Have you ever felt like hyou wre in a spiritual desert? You wanted to learn and grow spiritually but you just could not find any living water. You were spiritually thirsty but you could not find any water to quench your thirst. Sure you were in church evey Sunday and Wednesday but you were stilly thirsty
So you start considering changing churches. Don't get me wrong, you love the pastor. You believe he has a great vision for the church. You love the people and the great freindships you have built. You enjoy listenind to the praise team but there is something missing on the inside. You are still spiritually empty on the inside and you don't know what to do.
Like many of you, I can personally attest that I have experienced these felleinggs. And I have spoken with many a people with the same feelings. We ove our church. We love the Lord. W want to grow spiritually. We are dedicated to the Lord. WE are dedicated to the church.. But we feel spiritually empty on the inside.
But you know something that I have learned, I have learned that ultimately, it is my responsibility to quench my thirst. It sure it is my Pastor responsibility to preach the Word but it is my responsibility to hold out my 64 oz cup and take a long refreshing drnk. It is my responsibility to pray and meditate o the message tht thepastor has preached. It is my responsibility to do a little research on the preached topic. It is my responsibility to apply the preached Word to my own life.
I have also learned that the thirsty feeling is comeing from the Lord He is trying to communicate with me and lead me downa a road of study that will be spiritually enriching for me. He has a special cistern that he woud like for me to drink from at this particular time and he wants me to open th Word and take a dring for myself.
He wants me to open up the Wordso that he can unveil his particular message fro my life at this particular time.
When I reveal this thought process to people, thy often ask how. How do I study the word for myself? How can I hear God speaking to me through the Word of God? It all starts with prayer. Prayer is our personal communication chalnnel with the Lord. And our almight, all knowing and forever prstn God wants to sow his wisdom with us. (James) he just wants us to ask him. Pray tht God will unveil himself to you in the word. Pray that God will led you to the particular portion of scripture for your situation. Pray that he will help you understand and then aply his revelation to your life. Pray tht you will commit yourself to consistently studyng ghe Word.
This is whre many of us could use some improvement. W want to grow spiritually via th study of the word but we are not consisgtent in our efforts. W read three chapter of the Godspel of John this week andthen w do not ick up our bibiles for anogther 3 weeks. WE say that we are going to start our day with a morning devotin but after two weeks we are back to hitting he snooze button onour alarm clocks. We say that we are going to sudy our word ofn Tuesday and Thursday nights but then we schedule other meaningfuly ime consuming activities oin our study nights. The successful quenching of our spiritual thirst requires consistency. We must carve out time in our schedule for the study of his Word. And that requires discipline. There are so many activities tht are for our attention. Our spouse wants to spend quality time with us. Our children are involved in sports and scouts. There are these compelliong shows that we like to watch on TV. We have to check our faceboot, twitter, Instagram accounts so that we will know aht is going on in the world. And since we hve joined too many committies at church, there is always a meeting going on.
There comes a point when you hav eto step back and ask yourself, what is most important. If spiritual growth is moreimportant than schedule time for it. We schedule time for everything else. Why not schedule time for Him. And then once we schedule the time, let's be disciplined envought to keep the sschedule. Let's be disciplined enough to keep the schedule. Let's be will to tell ourselves and others. No, while telling ourselves Yes to quenching our spiritual thrirst.
Soo once we have prayed and made a disciplined commitment to consistently study, it is actually time to open our bibles and study. If you are a new user we encourage you to start with the Gospel of John and read through Jude. Then start over with Genesis and read thorgh the entire bibile. For the more sperienced reader, start with that which interess you? What is going on in ourlife at the moment? Fiond a book that relates to
As your read through the bibole, observe what is tkng place in the passage. Ask yourself
- Who are the main characters in the passage?
- When are the events of this passage taking place?
- Where are the events of this passage taking place?
- What is going on in history at this time?
The answers to these question will allow you to develop an understanding of the context in which these events take place whtich helps you understand why the charaters did what they did and said what they said.
Step 3 – In step 3, we want to intgerpret the passage fo scripture that we just read. This time we ask ourselves
- What was the original author trying to say to the original audience?
- Why did the events in the passage take place
You can't also cross reference the text.
What are some other passages of scripgture related to the one I am reading. This will allow you to develop a deeper understanding of what the bible says about the particular topic.
Corss referencing may reuire some additional tools like a study bible, bible dictionary, commentary or lexicon. (Some helpful resources hadve been proved at the end of the chapter)
Step 4 – In step 4, we want to to see how this lesson applies to our life and then apply it. This step is critical to our spiritual growth. Not only do we wamt tp have a firm understanding of the Word, we want to live it also. In james, the bible says be ye doers of the words and hearers only deceiving yourselves.
As I have learned to apply the above steps, I have grown spiritually as a man, husband, father and Christian. The Word is our instructon manual ofr life. By studying it, w learn thekeys to living a righteous lif with the Lord while quenching ouor spiritual thirst.
Don't be a thirsty Christian? Study the Word and watch yourself grows.