I am a reader, and reading has a huge impact on me. When I read about something, it become an influence in my life. I talk about and act like what I’m reading. It comes out in conversations, and if I’ve read about a topic enough, it comes out in my life.
For example, if I’m reading a novel, I’ll end up using references to it in completely unrelated conversations. Dialogue from the novel, or bits of wisdom that I’ve gleaned from it, always seem to end up in my speech.
Or, if I’m reading about nutrition and health, I am healthier. It influences my behavior. I eat differently. I purchase food differently. I nutritionally counsel my children differently.
However, if it has been a while since I’ve read nutritional literature, for example, it shows up in my food choices. It quits becoming a motivating factor in my life, and my behavior reflects that.
Therefore, we quickly adopted the Family Way #2: We read the Bible and pray to God every day with an open heart.
II Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be fully equipped for every good work.”
This advice was given by the apostle Paul to his disciple, Timothy, as Paul knew that he was going to die soon. He wanted to pass on the basics of Christian leadership; and to that end, he reminds Timothy of the importance of the scriptures.
If our goal is to stay in close relationship with God – not just a religious commitment to Him, but a real relationship with Him – we need to fill our minds and commit to behavior that points us to Him.
In my relationship with my husband, we will drift apart if we don’t spend time together. If he is traveling and we are separated, we will drift apart if I don’t read letters or notes from him, or if we don’t talk on the phone.
It is so easy to be distracted by the world around us, the pressures put on us, and the immediate things calling out for our attention. If we don’t have something that draws our minds back to Him and our relationship with Him, we will end up straying from the thing that we value the most.
There is also the aspect that, if we don’t keep coming back to the source of knowledge and wisdom, we will end up venturing out on our own limited wisdom and strength.
In Matthew 7:24 – 27, Jesus reminds His followers (in the Sermon on the Mount) that there is only one sure foundation upon which to build your life – the Word of God. Any other foundation is foolish.
If you were to build a tree house, you would need to think about where you’d build it, you would have to factor in the weather of the region, you would need a plan/blueprints, etc. It would be foolish to begin simply with hammer and nails but no background planning.
Of course, that is the same with our lives. It is foolish to begin life building without a solid foundation, and an anchoring to something bigger than ourselves. For us, that is the Word of God and daily prayer.
Without these things, we tend to stray away from intimate relationship with Him.
This week, challenge yourself to read the Bible and to spend time with Him in prayer – daily. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount of time, but in the act of honoring Him with our time and making Him a priority, our focus will be redirected to His ways, His plan, and His love.