I made a recent FaceBook post stating, “If your Bible reading doesn’t eventually lead you to an encounter with the Father, you might be wasting your time.” It’s a statement that I believe is 100% true. It’s a modern reflection on what Jesus said a couple thousand years ago; “You search the Scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life, but you’re not willing to come to me that you might have life.” In His day the Pharisees were sticklers for the Law, but rejected Jesus as God’s Son…and as a result had absolutely no relationship with Him.
The scene is much the same today, especially in the Bible Belt. Reading and studying the Bible, as disciplines, have been elevated over having an interactive relationship with the Father. Now, don’t misunderstand me here; I love the Bible. Reading, and studying it, can be a very good thing, but it was never meant to be a substitute for our relationship with the Father!
I got a lot of ‘pushback’ from the post.…mostly from well-meaning, but ‘over-churched’, self-appointed Bible scholars who, somehow, believe they are the sole guardians of the Truth. I believe that is much in part due to the fact that even though people agree, in principle, with pursuing a relationship with the Father that reading the Word could never be a waste of time. It’s sad that many people can’t think outside their “Bible Belt” mentality! The bible was written in such a way as to ‘entice’ us to engage with the Father in relationship…and if we don’t do that we’re missing the point!
It’s always been about the encounter!