God Speaking To You
If the Bible is merely words on a page, you are missing out on God’s primary way of speaking to you and me. Try taking a passage of Scripture from that viewpoint: God wants to speak it to you. As you read it, speak those words aloud to yourself from God’s (or Jesus’) point of view. Better yet, write them down; best yet, do both. Paraphrase the words and pull in phrases from elsewhere in Scripture if they fit.
Here are two examples (please read these aloud and insert your name):
"_____ (your name), don’t worry. Just keep trusting me. I will never leave you isolated; I am your constant companion, always at your side. You are in me and I am in you. You really can live in union with me. The Counselor—the Holy Spirit—is eager to teach you everything you need to know and remind you when you forget. Doing the things I’ve told you will bond you to me even more and give you a rich life in God. My companionship will provide you with a peace that the world cannot give, cannot experience, and cannot even understand. You really don’t need to be troubled or afraid of anything ever again” (John 14:1, 18, 20, 23, 26-27).
“___ I want you to truly know me. I want to give you spiritual power—resurrection sort of power. This will mean you have to let go of quite a bit, especially those things you regard as success. But you won’t be sorry because you’ll bask in the surpassing richness of knowing me as your all in all. You’ll need to lay aside certain things that look good (and you’ll see how silly it was to hold on to them) so that you can gain more of me and make me your own. It will gradually become clear to you and others that you are mine—not because you do good things—but because you radiate a self-forgetful unassuming goodness that can come only from me.”
“Now, _____, you aren’t there yet, but press in—don’t give up—because I’ve got a hold of you and I am doing this in you. You’re going to have to forget, to let go of, and to lay aside the glories (and faults) of yesterday, last year and ten years ago, and then turn your attention and energy toward me and the with-God life I’m drawing you into. Trust me more than ever before” (Philippians 3:7-14, beginning with the theme verse: 10).
You may think, I can’t do it like that. Try it anyway. You’ll probably do it better because the Holy Spirit knows you so well and will provide the words you need. Try not to use churchy language. Jesus spoke in everyday Aramaic and the New Testament was written in koine (common, not classical) Greek so today God speaks to you in everyday language. In this way, you can hear Jesus speak these words to you today. (This is a slightly different twist on the method suggested on pp. 134-135 of ’Savoring Gods Word.)
Grace and peace,
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