“So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding.”
Hebrews 6:1, NLT
That’s our guiding scripture this series, sisters, and it’s a good one!
Here it is in The Message:
I love that! Let’s grow ourselves up a bit in how well we know our Savior, sisters.
Why? Because many of us believe in God but don’t live in a way that clearly bears fruit, or shows, that we honestly know Him.
In the book, The Christian Atheist, Craig Groschel states that 94% of the American Christians claim to believe in and follow a God that is good, loving, and benevolent. But he goes on to surmise that 94% of American Christians aren’t living in a way that would show others they hold that belief. He begins his book with this: “If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” In other words, do you know Christ so well that your outward behavior conveys that you know Him.
Take a sec and ask yourself that question. And then take a sec to consider the disciple, Peter. When the going got tough, he wouldn’t admit to even knowing Jesus, let alone let himself get convicted for it. And if Peter could do that, the “rock the church was built upon” Peter? Um, well then, you better believe you and I are capable of that same level of denial in both word and deed.
“People claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live.”
Titus 1:16, NLT
In our time here on Earth, I doubt many/any of us will actually be placed on trial for being a Christian, so we may never actually have to utter the words that we do not “know Him”. But we do deny Him when we live in ways that don’t mimic or reflect His heart. Why do we do that?
Maybe it’s because we haven’t spent enough time with Him to really know Him.
THIS is why we are back at Bible study this fall: to get to know Him so well that our lives reflect Him in all we do.
We cannot know Him personally unless we spend time with Him. Bottom line. And that means spending time with Him in more than just a mass or church service here, or a Bible study meeting there. Girls, we need to be looking for Him.
You’ll be able to find him if you’re serious, looking for him with your whole heart and soul.
Deuteronomy 4:29-31, MSG
I love this quote by a 17th century French archbishop (Francois Fenelon): “There is only one way to follow God: to not take a single step without Him, and to follow with a brave heart wherever He leads.”
These spiritual disciplines we are about the begin studying together are ancient practices, or ways, in which we can seek that voice of God so that we can achieve that goal of not taking a single step without Him and following bravely and in faith where He leads.
“What God wants is reverential intimacy. He wants us close enough to Him that we know His heart – close enough to hear His heartbeat. He wants to look in our eyes, and He wants us to look into His. He wants us to hear His voice above all other voices we entertain.” David Benne, Surrender to Love.
Girls, in order to know Him, we need to hear Him.
Did you know that the word obey comes from the Latin word audire, which mean to listen, or to hear. And so, in order to know Jesus, we need to hear. We need to be “all ears”.
And we can be sure that we know him if we obey [hear] his commandments.
1 John 2:3-6, NLT
Every single spiritual discipline we will study, practice, and try together this fall has a common thread – we are learning to listen for His voice.
I love when I can bring things full circle. Last fall, we completed Margaret Feinberg’s study, Wonderstruck. A few years before writing Wonderstruck, she wrote a very cool book about understanding scripture from the viewpoint of shepherds, farmers, and bee keepers. It’s called Scouting the Divine. I’ll park myself right here for a minute while you click this link to read something from that book that just might just blow your mind about the importance of getting to know His voice.
Is that perfect or what? He promises that we can hear His voice, and that when we follow Him: He. Will. Not. Let. Us. Go.
Amen to that. Jesus is not content to just sit around waiting for us. He’s pulling up the chair, calling your name, cupping your face in His hands, and saying, “Come closer.”
What will you do? Because you do have a choice. As for me, I choose to scooch my chair right up next to His to hear Him speak to my heart. I will rest my head in His Holy hands. I will let Him disciple me (which is the root word in discipline, derived from a Greek word that simply means “gentle tutoring” – how awesome is that?) so that I can get “convicted” in the courts of heaven for being a follower of Christ.
Such good stuff, right? If you are interested in following along with us here online, click here to find out more about our study, Come Closer! If you are in our physical studies OR following along online with the Enjoying Jesus book, please read Chapter 2, Days 1 and 2 (on prayer) for next week!
Are you rocking our playlist? Click here to hear the first song on our list: Testify by NEEDTOBREATHE
Each week, we will end with a short phrase based on scripture that we can call to mind throughout the week, that helps us to set the tone each morning and throughout the day and helps remind us that we are seeking to infuse every moment of every day, not just Bible study morning and Sunday at church, with a deepening of our spiritual relationship with God.
This week, let’s recall that scripture from John 10:27: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.” Our intention phrase/mantra this week is: “Jesus, help me hear you today.” Maybe you pray it before your feet hit the ground in the morning. Maybe you say it several times during the day to remind yourself He promised you’d know His voice. Maybe you use that short prayer in difficult moments or in simple celebrations of joys. Maybe you turn it into a prayer of gratitude as your head hits the pillows at night: “Jesus, thank you for speaking to me today.” Use the comments section below to let us know how YOU hear and experience Him this week!
I pray blessings and love over each of you this week. Can’t wait to meet you back here next week for some thoughts on coming closer to God through prayer!
Peace, love and joy,