Something major has happened this year and I wanted to share it with you.
After a rough year personally, and a terrible last quarter of 2009, it was no secret here on My Living Canvas that I was eager to welcome 2010. And as a follow-on to some of my earlier posts on meaninglessness, questioning purpose and the pursuit of fearlessness, I want to let you in on the secret to my success thus far in 2010. For some this will be a no brainer, for others this will be a joke. But believe me when I tell you, something very specific has made a life changing difference in my day-to-day life this year and I want to let you all know whats working for me. I want you to know where I found hope and offer some of that hope to you as well.
The Bible. Thats it. Thats all. Not confession, not repentance, not prayer, not church attendance, not corporate worship, but the pure Word of God has literally changed my life this year.
For the first time in a VERY long time, with God’s help, I have spent time each day reading the Bible. I found a reading plan that I am following through http://www.youversion.com and I am able to keep up with my reading and track my progress on the youversion.com website.
What has happened as a result of this daily time in the word is purely a supernatural transaction between my soul and the Spirit of my creator. I can’t point to any one specific verse that I read that “changed my life” I can’t refer to a particular passage of Scripture that caused things to go different for me. All I can tell you is that, ever since I started incorporating daily Bible reading into my day-to-day life, I have experienced a tremendous sense of peace, the most overwhelming sense of peace I think I have ever felt in my life.
It’s also no secret on this blog that I am a believer in Jesus Christ. I talk about my personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ quite often on my blog. So this may come as a big shock to some of you that I wasn’t reading my Bible all along. And let me clarify that, I did not intentionally STOP reading my Bible last year, I just struggled to find any sort of rhythm to incorporating the Bible into my day-to-day life. I let the pressures and worries of life prioritize my life instead of the Word of God. And the minute I began incorporating the Bible back into my everyday life, it was as if God was right there waiting to dump peace on me. And I have been swimming in the river of His peace every day that I spend time reading the Bible.
Last year, particularly during the last quarter of the year, if you asked me what was the ONE thing I wanted more than anything in life my answer would’ve been PEACE. Freedom from the kind of anxiety that keeps you up at night, leaves your stomach in knots, and turns you into a weird person that you don’t even recognize. I wanted to believe, at a gut level, that I could rest and that things would be ok. But I couldn’t “will” myself into this kind of peace. It didn’t come until I sat my soul down in front of God’s word and let those words minister to me in a way that can only be described as the work of God’s Holy Spirit.
As I said earlier, it’s Gods Word alone that has been the difference in my life. That’s not to say that things like prayer, fellowship, and corporate worship are not important elements in a Christian’s life. They are CRITICAL. But the change that I am living right now didn’t come directly from those things, the change has come from reading the Bible. God’s Word is the difference. Plain and simple. Those other elements of living the “Christian Life” have enhanced my experience but, if not for feeding daily on God’s Word, I am pretty sure I would still be one big ball of anxiety.
I say all this simply to share what has happened in my life so far this year, and in hopes that maybe this will encourage someone else who desperately desires peace. Even if you’re skeptical, just try it. The Bible says, “Taste and See that the Lord is Good,” and “People don’t live on bread alone but by every word that comes from God.” We have an entire book full of messages to us from God. And something magic happens when you sit and read. You realize things. Your understanding deepens. Your ability to persevere strengthens. Your hope is restored. I can’t tell you HOW. There is not formula for it. It just happens. “The Word of God is living and active.” I am a personal living testimony that this is FACT.
God’s invitation is permanently open. It like He’s saying “Try Me!” You really can’t screw this up. All you have to do is read and listen. He does the rest.
Don’t believe me, or believe me whole or even halfheartedly, just give the Bible a try and see if something doesn’t happen. Youversion.com is a great place to start. You can register for an account and choose from 20 different reading plans to help keep you on track.
Let me know how this works out for you. I pray you discover God’s presence and peace through feeding on his Words.
May the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.