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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Am I getting to know the Bible or the God of the Bible?

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Here4Him
Member



Joined: 2006/9/23
Posts: 212
England

 Am I getting to know the Bible or the God of the Bible?

Im a bit frustrated. Here is where I'm at:

I really resolved to set my face to seeking God, and thats what i did for a while, but seeking God (to really find Him and enjoy His intimate presence) seems at least to me to be so hard, and so gradually my seeking of God has deteriorated to just reading the Bible lots.

I am coming to love the Bible more and more and am learning a lot about God, but i still do not feel that it is helping much in actually knowing Him better personally on an intimate level. Does anyone understand?

Reading the Bible lots is great and i believe in that, but i fear that if all iv got is lots of bible knowlegde i will just become a pharisee.

I guess my point is it seems so much easier to get to know the Bible than it does to really get to know God.

I was challenged last night in Mark 1:35 by the example of our Lord who rose early in them morning before sunrise after a busy night of ministry to go to a solitary place to pray. It struck me that prayer is more important than reading the bible. And i mean prayer where we just seek to be with God and know His smile and nearness (not talking about supplication or intercession). I noticed that it doesn't say that our Lord went to read the scrolls, but that he went to pray. He went to draw near to His Father and be with Him.

I am not saying we shouldn't be reading the Bible, not at all (I know that our Lord had it all in His memory from a young age, and we should love and study the scriptures too), but just that i feel dry this month because i have been getting to know my Bible better but not taking time to draw near to God.

Can anyone sympathize with that? Can anyone give me some godly advice on how to truly set about seeking God?


_________________
George Platt

 2007/2/2 7:42Profile
Vader
Member



Joined: 2007/1/30
Posts: 16


 Re: Am I getting to know the Bible or the God of the Bible?

I sympathize with you. There are times in my life when it seems like a wall is before me. I have learned to press thru it. The psalms say, I will bless the Lord, trying not to take things out of context, Jesus said after sending out the 70. These only come out by fasting and prayer. At times, especially when it is dry, I have been impresed to fast and set a time aside for just sitting before His feet. Be still and know that I am God. I am learning too. Press in

 2007/2/2 8:15Profile
Josiah777
Member



Joined: 2004/2/17
Posts: 99
Sterling, VA

 Re: Am I getting to know the Bible or the God of the Bible?

Here4Him,

Yes, I can totally relate to what you are saying. The dryness you are feeling is God's way of creating thirst for Life--Jesus Himself. I've been a Christian now for nearly 18 years and have studying the Bible in many different ways. It has not been until the last couple years (especially last year) that I have begun to realize that my focus was on doctrines of the Bible more than the Lord Himself.

A great help to me in seeing this so crystally clear now is a Bible teacher by the name of Ed Miller. He has a number of sermons here on SermonIndex (under Other Speakers). I would highly recommend a listen to "The Revelation Of Christ Within Scripture" and "Christ is Everything". These messages really underscore anything I would say to develop such a rich and inviting prospect of using the Bible to see a living Lord and feasting upon what He shows about Himself.

The key, I find, to enjoying the Lord is seeing Him by total reliance upon God's Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit greatly delights to show me Christ (that is, the glory of the Lord, as 2 Cor. 3:18 says). But I must first turn with all my heart to the Holy Spirit (as it says there in the preceding verses) and the veil will be lifted and I will see Christ in a transforming way.

Jesus in John 5 contrasted the Scriptures to Himself. The problem is when we see the Bible as the source of life, when in reality, God intended it to be an instrument to testify to the Lord Jesus and we MIGHT COME TO HIM TO FIND LIFE. In any study of the Bible, if we do not come to the Lord Jesus, we will not have life. Life is not a thing, but a Person--Jesus Christ. "I am the way, the truth, and the LIFE" (John 14:6). There is a freshness of the written word that excites my heart and enlivens my righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit fills my heart with a fervent love for God (Rom. 5:5).

One last thing that has aided me greatly in coming and seeing the Lord Jesus in Scripture. Our attitude in which we come is extremely important. The pure in heart are the ones that shall see (a word in the Greek which means not casual observance but wide-eyed wonder) God (Matt. 5:8). When Jesus healed the blind physically, there are also principles of seeing Him spiritually. The story of the healing of the blind man in Mark 8 is an excellent illustration of how we are to be in coming to the Lord. If I see myself as a blind man, begging the Lord (as this crowd did on his behalf) for a need to see Him, He will respond the same way--eyesight will be granted. Our God is very gracious and DELIGHTS to open our eyes to see Him. Jesus rejoices in the Spirit when the Father reveals the Son to babes (Luke 10:21). I can testify that each day as I have come in this needy, dependent attitude to see the Lord, God has met me and shown me Himself in a transforming way. Thank God for His grace. I pray you may allow this dryness and thirst to come to none other than Christ Himself for a drink (John 7:37-39).

Your brother in Christ,

Ken


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Ken Marino

 2007/2/2 8:28Profile









 Re: Am I getting to know the Bible or the God of the Bible?

