What does it mean that the Word of God is “living and active”?This question presented itself as I was working through a 10-week study with some others from my church called The Ways of the Alongsider: Growing Disciples Life to Life by Bill Mowry. We are learning to be better mentors and disciple-makers and it has been a wealth of good information for anyone who wishes to minister to others. I consider this blog one of the ways that I disciple others. By that I mean that God is constantly teaching me things and I try to pass on what I learn. Not that I have mastered anything I write about, but as a form of accountability for myself! And as with any good discipleship relationship, I most often learn from you in the process!
In this week’s study, our group discussed how learning and discovery are intentional pursuits in life. I love to learn, and I hope you will get as much out of this lesson on Proverbs 2:1-5 ESV as I did. This passage – so familiar to me – came to life when I was asked to underline the action words and circle the various adjectives and descriptors for wisdom. For our purposes the verbs are in pink and the wisdom synonyms in red.
“My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”
From this passage alone we see that acquiring true wisdom, understanding and insight is far from passive. We don’t grow spiritually by simply attending church on Sundays or reading a 5 min devotional on weekday mornings. Both of those things are fine and good, but the true pursuit of wisdom and learning is active, intentional and purposeful. We won’t stumble onto a deeper understanding of God and His Word. The passage above tells us we need to receive the scripture. Draw it deep into our being. Treasure it – meditate on it, recite it, memorize it.
When we make our ear attentive and incline our heart we put ourselves in the position to take it all in. Most of us have days so busy that we spend time with the Lord on the go. But this should be the exception and not the rule. We need to carve out a quiet place and a solitary time to spend absorbing all He wants to teach us. Whenever possible. We need to call out and raise our voices in prayer. Asking God to show us what He has for us. And we must seek and search. Study. Look at passages in multiple translations, look up the literal translations from the original language, read commentary and sit under good teaching.
This is a tall order. Knowing God and His Word is hard work. But it’s so worth it. There is a payout bigger than we can ever imagine. And as for my original question (based on Hebrews 4:12), the living and active nature of God’s Word can’t really be summed up nicely in a blog post. There are many wonderful facets to these descriptors. But in pondering the Proverbs passage, I feel like I uncovered one I had never considered. That we must be active in our pursuit of it to glean all the wisdom we can. What do you think?
And now for this week’s featured post from the link up!
I sometimes feel like Michele Morin lives in my head. I may not feel like my life is out of control at this moment, but I have so many times before. If you have ever felt that way, read Michele’s post on prayer.
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