Books & Reading · Heart

Please don’t read this

After immersing myself in the words of the Bible for a month, I find my fingers hovering over the keyboard, unsure.

I hesitate, not because I have nothing to say, but because the last thing I want to do is add one more word to all the others out there.

Those noisy words drown out the still, small voice. They are dead, pulling us away from the Living Word, who came and dwelt among us.

I hesitate because I know myself. How even after a month of feasting on God’s truth, it was still easy to go a few days without reading the Bible. How I still skim the familiar phrases as I read, letting my mind wander to laundry and grocery lists and what’s for dinner. How even as a part of me is desperate to know God and learn his voice, there is this whole other part of me that is rebellious and untamed and that the worst of it is my tongue.

I worry that by putting these words on the page, I’m like Moses lifting up the snake in the wilderness. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll read something here and turn to God. But so many of us, my own stubborn self included, are as easily deceived as the Israelites.

You know what they did with that snake? They made an idol out of it, and started burning sacrifices to it. I think that’s what has happened to the church. We’ve lifted up the Mark Battersons and the Francis Chans, and the Beth Moores, and we allow our faith to rest in their words instead of in the One who gave them the words to say.

And then I want to be Hezekiah, and tear our books to pieces because they’ve made idolaters out of us. Jason probably ought to put a lock on the office door before I do something rash.

But in all seriousness, I am wary of creating anything that might become an idol. Because if I’ve learned one thing in all my study of the Bible, it’s that God doesn’t take idolatry lightly. Who am I to presume to add one more word, or phrase, or thought that might take away from your time in God’s Word?

And yet, I have to write. It’s what God made me to do, as much as he made you to build or sing or doctor or cook or teach. The words are in my heart and in my hands, and somehow they always find their way out of me onto the page or the computer screen.

I pray that my words will serve only to lead you back to Jesus.

But if you only have five minutes to read, please don’t read this. Read your Bible.

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