To own a bible is a gift you can give yourself. But to have your bible own you, well, that’s a supernatural blessing that comes only through the goodness and grace of God.
Overwhelmed a bit this morning as I hover over the twenty-first stanza of the songwriter’s great love letter to the Word of God (119:161-168).
He rejoices over the Word as if he has found a great treasure (v.162). He can’t stop talking about his great discovery–of the greatness that has discovered him–as seven times a day he praises God’s righteous rules (v.164). God’s word giving him peace (v.165a), providing him with stability (v.165b), and sourcing his hope for rescue (v.166), even though powerful people harass him without cause (v.161).
But here’s what I’m really chewing on this morning . . . Beyond the cognitive interaction of the written word with the thinking brain through the seeing eye or the listening ear, the Word of God impacts the songwriter at a heart and soul level.
Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of Your words.
My soul keeps Your testimonies; I love them exceedingly.
(Psalm 119:161, 167 ESV)
Here’s my big idea: the living and active supernatural agency of the inspired Word of God will engage those who love the Word at their deepest level. It will regenerate sin-dulled senses. It will miraculously alter spiritual DNA. It will rewire instinctive propensities.
Evoking awe at the deepest levels of human awareness. Provoking obedience as an almost innate desire to stand for the Word, to guard the Word, and, by divine enabling, to follow the Word.
To be sure, the old nature, the flesh, continues to wage war against the desires of the redeemed heart and the seeking of the saved soul, but the war only exists with the flesh because of how the Word has so revitalized the heart and soul.
Like I said, we may start by determining to own and read a bible, but as we invest in it, eventually it will own and read us.
We might begin with the discipline to beat our bodies into subjection in order to sit down for a few minutes and engage the living Word, but, when the living Word engages us, that determined discipline gives way to undeniable desire. Thirst supplants tenacity.
Anticipation of fresh awe is what draws us to open the Book again. Our souls panting to drink once more of the living water of the Spirit as He interacts with our spirits to illuminate His living Word.
Desiring the Word, following the Word, at a heart and soul level. By God’s doing alone.
Less an acquired taste than a divine dynamic.
May start as a good habit, but transforms into innate desire.
Only by His grace.
Only for His glory.