Hungry and Thirsty

For a long time, I never really understood the Bible. I grew up memorizing verses to earn ribbons and trophies that have long since been thrown in the trash. My motivation for learning Scripture was not out of love for God and His Word but was only for my own recognition and my desire to be the best. The trophies and recognition I received only served to fuel my pride, not create in me a hunger for God. I’m thankful, however, for the parts of the Bible I memorized, because even though my motivation was wrong, Abba uses all for His glory. Many of those verses that I didn’t really understand at the time now come back to me when I have needed them most. Nothing is wasted.

For me, reading the Bible was often done out of the same motivation as memorizing. Since I couldn’t really be recognized in the same way I could with memorization, I pretended I read the Bible more than I really did.  I did it for man’s approval. I also did it out of fear because I felt like I might be punished by God if I didn’t do it, so it was done in order to make God “good” with me.

By His grace, I don’t look at any of it that way anymore. Jesus made me good with God because of what He did on the cross for me…for all of us. I realize that God’s Word is about Him and what He’s done for us and what He wants to do through us. It’s about relationship and life and love. For those reasons and seeing Abba at work in me, I find myself hungering for Him and for His Word as well.

And not only are we blessed to have God’s Words, but we have the Holy Spirit within us to help us understand the Word of God, but too often we find Scripture boring, which we only secretly admit to ourselves, or we find it not easily understandable. So I found that I would rather go to books that explain about the Bible and the walk with Christ, rather than really living it myself.

I’m not a Bible thumper, and I don’t use the Bible as a weapon, at least not as a weapon against man, not anymore. I often think about people who live in countries who don’t have access to the Bible and what they would give to have one of their own to read and how fortunate we are to have the Words of God at our fingertips. When I watched the movie The Book of Eli, I was drawn to the fact of how the character Eli treated the Word of God. He desperately consumed it each night before he would sleep, which ended up serving a great purpose.

I know I have often only run to God and His Word when I’m in serious need. And then, when life is no longer spinning out of my control, I return God and my Bible to their designated shelf.

But the funny thing is that Abba has kept my life spinning out of my control for over 4 years now, so I have had no choice but to run to Him and remain there and have found rest in the process. I recently admitted to myself and God that I don’t want the times of testing and trials to stop until I know Abba so well that I can’t and won’t go back to the way my life was before I really began the  process of knowing and resting in Him.

For me, I no longer use the Bible to gain knowledge so I can sound like I know what I’m talking about, but because I want to know Him better.  Scripture is truth and it points us to the Truth. How can I not run to it because in it are the words of life to draw me into relationship with God Himself?

Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.  (2 Tim. 3:16-17, MSG)

This isn’t a post to make anyone (including myself) feel guilty or better about themselves because of reading the Bible or not reading the Bible. We shouldn’t try to do better.  Because then all we have is striving in our own flesh, which means nothing.  Our lives are all about the relationship with Christ…hands wide open to receive what He has for us. I want to say with all of my heart, “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you.”


2 Responses to “Hungry and Thirsty”

  1. July 11, 2011 at 7:53 am

    I realized a while back that since I had spent the majority of my life in the ministry, I had been reading and studying so that I would be able to give the right answers to those who needed it. My reason for getting into God’s word was for information rather than transformation. Now I realize that I need to include myself in that group that needs the right answers. If I seek HIM, HE will give me what I need to help others.

  2. 2 John Cooper
    September 19, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Hi Kim,

    Good article!



    John Cooper
    Tuscaloosa, AL

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