The Bible is a holy transcript of God’s burning heart. It contains living understanding within it’s covers. No matter how dry you feel, the word of God will tenderize and invigorate your spirit. The feelings of feeling loved and giving love back to God will ignite us with a spontaneous flame that awakens new life and energy. It is a miracle how the written transcript of God’s soul awakens flame on the inside when we read it with a spirit of devotion(i want to love you), spirit of dedication (i want to obey), and a spirit of grace (i am confident that you love me even in my weakness).
Reading the word with only one or two of these perspectives will not allow the word to ignite, take hold, and change you. If you read the word with only a spirit of dedication, then you will seek to obey, but there will be no ‘i love you’ in your spirit (turning it into dialogue not just reading it for information). If you read it with only devotion, then you will have a love dialogue with God, but you will not have the dedication to obey his commands fully. And what is love without obedience? If we are dedicated to obey and devoted with a spirit of love but we lack the confidence that God longs for us and enjoys us even in our weakness, then we will feel that God will be waiting to see if we are sincere. God will not take us seriously. This is reading the word with a spirit of legalism, and the flame will not really take root as we read scripture. So, as we read the word, there must be the spirit of devotion, dedication, and grace that accompany our study and understanding of God’s word. If we do and read it this way with consistency, nothing will be able to withstand the changing power of the word.
Jesus said in John 7:38 that ‘rivers of living water will flow from your inner man’. But this statement is conditional. Jesus goes on to say, ‘if you believe on me in the way the scripture says.’ A flowing river…a fiery heart if you believe with this scriptural approach–with a spirit of devotion, dedication, and grace.
Do you have a fiery heart that reads the word and desires to live with ZERO compromise? A desire seeded in love that craves to be 100 percent obedient with EVERY area submitted to God. That’s great. But not enough. Is there an ‘i love you’ in the journey? Still not enough. Do you really feel that you have the right to enjoy God’s presence or do you feel that you are on some kind of spiritual probation until you earn His love and respect? Don’t give up on the miraculous power of the word to change you.
I think the easiest of these is the spirit of dedication–the vision to be whole-hearted in your obedience. Many people will set it in their heart and read the word with this spirit. The most difficult for me is the spirit of grace. This is a supernatural ability given by God. It takes God to love like God. In our humanness, we require someone to meet a certain standard before we will love them. Naturally, it is easy to assume, even subconsciously, that God’s love requires the same. Many times, I do not even realize that I am operating outside of this spirit of Grace or without this understanding. It is difficult to maintain the assurance that God loves us even in the process of our learning and maturing. While dedication and devotion are maturing, God loves us with all of his heart. We must operate in this understanding as we are reading his scripture.