During the school year, our College Ministry, and thus my life, runs very fast and reaches very wide, so we welcome summer with open arms. And, though our lives remain full with family, events and work, the change of pace grants us an opportunity. Rather than going wide, as I do in the school year, I’m learning to use my summertime to go deep.
For me, and I would argue for all of us, the refreshment that is needed is found in the Scriptures – the living, active, transformative Word of God.
In fact, Psalm 19:7 states the Word, “revives the soul.” I know in order to feel revived, and prepared and expectant for what the fall will bring, I need to spend these summer months meditating on and soaking in the Word of God. I need God to take me to a deeper place with Him, and my starting point will always be His Word.
Recently, I was at an event and one of the speakers told us that there are three lies we are consistently tempted to believe:
three lies we are consistently tempted to believe:
- 1. I am what I have.
- 2. I am what I do.
- 3. I am what others say about me.
As I listened to him explain these lies, the second point, “I am what I do” sounded most familiar to me. I sometimes believe my identity lies in what I do, what I produce. Therefore, if my “doing” is off, my identity is off. I’ve been trying to wrestle that lie by going to the Scriptures that speak about my identity, what God says about me as His creation, His son and a member of His body.
For you, it may be a different lie, but my encouragement is the same – go to the Word of God for His truth.
One method I have found especially helpful to me is to spend a lot of time on short passages, instead of trying to read large chunks of Scripture at one time, and I wanted to share it with you.
It’s very simple. Take a few verses, or one verse, and read them three or four times in their entirety. Then, begin to take apart the verse one phrase or even one word at a time, so you can focus on the meaning and allow God to speak to you.
As an example, let’s look at Psalm 46:10:
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
Take each piece and meditate on whatever it is that God leads you to think about because of that phrase.
- Sometimes that’s hard for me, but here I feel God saying, “You don’t have to DO what you think you need to do. Just be still.” Be. Still. No distraction. No busyness. No agenda. No solving the day’s issues. Be still.
- Know. Really believe. Trust deeply. I can know by faith and I can know by experience. I want to fully KNOW.
- Not me, but God. Every time I feel the pressure of life or the weight of the world. It’s really up to God. He lifts those burdens.
- Powerful. Worthy. Glorious. Good. Capable. Kind. Merciful. Abounding in love. Just. Righteous. God’s character is unchanging and who He is is more than enough for us.
…I will be exalted…
- Above every other name. Above every lie. Above every circumstance. He will be exalted. Not He might, or He wants to be exalted…He will be exalted.
…among the nations…
- Every person on the planet will give Him glory. He is there among the unreached, even now.
…in the earth.
- Everywhere. In all of His creation, He will reign. By all of His creation, He will be praised.
I encourage you to really stretch yourself during this exercise. Stay a little longer than is comfortable. Let God speak to you as you give Him more space, and keep record of your revelations. Share them with friends and family. Do this exercise as a family for morning devotions. Challenge yourself to go deeper in the Scriptures and I think you’ll find, as I have, that His Word is not only true and good, but it is a direct path to God Himself. And I’m wanting to find Him more than ever.
By Carl Gulley – College Pastor