by David Souther
(Editor’s note: This is the 7th in a 9-part series on Finding Our Gospel Voice in a Changing Culture.)
I love maps. They let me know where I am, where I have been, and where I am going. They are particularly handy when I am lost in unfamiliar territory. All I need is a map with a “You are here” symbol to get me back on track.
Anyone who keeps up with the news knows that we are encountering unfamiliar territory as a culture. As Christians, we are not called to circle our wagons. If the disciples had done this, the Early Church might have died out. Instead, they continually sought the Lord and His plan, which included engaging their culture. We are called to do the same as we follow Christ.
Just as a map is vitally important for direction in unfamiliar territory, so too is the word of God crucial to following Jesus and carrying out His assignments within our ever-changing culture.
Here are a few benefits of immersing ourselves in God’s word:
Time in God’s Word allows us to encounter Him. One of the lessons I have learned is to treat my time in the Word not as an obligatory task, but as an opportunity to encounter the living God. Encountering God in His Word is like encountering an oasis in a desert. It provides what we need to move forward in a dry and thirsty world.
Time in God’s Word shows us our heart. When I first started driving, I attempted a trip to a city several hundred miles away. After hours of driving, I finally consulted a map and was shocked to learn that I was in a city in a completely different part of the state. Only when I consulted a map did I see how far I had deviated from the way I should have gone. Similarly, time in the Word allows us to see ourselves in light of God’s truth and gives us insight into what adjustments we need to make.
Time in God’s Word gives us His perspective. When the power goes out at night, it is comforting when we find a flashlight to give us light. As our culture moves further into darkness, God’s Word gives us His perspective and insight into our everyday lives. It’s also the basis of our message to others as we point them to Christ of whom the Word testifies.
Time in God’s Word reminds us of His promises. It is very easy to become discouraged in our culture. God’s Word provides a constant reminder that no matter how dark things seem, He is at work and His purpose will prevail.
- How do you view your time in the Word? Is it an obligation, or a time of refreshment?
- What are some of the major decisions in your life that were influenced by God’s Word?
- Are there any adjustments you need to make in your life to spend more time in His Word?
David Souther is president of ministry and outreach for EvanTell, Inc.