Good morning Here4Him,

I can totally empathize. I remember being in prayer and I asked God the same question. I am sort of an impulsive person, so when God shows me something in the Word I want to go talk to someone about it. If I'm learning a new Truth I want to discuss it and tell someone.

Well, I got to feeling like I was getting puffed up with knowledge, and I didn't really like it. I almost was going to stop reading the bible because of it. But I remember God telling me:

"Don't stop reading, don't stop digging, don't stop searching. Trust me that I will keep you humble."

Well, that just set me free..and He absolutely has been faithful to humble me.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a student of the Word.

 2007/2/2 8:29









 Re:

Mmmm... this is a great question. I think this is something that many of us here struggle with. We can get caught up in these discussions here and find ourselves consulting God's Word so that we can make our point, and not to learn more about God. I know I'm guilty of this.

Krispy

 2007/2/2 8:34









 Re: Am I getting to know the Bible or the God of the Bible?

Quote:
Can anyone sympathize with that?


Yes i can. As i logged on i saw your post and thought thats me. Of late though i have been seeking Him more in heartfelt prayer. No way near as often or as long as i'd like to mind you.
I picked up the book desiring God by J.Piper as i've seen it recommended by some on SI though i haven't read it yet. But your right about prayer where we just seek to be with God.
It is my prayer that there may be more discipline in my life that i may set aside more time consistantly to draw close to God.

 2007/2/2 8:41
death2self
Member



Joined: 2006/9/28
Posts: 192
Washington DC area

 Re:

Quote:
Does anyone understand?

I believe I may understand but want to share my own heart, as to how the Lord has been dealing with me about this.

I am not by nature a disciplined man, not by any stretch of one's imagination but the Lord is making me into a disciplined man bit by bit. It's a rather painful process. I didn't realize my heart has been so resistant to this.

The sin that the Holy Spirit has put His finger on is using reading the word as an excuse not to do something else the Lord has asked me to do. For example, I hear help your wife with the dishes or some other chore around the house and I use to say is that the Holy Spirit? Call your brother or your sister and pray with them and my heart's response was well Lord I've got to read the scriptures.

The Lord has a place for each of us to read his word and meditate on it. However we can't (or I should just say I can't) substitute what God has asked for with something that is more comfortable to me. The Holy Spirit asked me this morning on my way to work "Is substitutional obedience really obedience?" and I had to say to no Lord it's not, it's really disobedience. Once we are no longer walking in the Spirit, the scriptures are no longer quickened to us and they become like cardboard.

At one time, I used to substitute obedience by listening to sermon after sermon sometimes as many as 8-10 a day. I can't get away with that any longer.

I would encourage you to press in and ask Jesus what He wants you to do and then simply do it. There's no real substitute for reading the scriptures and private times of prayer but the Lord has other things for you to do as well and as you do those things the joy of the Lord will well up in your heart. It's happened to me and Jesus is faithful to correct us when we're out of line.

I thank Jesus for his kindness and patience in teaching us how to walk with Him. Blessings to you my friend.


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Ed Pugh

 2007/2/2 11:15Profile
beenblake
Member



Joined: 2005/7/26
Posts: 524
Tennessee, USA

 Re: Am I getting to know the Bible or the God of the Bible?

Dear Here4Him,

Quote:
Can anyone give me some godly advice on how to truly set about seeking God?



Here is an unheard of challenge: Stop reading the bible and do nothing but seek the Lord's Will for an entire week. Instead, do these exact things:

1) Pray often throughout each day. Pray in devotion by delegating time to prayer quietly. Then pray as if Jesus is always near you, by talking to Jesus quietly in your mind in every situation. Tell Jesus everything and be honest, just as if He was your best friend. Admit your weaknesses and confess your sins. In your prayers, give up everything to Jesus as an offering. Give your life, your money, your time...and believe that Christ owns all of it. This means that you do not control it. Sacrifice your will to God. Awake each morning and offer your day to Him. Say in your heart, "This day is yours. Whatever happens is in your control. May your will be done."

2) Fast anything that keeps your mind away from the Lord. You know what keeps you away from God. Fast it. And this is important: Fast because you are seeking Jesus, and not because you are seeking God's gifts like righteousness.

3) Do everything as if you are doing it for the Lord. This means that any task, anything you do, imagine that it was commanded by the Lord. If you are doing laundry, imagine you are washing God's clothes. If you doing school work, imagine God is your teacher. If you are at work, imagine that God is your boss.

4) If anyone asks you for anything, give it to that person regardless of who they are even if they are a huge sinner. Yes, if on the way to the store, you have $20 in your pocket (the last $20 you have) and a drunk asks you for it, give it to him. If you are fasting television, but a friend or spouse asks you to watch a movie with them, do it. Do everything a person asks of you and trust that Jesus will keep you from sin. Be a servant to all and give freely.

5) Acknowledge the presence of Jesus at all times. He is with you 100% of the time. Acknowledge this. Talk to Him in your mind. Imagine He is standing next to you. Remember that He is watching you at every minute of every day. Acknowledge His presence. Invite Him into your life always.

