"For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope." Romans 15:4 NKJV
Have you ever noticed how our interaction with God's Word changes as we "mature" in the faith?
As children we're taught how our mighty God empowered David to conquer a giant with a rock and slingshot. How our forgiving God delivered Jonah out of the belly of a big fish even after he'd blatantly disobeyed Him. How our wise God orchestrated Moses' life to put him in the right place at the right time to deliver His people from 430 years of oppression.
As adults, we're taught to note the difference in verb tenses Paul uses in one of his letters.
No wonder nonbelieving adults don't want to read the Bible. Rather than focus on the greatness of our God, we take them back to Grammar 101 and analyze every verb, comma and root word until there's nothing left.
Now don't misunderstand me, extensive Bible study can help us better understand God's message and character, as well as mature our faith, but as is the case with many other things, there's a time and place for that sort of study.
In our quest to better understand the words written on the page, we must be careful not to neglect the God who spoke them.
Yes, we can and should dive deep into the Word of God, asking the Holy Spirit to help guide our study, but we should also remember the accounts we learned in Sunday School.
Just think of the effect those lessons had on you as a child. You walked away truly believing God could do anything. Do you feel the same today as an adult leaving church?
For many of us, it almost seems childish to choose the account of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as the topic for our small group. We learned about that years ago and everyone understands that passage.
But do we? And even if we do, why can't we revisit it? Shouldn't we want to study the Bible—every part of it—in a way that leaves us believing our God can do anything?
Imagine if we started doing that more often, especially when it comes to discipling young Christians. What if instead of focusing on changes in verb tense, we joined them in adoration over God delivering Daniel out of the lion's den?
Chances are, their faith would reach a new level, and yours would too. Our God is a mighty God, let's go on a journey to discover more about Him and His infinite holiness.
English Standard Version Bible. (2001). Crossway Bibles.