As I begin this chapter about Bible study, I find myself thinking again how amazing the Bible is. I’m amazed that it is possible to encounter God in the reading and in the study of the scriptures. I’ve been at this now for 37 years or so, and I continue to be surprised by God’s Spirit speaking through these ancient texts, whether I’ve read the text a hundred times or not.
This may be the most difficult part to explain to those who haven’t experienced it. When you read devotionally, it is not just learning about God, or about the history of God’s people. Not just learning about Jesus’ life and teachings, although you do learn about such things. When you read in and with the Spirit, you experience the presence of God with you.
So the real power of the scriptures for me continues to be that I meet God here … the scriptures mediate my relationship with God more frequently, and more profoundly, than prayer. (Maybe that’s why I have difficulty growing in the practice of prayer!)
How do you begin to convey this to someone who has not experienced it?