I had to read as an obligation to live by the Christian faith. Because of this, I began to develop a resentment toward reading Scripture. It wasn’t until I spent time reading it with a clear mindset that I began to understand the importance of it in my own life. I especially like the way Dr. Luper compared it to a “wilderness guide.” When someone creates a guidebook, they do it so others will hopefully not have to go through the pain or confusion that someone before them experienced. Guidebooks are not made to keep information from others or create a long list of “dos” and “don’ts,” they are crafted to guide those who read it on a safe and beautiful journey.