“The Word of Scripture should never stop sounding in your ears and working in you all day long, just like the words of someone you love. And just as you do not analyze the words of someone you love, but accept them as they are said to you, accept the Word of Scripture and ponder it in your heart … until it has gone right into you and taken possession of you.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
Every other Tuesday evening this winter, I have been gathering with other women from my church to participate in a study called, Hearing God’s Voice: Developing a Listening Heart. It isn’t a conventional “Bible study,” as our leaders keep reminding us, because we don’t simply read and then dissect a passage of Scripture. No, while we do dig into God’s Word, it is not to analyze but to EXPERIENCE. Wow – this had been very transforming for me so far!
Having grown up in the church, I can “study” the Bible with the best of them but this approach we are taking on Tuesday nights has been very different from what I am used to in a traditional Bible Study. Our study has make me look outside the usual box of how I approach Scripture, which consequently had been quite freeing for me.
The practices we are using aren’t necessarily new – just new to me. Actually, the first one we used was “Lectio Divina” which is hundreds of years old if I am correct. Another one we used so far was called “Prayer of Imagination” that involves using all our senses as we read. Both of these ideas connect well with Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s quote about how we “do not analyze the word of someone [we] love but accept them as they are said to [us].”
My favorite part about our study is that the leaders don’t just explain about the spiritual practice we are covering that evening but they allow time for us to experience it ourselves – right then and there. Who needs another lecture about what they should or should not be doing in their spiritual walk and how they are supposed to be going about it all? No, if I learned anything from my years as a teacher, it is that students learn best by getting their hands dirty and actually trying something out for themselves.
Therefore, I’d encourage you as you come before God in your walk of faith over this next little while- wherever you are on that journey – to not merely analyze what you are reading in the Bible or hearing from Him, but to simply accept it, ponder it, experience it and soak it in until “it has gone right into you and taken possession of you!” And hopefully, taking this approach can be as transformative for you as it was for me.
**I am linking up with Holley Gerth’s Coffee For Your Heart today. Click on the image below to find another post from the linkup you might also enjoy!**