Leading From Within – Scripture
One of the cornerstones of our faith is Scripture. It seems like such an obvious statement that I shouldn’t even have to say it, right? We all know that The Bible is the inspired word of God (argue amongst yourselves as to whether it is inerrant or infallible) and that it contains the history of our faith, answers to life’s many questions, and more mystery than we know what to do with, right? Then why is it that we find ourselves too often leaving Scripture sitting on a shelf (or the floor, or a table, or in our backpack) unread, and otherwise unused? Are we just not excited about it? Do we find it boring and tedious, or is it just not as interesting as other things that occupy our attention?
Why have I fallen off and struggle to read Scripture for my own soul?
Don’t get me wrong. I spend a lot of time in Scripture. But that is largely built around my ministry. This week alone I am writing 2 talks/messages/lessons, a sermon and a Sunday School experience based around that sermon. I am spending a ton of time in Scripture. I am learning. I am growing. But if I were not writing thees lessons, I can virtually guarantee that I would not have my nose buried in my Bible. Why?
Because I am a fallen, broken human. My sinful nature convinces me that it is not as interesting or worth my time as some of the other things that I can do around the house, or out in the world. It will be there later, don’t feel bad about ignoring the Bible right now. You can always come back to it later. I place a low priority on it. Sometimes that is unintentional. But sometimes I am fully aware that I am doing it.
This is the first thing that I need to re-balance. I need to spend time in Scripture for my own soul. If I am not allowing God to pour into me through His word, there will be nothing there for me to pour into my students. I will be little more than an empty glass. Have you ever tried to teach what you do not know or understand? It doesn’t work well, does it? I need to get back into a regular (preferably DAILY) time spent in Scripture, learning at he feet of Christ. Reading of His miraculous works in the ancestors of my faith. Seeing how the character of God interacts with humanity. Immersing myself in the mystery and inhabiting the Biblical narrative before me.
As the new year begins, don’t allow yourself to lead from a void. Carve out time, sacrifice time to spend in Scripture for your own soul. If you are not willing to do this, or cannot do this for any reason, then I would suggest you step away for a time. You could be doing more harm than good to your students.