This is a 2 part series I did at UHOP this summer on experiencing more of God’s heart and presence in the Word of God. In March of this year, the Lord gave me the impression that we needed to teach people how to “eat the Word of God” so they could experience the life of God. It has been my experience over the past 10 years that many believers don’t ever, or very often, experience great tenderness in their bible reading times. In this series I talk about the parable of the sower and the seed from Mark 4/Matthew 13, how Jesus calls us to “hear” his word, which is referring to spiritual ears. He then talks about different kinds of hearts/soils we can cultivate in our inner life and who dramatically different the results are for each person. Jesus said that there was an extreme difference of experience of the Word in believers, even in the last category of good soils. Some bear 30, 60 or 100 fold fruitfulness in their hearts based on the heart that they cultivate in the Word of God.
I am convinced that is is every single person’s inheritance in the Lord to have their hearts moved when they read the bible, I think to the point of tears, on a daily or weekly basis. It is our inheritance to have our minds filled with fascination and wonder as we read His Word. It is our inheritance to have our emotions moving as we read and to have them filled with hope, joy, peace and the experience of the love of God.
The secret to getting a tender heart in the Word is to read bible books you can understand and to slowly pray those truths/bible phrases back to God in our quiet times. I discourage people from only reading the One Year Bible or only using a devotional book as their time with God. I say this because it doesn’t easily facilitate slow, repetitive dialogue with Jesus over His words to us. I encourage reading and journaling (writing down your prayers and thoughts from verses) through one book of the Bible at at time and researching commentaries to understand the books of the Bible we read. For example, right now I’m going slowly through Ephesians 1. I googled the background information of the book and some general information about the content, then as I’m reading I research words I don’t fully understand or ones I want more verses and information on. I did this for the word “forgiveness”. The sites I found gave me tons of verses on forgiveness, some definitions and some Old Testament history to the word. All of these things informed my conversation with the Lord on the topic of forgiveness.
I want to leave you with this question. In Mark 4, what does it look like to bear 30 fold fruit in your heart in the Word? What would it look like on a weekly basis to bear 100 fold fruit in your heart in the Word? Let’s pursue a high vision for experiencing God in the Word