How We’re Learning by Ginger Harrington
There’s no place like home.
The military is a mobile lifestyle with moves, TDYs, and deployments. Our home may move from place to place, but the sense of coming home is something we value. Houses may change, but family and home are the relationships that mean the most to us.
Isn’t it great to be one of the family? There’s a feeling of security when you know you belong. You have a key to the door and you come in whenever you want. You can help yourself to whatever is in the refrigerator (unless of course, someone has but an “Eat this and you will die!” note on the banana pudding).
Snuggle up on the couch and put your feet on the coffee table. Because you belong, you never wonder if you’re in the right house or if you’re really wanted. Loved and accepted, you can have a bad day and even act a little testy.
Isn’t it a wonder that God, our creator, wants us to know Him as our father? Even our Papa (Abba).
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God… Romans 8:14-16 (NASB)
When you’re part of the family, you can enter confidently, even when you’ve made mistakes and failed miserably.
Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it]. Hebrews 4:16 (AMP)
Read You’re Bible Like You’re Coming Home
These two passages teach us how to approach God. The longer I walk with God, the more precious and freeing truth becomes, discovering the heart of learning God’s word is about relationship.
Secure in relationship with God, Bible reading becomes an grace of receiving rather than a method of achieving. We’re learning to read the Bible like we’re coming home.
Come to God with confidence, trusting you are lovingly received.
Be bold and enter God’s presence freely, without fear, with frankness and assurance. To come with confidence means to trust that you will be lovingly received. In these verses, there’s no question of being received, heard, or accepted.
Act on your invitation to come close, to run to Abba. Enter into the throne room as one of the family who is at home there, rather than a stranger who knocks hesitantly, wondering if anyone will come to the door and invite them in. You are welcome and you belong.
Let go of performance mentality in Bible reading.
There are many ways to connect with God in prayer and Bible study. Even so, many Christians struggle with a performance mentality when it comes to spending time with God. We create rules, make check lists, and grade ourselves on how well we are spending time with God. And sometimes we even judge others by our lists of should’s.
- I should have my Quiet Time every day . . . to be a better Christian.
- I should read the Bible in a year . . .to be a better Christian.
- I should spend more time with God . . . to be a better Christian.
- I should memorize Bible verses . . . to be a better Christian.
Loving God and learning His word is a relationship to enjoy, not a rule to perform or a standard to keep.
How can your time reading God’s word be different when you let go of the pressure to be a good Christian and simply look forward to coming home? Take the word should out of your vocabulary and simply spend time with your heavenly papa who welcomes you and longs to provide the mercy and grace you need. Let go of your rules about reading God’s word.
The more we should ourselves with standards and rules, the farther away from God we feel.
And too often we feel like we are lacking, displeasing to God because we haven’t been good enough at ______. Fill in the blank with that thing you struggle with. God’s invitation to enter in, to connect with Him isn’t based on our performance. It’s isn’t measured out by how well we know the Bible.
Reading God’s word is one of the ways we draw near to God. These verses give us 4 simple secrets to our relationship with God.
- Be led by the Spirit
- Receive the truth you are God’s child
- Cry out to God as Abba
- Draw near to God with bold confidence
You receive God’s pleasure by who you are not what you do.
You’re part of the family because of who your dad is, not what you do.
Both of these passages mention the important concept of receiving. Both passages point to a secure understanding of our relationship with God–not our performance of doing all the right things.
These verses are about relationship rather than performance. In the same way, reading the Bible is more about relationship rather than performance.
Draw near to God with confidence and courage because you’re one of the family.
Drawing near is about relationship, proximity and intimacy. We draw near to God through prayer, Bible reading, worship, obedience, and the attitudes and affections of our heart.
- When you come with a receptive heart, the Holy Spirit will teach you what you need to know. He gives and we receive. This simple concept will radically change your time with God.
- Let the joy of discovery replace a sense of duty or of self-condemnation. In these verses there isn’t even a hint of God’s displeasure–it’s all grace and relationship.
Confidence, boldness, and courage comes because we truly know we are accepted. One of the family, we really are God’s beloved children and when we draw near to God we are coming home.
Pray About It
Abba, thank You for making welcoming me into relationship with You. Thank You for inviting me to come to You with bold confidence. May I come to You before seeking answers, guidance, or comfort elsewhere. I invite You into my thoughts and plans today. Teach me more about coming with boldness and confidence. Lord, You are the One who invites me in. Thank you.
Taking it Deeper
Join us on Periscope Mondays at 4 pm EST, where we’ll be talking more about Bible reading and drawing near to God. In today’s broadcast, Ginger will be sharing practical tips reading your Bible like you are coming home.
Ginger Harrington, publishing coordinator for Planting Roots, is casting a vision for women in the military community to encourage one another to grow closer to God by sharing their stories. A popular speaker, she has also written military-themed posts for Guideposts Military Blog and (in)courage. Ginger and her retired Marine husband have enjoyed twenty-four years of military life and are parents to three young adults. Read more from Ginger at GingerHarrington.com.
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