I can’t get Beth Moore’s recent Living Proof segment off my mind. She passionately spoke of how so many Christians stay on their Basic Theology Treadmill for so long that they get bored. Here’s what she said:
“We come to our conclusion of what it is we believe. We get those things down, and we’ll get them down by the time we’re about 25. And then for the rest of our lives, we just live on from that. We’ll do a little lesson here, and do a little lesson there, but here’s what we mostly do; we mostly from that point on, we have decided from the time we’re 25 exactly what we believe. We have got our systematic theology completely worked out from A to Z … We have decided exactly which camp we are in and from that point on, the reason why we keep believing exactly that same thing for the next 25 years is because every single podcast, every single book, every single blog, everything else we read is written by someone who has exactly that same systematic theology. We continue to affirm exactly what we already believe and we do not believe anything new.”
That may not affect you like it did me, but I thought she nailed it. Did you grow up with your tribe’s list of favorite go-to Scriptures? I sure did! That’s not a bad thing if we fill in all the gaps between those Scriptures. Those lists should be the framework for some mighty truths that continue to be revealed to each one of us as we spend time mining the infinite treasures within those thin pages. I’m afraid the depth of my understanding stayed an inch thick and a mile wide for way too long. Finally, I found a system that helped me dig deeper into what the Holy Spirit wrote through the pens of ordinary men. You may have a different system, but here’s what I found that worked for me:
1) Commit to reading first thing every day
If my morning doesn’t begin with the Word, I know I will not make enough room for Him later in the day. He, the Word, has to come first.
2) Read from the Old Testament AND the New Testament
Using the One Year Bible reading plan focuses my attention daily on a passage from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. This particular plan, https://www.churchofthehighlands.com/bible/9/18, helps me stay on track and allows me to make connections between the Old and the New that dramatically affect my here and now. Each day’s reading begins with devotional thoughts from Pastor Larry Stockstill. I marvel at how masterfully he weaves together inspiration from the Old and New passages, keeping us stitched to what’s most important.
3) Look for Jesus – Everywhere
I’ve had a blast finding new pictures of Jesus throughout the Old Testament; even with people as obscure as Eliakim, a servant of Hezekiah. He’s mentioned in 2 Kings 18 briefly, and then again in Isaiah 22. Read that chapter, compare it with Revelation 3:7, and you’ll see what I mean. God’s Word is magnificent! No one knows all that it contains!
4) Use a different translation on every new trip through Scripture
So far, I’ve read through the Bible using the NIV, NLT, The Message, and I’m currently using the CSB. None of them failed to give me a new insight (or 50) on my journey. Just having the wording change from familiar to fresh makes me notice things I hadn’t seen before. Like the prophet Jeremiah (and Beth Moore) said, “His message becomes a fire burning in my heart, shut up in my bones. I become tired of holding it in, and I cannot prevail.” (Jeremiah 20:9, CSB)
5) Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you
Don’t merely stand on the Word of God, let it completely wash over you. Allow the Spirit to sweep you off your feet, and never again be content with just a list.
I’ll let Beth tell you a little more about this one. Scroll on over to 18:34 in the video below, and then go let the Word wash over you. Click here: https://www.tbn.org/programs/living-proof-beth-moore/watch/living-proof-beth-moore-29