Recently I was meeting with a group of six mature believers for an evening of fellowship and teaching. After our time of coffee and sharing I asked those in attendance what God had shown them over the past few months when we had not met due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I specifically wanted to know what change they have made in their life because of something God spoke to them.
I was not interested in what they had learned as in more information and understanding of the Bible. I wanted to know what life-change had happened as a result of God showing them something and their putting that revelation or insight into practical, in every day life. In other words, application and transformation. Not just more information and understanding.
When I am reading the Scriptures I invite the Holy Spirit to lead me into His truth for me that day. I intentionally invite Him to speak to me and spend time, while reading, reflecting on what I am reading allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to me. When He does – and that happens almost daily – I write down what He is showing me from the Scriptures that I am reading and then I work through the application. In other words, how to apply the truth just revealed to me and what difference it will make in my life and daily activities. Thus I am growing and maturing as a believer and disciple of Jesus.
I was seriously surprised when I asked those in the group that night what God had shown them through His Word and how they had changed over the 5 months that we had not been meeting as a weekly group. Surprised and shocked really. No one knew of a revelation that they had received from the Spirit over that length of time. No one had a life-changing “Aha moment” that they could or felt free to share. It seems that the Holy Spirit was simply not speaking to them or, as is more likely, they are not listening with their heart (spirit).
Yes, they may have more understanding of the Scriptures; more information; more facts. But we should remember that there is no test on Bible knowledge when we get to Heaven. God is not going to ask you to name Noah’s three sons in order of age – oldest to the youngest. The Bible was given to us to help us to know God better and become more and more like Him – more Christ-like. In other words, to bring change and transformation and not just more information.
The Bible states that “faith comes from hearing the Word of God.” “Word” in the Greek is Rhema. Rhema means a now Word from the Lord for you in your situation and current circumstances. So, we don’t get more faith by simply reading the Bible. The written word (black and red ink on white paper) or “logos” does not bring about a greater faith or personal transformation. We grow in faith and change (are transformed) when God speaks to us through the Bible – Rhema – and we apply what we hear.
No matter how long you have been a Christian God is speaking to you through His Word on a regular basis. We need to learn how to listen and hear Him in our heart as all change (and life itself) comes from the heart according to the Bible. It is good to hear, understand and know the Word in our heads. But that is simply more information and knowledge. We truly need to learn to hear God who is Spirit in our spirit. And to apply, with His help, that truth or insight in our daily life. Then we will grow, mature, and change – be transformed more and more into His image.
Truly that is what this journey of faith is all about. Transformation.