Thursday, October 20, 2005

How to Approach Reading the Bible (Part 3)

5. Read the Bible like a story book, not a cookbook.
What I mean by this is that our lives are stories, not recipes. We have a tendency to want to make everything simple. We want to read about three easy steps to health, wealth and success in life – add a cup of this and a pinch of that and presto! – the results you wanted. But the stories aren’t like that in the Bible and they aren’t like that in our lives either.

Have you noticed? Marriages don’t always work. Children don’t always turn out the way you planned. We don’t always get the perfect job that solves all of our financial problems. But what’s true of every story in the Bible is that God is there. God is there in the midst of the pain and the problems. And God wants us to know that that can be our story too. If we will start to acknowledge God in our presence then our circumstances may not change but our sense of turmoil will. With our hand in God’s hand, suddenly life is not so threatening and we can see more clearly and breathe more easily.

Let the Bible conquer you instead of you trying to conquer it.
Part of approaching the Bible with humility is understanding that no matter how much you read or how much you know, it will always be bigger than you are. You can’t master the Bible like you can some other book. The Bible is too deep to master. So rather than try to master the Bible, why not let it master you? Let it transform you by doing what it says and not just reading what it says. I bet there are a lot of people in Bible schools and seminaries today who have the wrong motivation in their study. They want to become “experts of the Bible” but God is simply calling them to become “experts at life” and wants them to read the Bible as their guidebook.

No comments: