I was thinking the other day that I am a very visual person. I like to observe people, events and most anything that comes across my path in the course of a day! I noticed that when my wife is having an exceptionally rough day with her health, that I will many times pause in the midst of her care and take a few moments to examine some of the many pictures that I have hung on the walls of our home that capture her essence from the early days of our relationship well into the 2000’s. A few moments with those images of a healthy, confident, spunky and loving Piper always helps to encourage me, set me back on track and renew my commitment before God to always be there for her.
Another thing that I’ve noticed is that I do the same thing with God’s Word throughout each and every day. Over the years I have memorized a lot of scriptures but just reciting those verses from rote isn’t the same as sitting down with my Bible and reading the inked words on the pages of His written testament. Come to think of it, I have a Bible in almost every room in our house!
There are three next to my bed stand, one in the bathroom, two or three in the dining room, usually at least one on the coffee table in the living room and a whole bunch on the bookshelves and desk in the study. Then there is always my Bible Study program on my laptop that is opened up throughout the day and the thirty-two translations that I’ve downloaded onto it, and of course my phone and its variety of Bible translations!
So yeah… looking at my actual Bible and the powerful, life-giving and encouraging words of God that are held within its pages works the same to me as those pictures of my wife! Sometimes I’ll stop at the entrance to our kitchen and just stare at one particular picture of Piper hanging in the dining room that I took during one of our many two-night holidays alone on the northern California coast. While observing the picture I will look deeply at every feature of her face and just absorb every bit of her countenance. It’s almost like I’ve got to spend a moment or two with the healthy Piper I expect to see again.
And you know? I’ll do the same thing throughout the day with many glimpses into God’s Word. I don’t just peruse it or casually look up a favorite verse, but I’ll take the time to study small portions and try to absorb each and every feature of it that the Holy Spirit directs my attention to. When I walk away from those times in the Word, I sense that I have received a boost of His spirit and His life. (See: John 6:63)
In the book of Acts chapter 28, verse 27, Paul relates a statement from the Prophet Isaiah to the Jewish people in Old Testament times and references its meaning to the church in current days who could lose their affection for the things of God. Of this potential situation he says, “for the hearts of this people has become dull…” (EMTV)
That statement really rang in my inner man as I read it this morning. That is something that I do not desire and CANNOT afford to happen in my life! How do you feel about that? My time in the Word of God each day is a major priority in my daily schedule. His Word continues to excite me, to guide me, and to encourage and strengthen me.
To me, someone whose heart has become dull is one who is simply out of touch with the things of God… and most likely also with the things happening in their own lives as well. That to me would be a very scary position to be in!
So, stay in touch with God on a regular basis throughout your day. Be visual with Him and spend time physically reading and studying His Word of life. With today’s technologies, it is pretty easy to always have a copy of His precious Word with you. I would hate to have God tell me that I’ve become dull of heart… wouldn’t you too?
Have a good rest of the week. Stay close to Him through His Word, and keep asking yourself… “How am I expecting to stay sharp and alert to the things of God today?”