A question often asked without thinking, without even desiring an answer beyond “fine, how are you?”
That’s not my purpose in asking. I really want to know. I want to know, on this first day of March, how you are doing on your goals for your time spent with God in His Word, in prayer, in memorization (or meditation, if the other “m” word is just too intimidating)?
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9 ESV
This verse came to mind this morning as I was thinking about this post. In January, I set out to try something new. ESV Online has a “Truth Bible Memory Plan” which contains a verse or passage every week of the year to commit to memory. I’m also utilizing a chronological “Bible Reading Plan for Kindle” which goes through both the OT and the NT simultaneously (i.e. I’m reading both Leviticus and Mark right now). That was my heart, my goal. But God, in His Sovereignty, led me to these particular plans (and anyone who has done any kind of investigating knows the myriad of reading and memorization plans out there).
In January, when I began these readings and memorization, I didn’t know I had cancer. I didn’t know I would be undergoing yet another surgery.
God knew I would need to keep renewing my mind with His truth. God knew that I would need to “cast down arguments, and every thought that exalts itself above the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ . . .” (from 2 Corinthians 10)
The verses thus far have concentrated on God’s holiness, His goodness, His mercy, His love for me. He knows me inside and out. He is “. . .a faithful God, without iniquity; just and upright is He.” (from Deuteronomy 32)
It is no accident that I have been freshly reminded of God’s faithfulness to Abraham, His care of Joseph, His deliverance of His people from Egypt, His display of His sovereignty and power to Job. I have walked with Jesus through His life on this earth, and been in amazement and humility over His suffering for me. Each morning I am afresh with anticipation for what God will show me today. His Word, I pray, will never get too familiar to strike me with wonder at His majesty!
If you have gotten sidetracked with your goals to memorize and/or read God’s Word daily, I would encourage you to pick it back up again. Just pick up where you left off. Don’t be legalistic and try to “catch up.” It’s really not about checking boxes and being able to say “yeah, me; I read every page!!” It’s about knowing God; it’s about intimacy with your Creator. It’s about renewing your mind, so you “. . .may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (from Romans 12)
So, I really want to know — do you know God better today than you did January 1? Are you more in love with Him now? Do you want a stronger, closer relationship in June than you have today?
“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord . . .” Philippians 3:7-8a ESV