“You do not have, because you do not ask.” James 4:2b
We’re not to play spin the wheel of Scripture, or hope that someone tweets just the right verse, but with consistent, prayerful time in God’s Word we will ever receive good counsel. God’s Word is “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12). Martin Luther, the sixteenth century reformer, commenting on his time in Holy Scripture, stated, “The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me.” The redeemed of the Lord know this to be true. You were afraid and felt overwhelmed, going under, and then during your daily devotions you read, “For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock” (Psalm 27:5). Giving into temptation was becoming all to easy. You had grown numb to God’s call of holiness, and then he brought this verse to your attention, “Therefore I will judge you… declares the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin” (Ezekiel 18:30). Truly his name is, Mercy. It’s so good, as uncomfortable as it may be, to know that he loves us enough to rebuke, arrest our attention, and turn us around. You’ve struggled with health issues, all seemed dark, and you longed for assurance of God’s presence. Then, providentially, in your reading you came across Isaiah 58:11, “the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong.”
The reality is that consistent Bible reading, like eating healthy and exercising, we know is good for us, but we just don't do it like we should. Yet, more than physical pursuits, it is far more crucial to hear and obey the voice of the Lord. Sobering is the Word of God through Jeremiah to us, “To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ears are uncircumcised, they cannot listen; behold, the word of the Lord is to them an object of scorn; they take no pleasure in it” (6:10). Prone to be “dull off hearing” (Hebrew 5:11), it’s so important that we ask our Lord for a hunger for his Word, and that our ears and eyes would be open to receive his truth and gladly obey it.
I haven’t always remembered to do this. James is right (Jas. 4:2b). I need to ask if I want to receive. I’ve been more diligent lately to begin my time in God’s Word with a specific request to have the Scriptures come alive to me, grab me, and speak to me. God has more than answered my prayers and has greatly strengthened me, especially regarding the days ahead at NMBC. So, I want to encourage you to simply take time before you read the Bible to earnestly and expectedly ask the Lord to come and meet with you. He loves to answer such a prayer. He will open the eyes of your heart to behold his glory in the Scriptures, and it will transform your life for the better!
Thanks for meandering along with me,