Please read part 1 , part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5 , part 6, part 7, and part 8 of this series before reading today’s post. Lots of reading, I know, but we’ve been unpacking a simple approach to hearing God speak through scripture that I believe can change your life. So what do we look for as we read? First, what it says. Secondly, what it means. And thirdly…
“Anyone who listens to the word… is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror… (and) looking at himself… (sees) what he looks like…” (James 1:23,24). That’s pretty clear. You’re supposed to see yourself in what you read, like your face in a mirror. You’ll see what needs to change or what God is trying to say to you. In other words, how does this neat thing you learned relate to your life? How is this about you in particular? Ask God to show you.
You might read a story about Peter and the disciples and “see yourself” in what you read. That’s happened to me. I suddenly “see” I’m just like Peter. I’m pretty up and down too.
You can also pray about how all this makes you feel. Are you confused? Do you feel affirmed in something? Guilty? Ashamed? Afraid? Challenged? Brave? Look at yourself honestly in light of what God has taught you, and talk to Him about it.
By the way, seeing yourself in the mirror is the key to an exciting Bible. If you don’t see yourself on the page, scripture will feel irrelevant to you. That’s just how it works. And it naturally leads into the next section. You’ve looked for what it says, what it means, and yourself in the mirror. Now look…
FOR WHAT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO ABOUT IT.
So I’ve made some cool connections, learned some great stuff, and identified with Peter being an emotional yo-yo. Now what? First of all, don’t ever be afraid of that question. Now what?
You should, on the other hand, be afraid of the “So what?” question. “So what?” means you aren’t connecting any dots, you don’t see yourself in the mirror, and you don’t particularly care. But “Now what?” is the question God has been leading you toward all along. It’s all come to this, because he needs you to get to this point. Remember what happened on the day of Pentecost after Jesus’ death and resurrection? Peter preached a powerhouse of a sermon, and “when people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other Apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
What shall we do? Now what? That’s a great question. And God isn’t done with you until you find the answer. So you might pray as you read. Lord, is there a command to obey? Is there a truth to believe? Is there a blessing I need to receive? Is there a principle to apply to a situation in my life? Is there a praise or thanks I should give You for this? Is there a sin I need to confess to You? Is there something I should give up, or something I should start doing? How does this relate to me?
And because God has been trying to get you to this very crossroads all along, He will bring you to the next action word in the text. You’ve look, look, look, looked. Right?
Now it’s time to listen. And to hear.