The struggle lasted for many years between the effect of the Bible and the big question in life; “Where is God Himself”. What follows isn’t a perfect answer but I hope it will take you closer to His presence.
An example of what I’m laboring to express begins with reading something like a newspaper ad. An item is represented on the page along with some characteristics and a location of where to find it. From there the reader experiences the rise of desire or the realization of need. Next he will weigh the yearning against the cost and the means available to get it. Its at that point that the ad no longer functions in the reader. He doesn’t want the representation (the paper or the ink on the page) – his desire is for the item itself.
Some people are content (or they think they’re content) to constantly be reminded of the item and its features without ever knowing ownership. They may become so involved as to mistake the desire for the item as possession of the item. Either way, the reader’s life between the influence of the ad and picking up/paying for the item shows how committed to the purchase the reader may be. The ad can be used to remind the reader of his desire – or he can act on the ad and pursue it to a transaction.
I hope following the breadcrumbs wasn’t too tedious… My point is that the Bible ought to be defining the believer’s need for God and stirring desire in him for the Father Himself.
“Since His invisible attributes are clearly seen from the foundation of the world being understood by the things that are made, both His invisible power and Divine nature, so that they are without excuse…”
“Who is the image of the invisible God, the first born over all creation 16 because all things were created by Him, things in the heavenly places or things on the earth, things visible or invisible, whether thrones, principalities, rulers or authorities, all things were created through Him and for Himself 17 and He is before all things and all things have been held together by Him, 18 and He is the head of the body of the church, He Who is the beginning, the first born of the dead in order that He might be preeminent in all things.”
and in particular
“And this is eternal life - that they might know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom You sent.”
will “take us to the throne”. Such a phrase paints a good picture to describe the inspiration derived from the truth as its read. But the inspiration isn’t the throne and the inspired feeling isn’t the presence of the Lord. The Bible and all of its truth directs the believer to Him and hopefully will stir the soul’s desire to acquire the Father for Who He is. I’m loath to compare the eternal Word with an ad in the paper, even one advertising a Cadillac. But the reader of an ad recognizes the piece of paper for what it is and knows that with a phone call or a drive to town he can be owner/possessor of the item on the page. When and how often does the believer ever look past the Word of God (as Holy as it is) and make the appropriate separation between book and Author to desire God Himself? As indicated, my previous ‘prose’ lacked the specifics.
Personally, I rejoice in the Word with probably not enough regularity - when I’m moved by its truth I find that the Bible isn’t enough. I find that I enjoy referring to the book for the disciplines and truth it conveys, but whether the sacred page is before me or not what I truly desire is the Author. You?
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