Saturday, June 25, 2011

Inductive Bible Study Saved My Life

" I lie in the dust; revive me by your word."  Psalm 119:25 NLT

I am an answer to prayer. Much prayer. Long-awaited prayer. Kellee will tell you how she prayed for me for an entire year. I know her. She is a prayer warrior and she was praying long before that. She talks to her Father like a best friend. So I know she has poured out her heart about me for some time. It was a little more than a year ago that I was in “cruise control” - what I call "Easy Christianity." A couple hours on Sunday morning was plenty of time to give God. The other 166 hours of the week were mine. Kellee was praying for some unresolved issues in my life and God began working on my heart. Of all the blessings God has given me, I can say without a doubt, the best was my soulmate. He knew how weak I am. I need her. She is relentless in her pursuit of God. She helped me work through my past and then encouraged me to get into inductive bible study -- and it has transformed my life.  She has been doing Precept Upon Precept studies for a while and she kept talking about how different they were and how much she liked studying inductively. I saw her marking up her bible with colored pencils and cross-referencing scripture with scripture and it looked fun. I started on a study of the book of Ruth, “Don’t Despair. There’s Hope. You Have a Kinsman Redeemer.” I spent every morning for a month alone with God, digging in His Word, seeing His beautiful plan of redemption from start to finish. The Word washed over me and restored my soul.

As I was reading about George Mueller (the man who started orphanages trusting solely on God for provision), I discovered the same thing changed his life.

“The first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my  soul happy in the Lord. The first thing I did, after having asked in a few words the Lord’s blessing upon His precious Word, was to begin to meditate on the Word of God; searching, as it were, into every verse, to get blessing out of it; for the sake of obtaining food for my own soul. The result I have found to be almost invariably this, that after a very few minutes my soul has been led to confession, or to thanksgiving, or to intercession, or to supplication; so that though I did not, as it were, give myself to prayer, but to meditation, yet it turned almost immediately more or less into prayer. The result of this is, that there is always a good deal of confession, thanksgiving, supplication, or intercession mingled with my meditation, and that my inner man almost invariably is even sensibly nourished and strengthened and that by breakfast time, with rare exceptions, I am in a peaceful if not happy state of heart.
     It often now astonished me that I did not sooner see this. In no book did I ever read about it. No public ministry ever brought the matter before me. No private intercourse with a brother stirred me up to this matter. And yet now, since God has taught me this point, it is as plain to me as anything, that the first thing the child of God has to do morning by morning is to obtain food for his inner man. Now what is the food for the inner man: not prayer, but the Word of God: and here again not the simple reading of the Word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe, but considering what we read, pondering over it, and applying it to our hearts.…”

Inductive bible study takes time. Time to find key words and phrases. Time to mark and cross-reference. All that time allows the word to soak in. And that is when God speaks to your heart, and it is sweet. If you want to know more about it, ask Kellee or me. Shelly Mabry leads them regularly at church as well. We would love to help you get started.

Are we as a church content with being spoonfed, when we could be feasting on the Word?
“It is a solemn thing, and no small scandal in the Kingdom, to see God's children starving while actually seated at the Father's table.”   ---  A. W. Tozer

No comments:

Post a Comment