I used to think that Jesus lived in my Bible and I only spent time with Him when I read it. As soon as I would walk away from it, if I was not actively thinking about Him and what I read, I left Him there until the next time I picked it up.
I would spend a few moments with Jesus, frantically reading, searching for a word for me. A word that would astound me and everyone else I shared it with. (Which I almost never did because fear of others ruled my heart and lips where Jesus and His truth was concerned.)
When the word finally came–Yay! But more often than not, I did not get the word. Reading the Bible some days, in a lot of ways was like eating dry toast and washing it down with a package of saltine crackers. And about as nutritious.
I read in a book years ago to “read until Jesus stops you.” I tried to adopt that mindset and make it a habit. But you see time. I never had enough time to just read and read and read until He stopped me. Some days He did. Most days He didn’t. I took the full blame for that. “I don’t know where to read. So I’m probably reading in the wrong place.” and I would frantically flip through the pages of my Bible in a vain search for Jesus. I expected to find Him there, waving at me, shouting, “Read here! Here is where I am.”
Eventually I tired of looking for Him there and I switched to books about Jesus. I read these books about Jesus for help in knowing Jesus. I filled my mind with the words of Jesus and man’s words about Him, but I never used them to know Him. I would read and then go about my day empty and all in my own strength and knowledge.
I wrongly thought I had to carry the Bible with me at all times, everywhere I went and read it every chance I got to know more about Jesus. Because I thought the more I knew about Him the more I would know Him. When I knew enough about Jesus, I would be successful, and just like Beth Moore. I wanted to be like Beth Moore more than I wanted to be like Jesus.
I wanted to be like Beth Moore more than I wanted to be like Jesus.
It has taken a lot of time to change my thinking. My dear friend has often told me, “Girl! You’re addicted to knowledge!” I staunchly argued, vehemently expressing my great need for all of those books about Jesus.
Guess what? I was wrong. I was so very, very wrong.
Jesus does not live in my Bible. He lives in me. In ME!
I do not spend a few stolen moments with Him only when I read the Word. I do not leave Him when I stop reading and go about my day. He is always with me, always in me, always, leading, guiding, directing.
And more importantly, He is always speaking.
Maybe you’re like I was. Addicted to knowledge about Jesus, thinking somehow that would be enough. You steal moments to read the Word, but you don’t grasp it, you don’t understand it. Nothing jumps out at you, at least not consistently. You’ve taken to reading books about Jesus in a vain attempt to know Him.
Knowledge is your cocaine. And you can’t get enough. You’re a junkie waiting for your next fix and it can’t come soon enough. You’re stalking bookstore shelves waiting for that one perfect book that will answer all your questions and miraculously transform you into Beth Moore.
Keep lookin’, honey.
Stop treating Jesus like He is another thing you have to do while on your way to doing what you want.
“Let’s see, I can read a book after I wash the dishes, mop the floor, start laundry, and spend time with Jesus.”
One thing Jesus has taught me over the past year is simply that I don’t need my Bible to hear His voice. I don’t have to beg Him for a word. I merely have to surrender and listen to the Voice within.
That used to scare me because what if I heard wrong (a real possibility!) or followed the wrong voice. I didn’t think I knew what His voice sounded like and what if I thought I was hearing Him, but really was just following my own wishes and desires (another real possibility).
Those fears were very real and very much unfounded. His sheep hear His voice and they know Him.
His sheep hear HIS voice and they KNOW Him.
I don’t always get it right, I hear wrong sometimes, but He is always faithful to speak to my heart whether my Bible is open or not. Whether I’m reading it or not.
I can’t tell you how you will know it is His voice you’re hearing, you’ll just know it when you hear it. You’ll recognize it and you’ll come to love it and want to follow it.