Values, living at the route of someone’s heart and soul make them who they are. Or at least that is supposed to be true. However, if their actions do not align with their inner self, they are missing the mark on authenticity. Similar to ones prayer life – if you are praying for health and yet spending your day smoking, how can you expect God to do his handy work? If you are praying for peace, yet creating drama in your relationships, how can God move through your life?
Now, I don’t mean that from the perspective of “How can God?” because of course God is a miracle worker – he’s proven numerous times that he can shift ones entire being in the touch of a hand, through one spoken word, without a moments notice. It’s the human effort to give God the glory by making the most of your prayer request without the challenge that He is expected to perform miracles despite our human effort. Value, similar to integrity, is the core belief, upheld by one self despite the time of day, with or without bystanders.
I am a Christian. I believe in God’s holy works. I believe in God The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit – yet I have missed His ask of coming to the route of that value with all that I have. I may listen to Christian music, I may hear the preacher preach on Sundays and many other preachers pod casts through the week, and even joined in on some bible studies and additional books in my spare time. While my actions are living out my value to a percentage, I have not sat and opened the Bible. “I believe in Biblical Kingdom Theology,” but yet as I speak those words aloud, I cannot put weight behind that statement, because I have missed the mark.
One of my favorite little pastoral analogies that has stuck with me and I share often with new church-goers and Christians is “Sundays are meant to set the table for the week, but it is up to us to prepare the meal, make your drink, grab your silverware and finish with a dessert.” I have filled myself weekly with many appetizers, but I believe after further introspection, I have missed the meat of the meal. And I am not a vegetarian – so I am hungry!
Living out the value of loving the bible, of teaching the bible, living in it and having faith in it, requires me first to READ it and stop allowing other peoples insights to be my only form of meal prep. I am personally holding myself accountable to a 3 days a week (to start) of time before the Lord, in the Lord, with the Lord, IN HIS WORD. I pray A LOT. It gets me through my day. And while prayer was an imperative part of my journey to becoming the Christian I am today, it will not be the only piece to the puzzle that gets me to be the daughter I want to be in the future.
To know is to study and to understand in intimate ways. I don’t get to say “I know him/her” without first spending time with them and learning about them. I want to know Him and I want Him to speak to me through scripture as I have heard Him do so often to spiritual leaders. I am confident that by living out this value on a daily basis, I will exceed my expectations of relationship building and oneness with the Lord – but most importantly of a more defined devout faith in Him. I believe if I can engrain this in my daily routine, it will filter and flow into the other values just as God’s living water overflows abundantly in all things. The best part about living out this value is not for me, but for God’s Kingdom! Imagine the lives one person can touch if they are speaking God’s word instead of their own because it will eventually become second nature to share what you know – let me fill my mind with His word to be shared often.
When asking God to show me where I am weak, why I am weak and how He can help me gain strength in my weaknesses, I was pulled to the scripture that I have had memorized since I was a little girl. Philippians 4:6-7: Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and yours minds in Christ Jesus. People would ask in a variety of different seasons of my life, “What’s your favorite scripture”, and this was always my response. And I know now, it’s not because it was my favorite (though I am fond of it), but because it was the only one I knew off hand. Sad really, when I think about it because The Lord has given us The Word, He is The Word and yet I diminished its’ power by neglecting it.
I read the Beth Moore, “Living Free” bible study and it spoke over breaking free of strongholds and showing us how to pray in a certain way utilizing scripture. I’ve been moved to pray by literally reciting His own words for Him to hear, but as I say them allowed it is as if you are bringing the words more to life. I want to bring this value to life instead of choosing to live through other people’s words.
I believe my main hindrance here has been feeling overwhelmed by the book – The Bible. It’s big with small words…A LOT of small words. I don’t know where to start or how to start. I also love listening to how others perceive it and share it, already in the perfectly gift-wrapped presentation. It seems like I couldn’t possibly attain the same wealth of information from reading it myself. But aren’t all of those just excuses?
I want to glorify Him by allowing The Bible to be an action in my life – a way of bringing me closer to Him, because at the end of the day isn’t that all we need and want…I know that’s what He wants. So I end this – to go open the Bible.