Enlighten Me Again, Lord
I love to study God’s Word. It’s alive, it’s active, and it speaks to my specific situation without fail.
I’ve found that even when I know a scripture like the back of my hand, God’s Spirit has the power to reveal a new mystery to me each time.
This happened a few months ago while I was making daily confessions. I remember proclaiming, “My life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3, NLT). I’d been speaking this scripture over my life for years, but I felt a nudge to open up my Bible and read it again.
Through the leading of the Holy Spirit, God showered incredible revelation to me in the verse. Now I read it, and many other scriptures, in a completely new light.
I think about my eagerness to learn the scriptures with overwhelming gratefulness as I realize it hasn’t always been there. I used to teach the youth at my church growing up, and although I never took a class in theology, I considered myself an educator of the Word. I knew what the scriptures meant and would relay that meaning to the kids in my class.
I had the best of intentions, but in hindsight, I see the limitations I placed in those studies and am reminded of another set of educators mentioned in the Bible, the Pharisees.
The Best Teachers Live What They Learn
Throughout Jesus’ ministry, we find Him constantly butting heads with the Pharisees, who were teachers of the law. Jesus is so kind and loving to the sick and hurting, those living in sin, but when it comes to interacting with the religious elite, His words are harsh and His actions aggressive.
“You’re hopeless, you religion scholars! You took the key of knowledge, but instead of unlocking doors, you locked them. You won’t go in yourself, and won’t let anyone else in either.” (Luke 11:52, MSG)
The Son of God proclaims this woe amongst many others directed toward the Pharisees. These men were experts of the law – they knew all the memory verses and taught the scriptures in the temple.
How could Jesus be upset at the guys who knew the most about God?
Perhaps, in their pursuit of knowledge, these men began to glorify their position as educators and stopped becoming learners of the Word of God.
Maybe He was so angry because the Pharisees were in serious danger; they held a form of godliness but lacked the power of His Spirit. In doing so, these guys were leading themselves and others astray.
It’s crazy to think, that in such a small congregation and at such a young age, I was able to participate in this same struggle. As humans, we cannot assume to know any more than a mere glimpse of God’s character, no matter how many degrees we’ve earned or years we’ve spent pursuing Him.
So, What’s the Play Call?
Aim for the knowledge of God with the pure intent of intimacy – not education. With humbled hearts, let us always approach His Word with a learner’s mentality.