Spirit and Truth
A few weeks ago I sensed God communicating the words “spirt and truth” to my spirit. That phrase comes from the conversation between Jesus and the woman at the well in Samaria. “The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-34)
This gentle call to my heart is a call to not only read the Bible (the truth) but develop my relationship with the living God, for God is Spirit. Since these words were received I have been continuing to read the Bible each day, and give equal time investing in my relationship with the living God.
My new daily routine begins with time in the word, as I have been doing for years. Since 1976 I have made a habit of reading scripture daily, compassing the Bible from Genesis to Revelation once each year. I find my heart is softened as I am exposed to the inspired passages. Anointed words of life are true heart food. My faith has also been increased for “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17).
This quiet time is followed by a walk. I find when I am sitting in my comfy chair early in the morning, I am prone to drowsiness and distraction. When I walk (also a good source of exercise) I am able to focus my attention on communicating with God alone. My heart and spirit are encouraged while daily communing with the living God for “the Spirit gives life.” (2 Corinthians 3:6).
Sometimes I talk, other times I listen. This past week I prayed the prayer found several times in Revelation, “Give me ears to hear ‘what the Spirit says’” (Revelation 2:11, 2:17, …) God faithfully meets me as I seek Him. I am devoting time and energy into my relationship with God and growing in “spirit and truth.”
Having read the bible so many times has increased my knowledge about God, communing daily is increasing my knowledge of God, or as Peter says, “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18) Knowing more about the God ‘of’ the Bible is changing the way I read about God ‘in’ the Bible.
While attending seminary I had the opportunity to rent a room in the home of Elisabeth Elliott. By interacting with her on a daily basis, eating meals, doing chores, attending church together, I got to know her as a person, and not a famous speaker and author. Now, when I read her books or listen to a recorded talk, I receive so much more from what she says because I recognize her voice and knew her heart.
Never Doubt that God is For Us
If you have been reading these newsletters or heard me speak in the past, you know I have been unable to “wait on God” for I had difficulty believing His grace and how much He truly cared for me. It is only in the past few years I am finally convinced God not only loves me, but likes me. I think if He had whispered “spirt and truth” five years ago I would not have known how to respond. For while I knew much about scripture I was deficient in my daily relationship with my God.
But believing God is beaming when I draw near to Him, makes it so much easier to approach Him. I know He not only loves me, but genuinely enjoys my company. He is my Dad. He knows me intimately and still affectionately desires hanging out with me. I know this from the source of truth, the holy scripture, which says “God is for me” (Psalm 56:9) and Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.” (John 15:9)
Taste and See
David certainly had a wonderful connection with the Almighty. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” (Psalms 34:8) His inspired words encourage me to move beyond seeing God from afar, but getting close and while tasting and experiencing His goodness.
I have also thought about other passages which point to the life-giving nature of the Spirit of God.
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” (John 6:63)
“The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” (Job 33:4)
A Small Exhortation
If this message resonates with your heart, may I encourage you to begin small. Aim for one minute reading or listening to the word, and one minute being still and communing with the living God. Give God a chance to talk to you. God is alive. He is near. He is real. He knows how to uniquely communicate to each one of His children, for He knows us better than we know ourselves.
Since we just celebrated Thanksgiving, I recorded this podcast which you may access here.
Hymns for Family Worship
Thank you to one and all for submitting your favorite hymns. After receiving over one hundred excellent choices I prayerfully narrowed this list down to sixteen songs of worship which will be added to the new revision. We will announce the release of the new collection of hymns in the late spring.
May God help us to not be distracted with the glitz and glamor of this holiday season, but instead appreciate and experience “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 13:14)