6) Do not worry about anything!!! Don't worry about money. Do not worry about sin. Do not worry about what you are supposed to do. Just do what feels natural to your heart. If your nature has truly been changed by Jesus, then it is your nature to do God's Will. You will know when you are acting according to the flesh and not of the Spirit when you lack peace. The Spirit brings peace. If you have any anxiety about anything, then crucify that thing on the cross. Sacrifice it to Jesus.

7) Be Thankful!! Thank Jesus for what you have. Do not worry about what you don't have. Ask Jesus for what you need and trust that He will provide in His time. Leave everything in His hands and in His control. When Christ is in total control of you, you will naturally know what to do. There will be no struggle over what you should do. You will feel united with the Lord. You will have an internal peace and confidence about it.

8) Be willing to suffer for God's glory, and do not take control of yourself during trials. Bad things will happen. God will let them happen. These are done for you benefit. When a person is truly seeking the Lord, faith will be challenged. So when bad things happen, embrace this fact: God is in control. Let God care for you. Be careful not to take control of the situation.

Do these things an entire week without reading your bible. Instead, be controlled by the Spirit. Renew your mind by giving up and letting go of everything you know. Empty yourself, and let Christ fill you. Desire nothing for yourself but only God's Will.

This is my challenge for you. After the week is up, come back and tell us what happened. Have you grown closer to God? Did He speak to you at all? How was your life different?

May Christ be yours,
In Christ with love,

Blake


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Blake Kidney

 2007/2/2 11:37Profile
beenblake
Member



Joined: 2005/7/26
Posts: 524
Tennessee, USA

 Re: Am I getting to know the Bible or the God of the Bible?

Quote:
Am I getting to know the Bible or the God of the Bible?



This question illustrates perfectly the core of my message and the book I am going to write. Christianity today calls the bible "The Word of God." And yet, the bible clearly establishes in John 1:1 that the Word is God. If the Word is God, and the bible is the Word, then the bible would also be God. But the bible is not God. Reading the bible is not how we know God in truth. Reading the bible is not spending time with God.

The Word of God is Jesus Christ. We can only know God through Jesus Christ. The bible documents the testimony of Jesus Christ. It is the testimony of Jesus Christ. However, Jesus is God. Jesus is the Word of God. There is a big difference here, and this difference is plaguing the Church.

So many Christians think they can know God and His will by reading the bible. This is wrong. By doing this, a person is turning the bible into an idol. The bible then becomes a false idol. The bible is not God Himself. If anyone wants to know God in truth, they have to be united as one with Jesus Christ. Jesus is not a story documented in a book. He is a real and living God who dwells in Heaven.

Am I getting to know the bible or the God of the bible? When we read the bible, we should be learning about God. We read the bible to know about God, however, to know God we must commune with Him in Spirit. If any of you wanted to know about me, you could read a book. If any of you wanted to know me, you would need to meet me in person. If you want to meet God in person, you need to be born again and commune with His Spirit.

I am not saying we should not read the bible, or that the bible is false. The bible came from God. The bible is the testimony of Jesus as given by the Holy Spirit through men. However, we must be careful calling the bible the Word. Yes, it came from God. However, it is not equal with Christ. And if we are going to teach the bible which says "the Word was God," we must be careful to teach the bible is also the Word. People think we are saying, "the bible was God." The bible is not God. This is dangerous. People will become confused and even more lost. There is an immense danger here that causing the Church to fall away from truth.

When will the Church see this? When we she turn back to truth?

I submit this for everyone to pray over.

In Christ with love,
Blake


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Blake Kidney

 2007/2/2 11:55Profile
MisterCheez
Member



Joined: 2006/2/22
Posts: 96
Colorado

 Trembling about "The Word"

Wow Blake,
You just put into words concerns that have been floating around my head for quite awhile. It is confusing to hear both the Bible and God spoken of as "the Word."

There's this "religious" fear that paralyzes me, it keeps me from facing these concerns:

1. If the Bible is God somehow, then there is something fishy going on, given the discrepancies between translations and even in the Bible itself. I'm not talking major, doctrine changing discrepancies, just little things which would cast a strange doubt on the Bible if it were God (Don't get me wrong, the Bible is divine - there is no book like it. Any personal "revelation" should line up with the Bible.)

2. We are usually directed to the Bible as the solution by our leaders, but the Bible points to God - that's why it helps. Could it really be possible for a sinful man like me to know God - even to communicate with Him and not become a heretic? The modern church seems to think that communicating with God without a Bible in your hand is deception for sure.

The Bible is a second hand account of other people's first hand encounters with God.

The Bible itself hasn't been canonized that long. Somehow, the early church got along without a complete Bible.

I'm not satisfied with idolizing the Bible as God, I want eternal life - "to know God."

Bless you Blake and may God grant you wisdom with your book.

Brian


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Brian Erickson

 2007/2/3 11:22Profile





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