Vital to spiritual life and growth is our time in the Word of God. How do you approach your time in the Word? How do you undertake your reading of Scripture? Jerry Bridges* directs us to the wisdom of Proverbs 2 in order to remind us of some essential attitudes.
My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:1-5 ESV)
(1) You must read Scripture with a teachable spirit. Proverbs 2 speaks of receiving and treasuring, both reflecting a desire to learn and grow from time in the Word. it is not enough to read it — even to master God’s Word — unless you are willing to be taught by it, and submit to it. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day knew the Scriptures, but were not teachable — or else they would’ve also accepted Jesus. See John 5:39-46.
(2) You must have a spirit of dependence upon the Word of God, a childlike need for wisdom and direction. Proverbs 2 has the phrase “if you call our for insight and raise your voice for understanding” which reflects this. Think of the child or person in a moment of need, how they simply but clearly cry or call out. They know their need and call out for help. Wouldn’t you benefit more often if you cried out more earnestly to the Lord for help and understanding as you read?
(3) You must have a diligent spirit as you “seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures.” Of course we would turn our homes upside-down with meticulous searching if a valuable possession were missing! Do you exercise the same diligence in opening your Bible each morning, and looking for spiritual gems? We must be more diligent during our reading of the Bible. To paraphrase a Scripture, You have not because you searched not…
May the Lord give us all a better attitude and approach in our daily reading of the Word!
*see chapter 8 of Jerry Bridges’ The Joy Of Fearing God.