This is the second part in a series about how to live out the Spiritual Disciplines. Read part one here.
The second discipline that helps us grow in our relationship with God is
Connecting with God through Scripture
I heard a story of a young Christian girl who was tricked and sold to a brothel. She was brutally tortured until she agreed to serve clients (10-50 a day). For three months, she persevered through the torture but finally couldn’t bear it any longer. For 2 years she was forced to be raped multiple times a day and on the wall in her room she etched Psalm 27:1-3 "The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear, though war break out against me, even then I will be confident."
The Lord used International Justice Mission to rescue this girl and as a result a team went in and raided the brothel, rescuing 20 other girls. Now this girl clings to Psalm 10:17-18 "You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them and you listen to their cry defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror.
Jesus promised us that this life is going to be hard, “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”(Jn 16:33) And we are going to need comfort. Psalm 119:50 says, “This is my comfort in my affliction but Your Word has revived me.”
God’s Word comforts us by showing us what is true. It shows us God’s heart and God’s ability. It gives us comfort that leads to hope, which gives us strength, confidence, eternal perspective, peace, perseverance and courage. And we grow the most and the fastest when we cling to the truth of God’s Word for the more you trust God, the more you trust God.
When you first go to a new country and don’t know the language it is just nonsensical sounds. But as you stay there for a length of time, those non-sense sounds start to take on meaning. The same is true with God’s Word. The more we hear God’s Word, the more we become accustomed to His voice, and the more we become aligned to what He desires, loving what He loves and hating what He hates.
The more we are in God’s Word, the more we will recognize His voice. And the more we will be mature, able to discern truth from error. (Heb. 5:16) And not only will we recognize truth and grow in maturity faster, we will become like Him for the more we are around someone the more we become like them.
Besides comforting us and making us more like Him, there are so many more benefits of spending quality time with the Lord in His Word. As you read the following list, think of how God has used His Word to bring about each of these qualities in your life.
God’s Word gives us freedom, strength, and purity, leads us to obedience, produces fruit, gives us health, guidance, confidence, understanding, discernment, insight, and restoration. It makes us wise, enlightens our eyes, warns us, leads us to trust God, motivates us to worship, gives us an eternal perspective, reveals the origin, nature and purpose of man, it clarifies right and wrong, directs, encourages, reveals God’s heart and handiwork, shows us what pleases Him, makes us complete, provides spiritual nourishment, teaches us patience, courage, perseverance and joy, it gives us hope, shows us how to forgive and be forgiven, how to find relief and how to love and be loved. It reveals God’s goodness and His justice, His standards and His mind, without it we are deceived, it provides us with all our needs in the spiritual realm, reveals what is to be learned, taught and obeyed, gives us adequacy and makes us equipped for doing good, convicts, and convinces and is the standard by which we will be judged.
Ways to Incorporate God's Word into your busy life:
* Read a story Bible to your kids before bed.
* Listen to the Bible on audio while doing chores and driving.
* Get up early and use a quiet time journal or another resource to help you read through the Bible.
* Read out loud at the table.
* Write it out.
*Have everyone take a break and read.
Here's a couple helpful resources to cast vision of the importance of spending time with God and some practical tips on how.
* How I Still Have a Quiet Time with 5 Kids.
* How to have a quiet time video.
Laura, the founder of Missional Women is married and has six kids, two of whom are adopted. Laura and her husband have been missionaries since 2002 and serve with Master Plan Ministries where she is the Women's Development Coordinator. Laura has authored 5 books, including an award winning 12 week Bible Study on First Samuel, Beholding Him, Becoming Missional, Reach; How to Use Your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God, A Devotional Journey through Judges, and Discover God's Calling for Your Life. Most recently her resource for Bible studies, The Connect Cards was released by Cru Press. You can find her on facebook, twitter, pinterest, youtube, instagram, periscope, blab and her author site.