Desiring the Word
The Bible is literal. Scripture is true. Not one word of it shall ever fail. The Bible calls itself “living and enduring Word of God” (1 Peter 1:23). It is the one evangelistic tool which will cut apart the unbelieving heart and the one counseling resource which can restore a fractured relationship. The Word of God convicts and encourages, sobers and excites. It is the very foundation for life, the one shred of heaven on earth untouched by the curse. The Bible is truth (John 17:17). It does not merely contain truth, it is truth. The Bible does not merely contain life, it is life.
The danger of making this life-giving book a mere textbook stands as a constant threat to spiritual zeal. The Curse manifest in the human heart often steals the joy from reading Scripture. There will always be times where we read from the Bible and feel nothing. No conviction. No excitement. No joy. No life. Just indifference. And then there are the other days. Days where the heart craves the Word and every sentence resonates deep within the soul. Days where the heart is broken and the soul is refreshed. It is a process of sanctification to grow in desire for the Word. As with all matters of sanctification, our motto cannot be “Let go and let God.” We are responsible to cultivate within ourselves a desire for the Word. It is not an abstract concept to desire the Word, it is a lifestyle. Here are some practical ways to cultivate such a heart.
1. Ask God.
Jesus says, “Ask and it shall be given, seek and you shall find…anyone who asks, receives, and he who seeks, finds.” This is literal. A desire for the Word is not something generated from within by the human heart. Jesus also says, “Without Me you are nothing.” The human heart cannot even desire God without God placing that desire within the sinful heart. Attempts at self-motivation will ultimately fail. Beg God that He might give a desire to know His Word, to love His Word, to not merely see but understand His Word. God will not answer this prayer “no.” (James 1:5)
2. Remember the Cross.
Jesus gave His life so the Bible would give life. Without Jesus Christ, the Bible is worthless. The Son of God “did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped but…humbled Himself…[to] death on a cross” (Phil. 2:6-8). The death of God is not something to be trivialized. Without the cross, I go to hell. The Bible is redemption of man from the perspective of God. Despite all man’s failures and hatred of God, God still desired to save some from their sins and, to effect this salvation, died and rose again.
3. Examine Your Heart.
Confession of sins is not discussed in detail very often. But unconfessed sin will deaden the heart faster than anything else. The heart is “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Who can know it?” Ask God for new eyes to see sin. Nobody is without sin, and consequently there will always be sin to confess. Man’s evaluation of himself will yield far greater righteousness than God’s evaluation. Sin rarely comes to the believer saying, “Hello. I am sin. Let me in so I can wreck your relationship with God.” Our pride keeps us from acknowledging our dependence upon the Lord for keeping sin from destroying our relationship with Him. So long as I exist, I will have sin to confess
4. Acknowledge Your Own Pride.
God hates pride. He cannot stand to look upon it. It was the sin for which God flung Satan from Heaven, and was the sin which drove Adam from the Garden of Eden. It is no different for the redeemed. At the root of every sin is pride. Man desires to make much of himself. God is a jealous God and will not share His glory. Reading Scripture is acknowledging dependence upon God for life, and to do so with pride is an inherent contradiction.