In last week's article, I said that everyone, everywhere is being discipled by something. The dominant messages in our lives will shape our worldviews, beliefs and thus, the way we live our lives.
So what do we do about that?
We have no power over the shaping but we do have the power to chose what will shape us.
We have a choice. Our world is filled with messages but we decide what messages we allow ourselves to be exposed to and shaped by. And the choice we must make as followers of Christ is to immerse ourselves in the word of God.
It is not so much that we must shield ourselves from every message in the world but that we must top load with scripture, worship, prayer, listening and fellowship. When we do this, when the word of God becomes the dominant message in our lives, then we allow the Holy Spirit free reign to use the word of God as the filter through which all other messages flow.
A friend of mine once shared the story of his interaction with an older saint. He was worrying about raising his children in an increasingly secular world to which this older sister in Christ told him, "Honey, just make sure that the melody of Jesus is strong in their hearts. Then everything of this world will sound off pitch and ugly."
The Melody of Jesus
One of the primary ways that we can develop the melody of Jesus in our hearts is by immersing ourselves in the story of Jesus.
As we daily spend time in God's word, reading it and identifying the ways in which God is inviting us to respond to it, the word will shape us. And as we progressively spend more and more time reading and interacting with the word, we grow in maturity.
In an article I was recently reading about movement catalyst Ying Kai, the author shared the story of one of Ying's disciples:
"One old farmer who had never before planted a church started twelve house churches in two months and 110 in the first year. He began every day reading his Bible from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. Then he worked in the fields until 5 p.m., at which point he went home for dinner and family time. At 7 p.m. he went back out again, and he worked in “God’s fields” until midnight."
This man was immersing himself daily in God's word!
A Plan of Action
I have found a number of tools that help me to move toward a life of immersion in the word of God. There are others of course but these are ways I've learned to live in an immersive and interactive relationship with God's word.
These tools work toward reading 3-5 chapters of the Bible every day. You may need to work toward that - we crawl before we walk - but do get started!
The basic idea is to read large chunks of scripture daily, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal things that He is wanting you to hear, apply to your life and share with others.
Then take time to write down your observation, how you'll apply what your learning and who you can share your insights with that day.
Journaling about these things creates a deeper interaction with the scriptures and a way to record what you are learning from the Lord through the word of God.
Sharing with others drives lessons even deeper, allows you to encourage fellow followers of Jesus and have gospel conversations with those far from God.
Two Helpful Tools
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
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