Many years ago I wrote all my teachings longhand. Even the notes for my research were done by hand, writing pages and pages of insights and information. Not only did I hand write everything I did – I did it with a fountain pen. Yes, a fountain pen. I still write outlines and grab the flow of a teaching by hand writing things. But now I use a wonderful ballpoint pen that I purchase from the Dollar Store and pay $2.50 for 12. But, everything else – the research notes, the quotes, the writing of the full text of the teaching – it is all done on a small keyboard and a large desktop iMac or, when travelling, a MacBook Air or an iPad. Things have changed.
Do I still have a fountain pen and a bottle of ink. Of course, it is in the bottom lefthand drawer of the desk in my study. Do I use it, nope! Things have changed and I have much better and more effective tools to do what I have been called to do.
As a side note: I have many volumes of various commentaries on the Bible. Shelves full of them actually. Do I use them? No! The same series are now available on line and downloadable for a price. And, then I can find exactly what I want by using the search engine. And, copy-paste is much faster than having to handwrite or type what I found and want to use. Things have changed. Nothing wrong with the commentaries – but they are now available in a new format. More effective and more efficient.
So, in our walk with the Lord things should be changing as well. As a mentor once taught me: “If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten.” In other words, if you do things a certain way you will get certain results. And, sometimes there is a better way or even just a different way to do something that will change the results you are getting or, at least, give you the same results with much less effort.
Example: If you are reading three chapters of the Bible every day. You have this discipline that allows you to read through the Bible in a year. That’s good if … and it is a big if. If your system and daily discipline is helping you to know the Author of the Bible and to become more and more like Jesus then don’t change anything. But, if you are simply reading the Scriptures in a disciplined manner for the sake of reading them and accomplishing some reading plan. Well, it is time to change. What worked once is no longer working. Times are a changing. Try a new version, try an online Bible, an audio Bible…
Reading the Bible regularly is not a rule – it is a tool. It is not a rule that needs to be obeyed and fulfilled. It is a tool through which you come to know the Author – His character, His heart, His plans and purposes and, as a result, you grasp what is His heart for you and what He thinks about you. If the tool isn’t working – switch tools … new version, new format.
Now, I research and write from online Bibles and find the variety of translations and research material amazing. But, I still sit and read a paper copy – with a leather cover. I suppose that makes me old fashion. But, when it comes to my personal walk with the Lord I prefer a Bible in my hands and not a computer screen. But, the same for books – I prefer a copy in my hands to a screen. Do, I have ebooks? Yes. And, I read them when travelling as they weigh so much less than having to pack and drag paper books through airports around the world. Things are changing. Take advantage of the changes.
But, my point: The world is changing and the way we relate to the Lord and His Word should be changing as well. There is so much more available to help us and encourage us in our relationship with Him and our knowledge of His will, His plans, and His purpose. And, sometimes changing things for the sake of changing things is good. It adds a new perspective, new life, a new dynamic and we then find ourselves kicked out of our comfortable rut and actually growing and developing once again.