Jesus described how to encounter life with God’s truth.
Bring the truth of Scripture practically into the norm of our everyday life in this fluid, fourfold cycle.
“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him” (John 14:21).
1. Study God’s Word (“has my commands”):
By this I mean an active engaging in any and every way, not just passively partaking. We are the gatekeepers of our hearts. Prepare before gathering together to maximize your learning. I designed each “Companion” to support this active process. How high is your desire to invest in Scripture?
Scripture emphasizes learning by merging the streams of knowing and doing into understanding Scriptural truth (James 1:22). Study is proved in doing through “deliberate practice.” The Spirit uses our transforming responses (John 14:16-17) to change us since we add active faith to partner with divine revelation (2 Peter 1:5). “Revelation demands response.” God designed us for this active Eden-kind of intimate partnering. Please notice the organic connection existing between abiding, obeying and being loved (John 15:9-10).
3. Debrief God’s Word (Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:2):
Meditation or reflecting is debriefing privately. Since we are designed for community, for deeper and broader understanding, also debrief publicly in your small group. Don’t think of this as a tightly linear process. John goes directly to Both Joshua 1:8 and Psalm 1:2 place obey after meditate. (1) Take in God’s Word, (2) meditate (ponder, mull it over), (3) so we obey (do). This leads to (4) the experience of God’s blessings. The key to LifeChange is quick response to partner with the Spirit to change our lives when God’s Word points out needed change.
4. Experience God’s Word (“will be loved…I will love…”):
The Spirit comes alongside as we study, so we experience the heart of God firsthand. Bypassing the first parts of the process to leap directly to the wonderful experience of intimate love the Father, Son and Spirit offer us would weaken the depths of that very experience. This threaded, fourfold response fires the neurons in our brain that cause thinking, forming denser, richer connections and wider neuron-networks.
Knowledge is designed by God to be personal. “Adam knew Eve…” (Genesis 4:1 NASB) and they conceived. This particular “knowing” was an intensely personal act, birthing life! True knowing is open, expressive, uncovered intimacy, nothing hidden before God. The sin in Genesis 3 was not in knowing. Adam and Eve gathered knowledge separate from an interdependent relationship with God.
Our age has traded in this healthy relational knowledge for a very impersonal knowledge acquisition (for instance, primarily lecture in large university classes and churches, internet info highway, chat rooms, Zoom, Twitter and Face Book without face-to-face exchange). These are not wrong,…
…just limited and incomplete to generate very much heart-to-heart connection with their directive focus to “put in.” However, the highest act of teaching is to “draw out” of others what God has already put in, like a midwife “drawing out” the life God formed in the womb.
How can we respond?
Have you ever seen one of those glass ant farms that come in the mail? Throw the dirt and ants in and chaos breaks out. After a few days order is restored out of chaos as tunnels form under the surface.
One ant takes one grain of sand and carries it one ant-step after another to the far end of the ant farm. The ant then comes back for one more grain of sand. One ant taking one “ant-step” hardly seems significant. In the change process, we often overstate the conspicuous and understate the continuous. When change is needed, grab onto one grain of the solution. Then take one “ant-step” in the right direction. Action learning is crucial to develop an authentic learning culture.
What a difference between a person…
(1) who engages Scripture to fit the Bible into his/her life and (2) one who responds to God’s Word by changing his/her life to align with God’s heart revealed in the Bible. Take ownership to cultivate such a natural learning culture. This is also your group. Develop a group where every member is more than a passive stenographer of an expert teacher’s store of knowledge. A listening heart prepares an understanding mind! The only time we cannot learn is when we forfeit our listening hearts as lifelong life-learners.