By Sharon Jaynes
You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life (John 5:39-40).
Friend to Friend
Studying God’s Word has been one of my greatest joys since the day I became a Christian as a teenager. But sometimes I can get so wrapped up in studying about God, that I forget my relationship with God.
I read the Bible, pore through commentaries, and decipher Greek and Hebrew words. However, on many occasions, I have allowed my determined mind that wants to know more about God to override my soul’s deepest longing to simply know God.All my studying will be stillbirth if I do not move the words from my head to my heart to deepen my relationship with Jesus. If the words do not move me to worship and relationship, then I’ve missed the point.
All through history there have been men and women who have had an abundance of knowledge about God but have had little to no manifestation of God’s presence or power in their lives. Week after week people fill churches to hear well-delivered sermons, only to leave with the glory ache still eating away at their hearts. There is a yearning within our breasts which scholarly teaching simply cannot satisfy.
We can have a right opinion about God. We can agree that He is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient and still not be in right relationship with Him. Satan is proof of that. He knows exactly who God is and what He can do (James 2:19).
Knowledge about someone will never satisfy the longing to know someone personally. That doesn’t mean that we don’t study the Bible. But it does mean that we don’t stockpile knowledge and miss the intimate relationship Jesus died to make possible. His Word is a means by which He speaks to us in relationship. God’s Word is not a substitute for the relationship itself.
Jesus warned the religious scholars of his day: “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:39-40). Could Jesus be saying the same to me and to you? Have we been filing in the blanks of our well-laid-out Bible study books and neglecting to fill in the blanks of our empty hearts with Him?
We can possess volumes of Bible study knowledge, but if the words do not bring us into a deeper, more intimate relationship with Christ, it becomes of no consequence to us. God’s word may convince us to try harder to be more moral, but head knowledge alone will not transform our lives. It is to the heart that God first speaks, and it is with the heart that our love relationship grows.
Here is what God is whispering to you today: “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me.”
Lord, today I am praying the words of Paul to the Ephesians. I pray that I will be rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ for me, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that I may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
In Jesus’ name,
Rev. Emmanuel Bart Michael B. Kimwell
Beulah Land IEMELIF Center
Greenfields 1 Subdivision
Marytown Circle, Novaliches
Quezon City, Philippines