I have been iFasting for three weeks now and it’s been great for getting me reading and wanting to read the Bible. I can honestly say that this is the most enthusiastic I have been about reading the Bible. I love coming across verses that speak directly into either my life, my friends and families lives and the world we live in. But it’s not always a nice feeling. Sometimes the words on the page hit me like a truck. I am not always comforted by what I read.
But really we should expect this. We are told that the word of God can cut to the heart, that it can separate spirit and soul, joints and marrow. But that’s not what we want is it? We want to be molly coddled, to be told that everything is alright and we did the right thing. We want the word to pander to the way we see things, to back up arguments we can’t be bothered to research properly. Well guess what? Paul warned Timothy about people like us:
2 Timothy 4: 3-4 ‘For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.’
I don’t want to treat God’s word like a feather dusting – scratching my itches. I want to know that if I try to scratch my ear with it I’m liable to cut it off! Truth will not always be easy to hear. Sometimes when I read the Bible I share the response of those men in Acts who were cut to the heart. And the reason is not because the Bible is an instruction manual for life, it’s because the Bible is my story, my heritage. In it people have been struggling through this relationship with God we have, and honestly reflecting on it, they have walked where I want to walk, and in the Bible I find their experiences. That’s why it hits me, because I have claimed it as my story.
May we be people who wield the world of God well, may we seek to find truth – whatever that may mean for us.
Find Nick’s initial thoughts on the Bible as a sword here.