Bible vs Bible Study

My most recent blog post touched on how essential I believe it is for women to gather around the Bible – not just Bible Studies.  I figured I’d expand/explain a little.

Look, I love Bible Studies. I just finished writing one. But Bible Studies, like physical therapy or training wheels, are tools in my mind; means to another end.  They can help you work through specific struggles. They can support you as you learn how to dig deeply in the Word, strengthening the muscles that know how to engage with God.  But a good Bible Study will always push you to leave Bible Studies behind, challenging you to become strong enough to spend your mornings pouring over God’s Word, learning from Him with no mediator but the Holy Spirit.Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 2.53.04 PM

A friend of mine is doing a version of Bootcamp, and we were processing together how uncomfortable it can be to just sit with the Bible.  We both love it, but it is so tempting to just lean on someone else to do the hard work for us instead of enduring the mental exhaustion of digging and the weird emptiness of waiting.

Is there a time for you to read and lean on the words of Christians?  Of course. God gave us the Bible in community, not in isolation.  Studying the Scripture is a group project and we will need one another to do it well.  But there is a marked difference between digging into a meal side by side, and looking to others to feed you.

Hear the words of Newton and may God grant you the grace to believe them:

But an awakened mind which thirsts after the Savior, and seeks wisdom by reading and praying over the Scripture, has little occasion for a library of human writings. The Bible is the fountain from whence every stream that deserves our notice is drawn; and, though we may occasionally pay some attention to the streams—we have personally an equal right with others to apply immediately to the fountain-head, and draw the water of life for ourselves! The purest streams are not wholly freed from the tinge of the soil through which they run; a mixture of human infirmity is inseparable from the best human composition. But in the fountain—the truth is unmixed!

You are equal with the best teachers in the world, and by the Spirit of God, you have equal qualifications to draw near to Him and draw water for yourself from His Word.

Do not neglect the great privilege of drinking from the fountain of God’s Word, which alone is untainted by the sinful motives of man.  Do not forget that His words alone have the power to put faith in the dark corners of your heart.

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