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Do I feel encouraged and uplifted? Yes.
Do I feel recharged and ready to take the day? Most likely.
But do I walk away with some life-changing, life-altering truth? No, not always.
I always felt (until recently), that I was supposed to always come away with some life-altering, earth-shattering truth from my daily time spent in God's Word. I felt that I was supposed to be learning these amazing things and applying them daily. Now, not that this doesn't happen to some, because it definitely could (and I've most certainly had those days myself), it just doesn't always happen. I felt like I was doing something wrong, like something was off in my walk with the Lord.
And then last week, I was hit in the face with two amazing bits of wisdom from two incredible Christian theologians that, I would consider, are most definitely doing things "right" when it comes to their relationship with the Lord: Beth Moore and John Piper.
I'm doing a Beth Moore Bible study right now, and at the end of one of our daily studies, I read this bit of wisdom:
"Training yourself in godliness is exactly what you're doing this very moment [while reading that particular day's study]. The Word of God is the textbook. Its application to the hot pavement of your life is the practicum. God wants us to recognize the critical priority of deliberate training in godliness. We won't be successful without it. Not one moment you spend in Bible study will ever be wasted. It is our hope of resisting the deep indoctrination of worldliness. Help us, Lord. We are weak in our natural selves (Rom. 6:19).
- Beth Moore: Daniel: Lives of Integrity, Words of Encouragement
Meaning, while we may feel overwhelmed with life's demands and the pressure to be godly in a material world, we are never wasting our time if we are training ourselves up in God's Word. We may feel like it's "just not working," but in reality, not one moment is ever wasted in the timeless and holy words of God. All Scripture is God-breathed, not one bit of it is ever meaningless (2 Tim. 3:16). Time spent in the Word feeling like you're "not getting it," is much better than no time in the Word at all.
Then, just a few days later while I was driving to that particular Bible Study in the evening, I was listening to our local Christian station and the DJ for the evening was reading through some of John Piper's podcast for that day. He was answering a reader's question that might as well have been my own question:
"Do I have to walk away with a major life lesson after my daily quiet time in the mornings?"
And to my surprise, John Piper's answer was a resounding No! Believing (much like Beth Moore had "told" me earlier that week), that as long as we are spending, daily time with our Savior, then that alone is what is right. We may not walk away with some truth to teach on or some life lesson to learn from. We may just walk away, having spent daily, precious time with our Savior. And that is enough.
Sure, we'll have those days where something hits us on the face and puts us in our place...Those are really good days! But not everyday will be like that. And that's okay! All that my Savior has asked of me is to spend that daily time with Him. Through His Word, He is shaping me and molding me, even when I don't realize it. All that time spent with Him will eventually prove itself worthwhile, it's never wasted, even on my most defeating day.
I'm so thankful God chooses to use the weak, simple-minded believers to lead the strong. Lord knows that's me :)