Have you noticed how often a day slips past?
Running a Bible college schedule of waking up and eating breakfast (if you have enough food), maybe having a few slow minutes before you race off to work, and as one thing follows the next, soon your day is over and you’re back at the start of another day.
This kind of day has followed me for a long time. In every Bible study possible, I would write down everything I hear, and pack my schedule with so much that I couldn’t honestly tell you most of what happened that day. I’m learning the value of slowing down over these past few months. Not that I’ve stopped moving or started doing less, but pausing to rest in what God has spoken to me.
There’s a story in 1 Kings 18 and 19 about Elijah kicking serious butt on Mount Carmel. He is sent by God to show Israel and their king that they are trusting the wrong God, and it ends with him killing 400 prophets. The strange part is chapter 19 when he gets threatened by the queen and becomes suicidal! One big teaching in chapter 19 is God’s ability to come alongside and comfort us. He fed Elijah and told him to take a nap to get over his attitude, but it also shows us the importance of rest.
“Those are the things Jesus used to restore my soul”
We receive so much amazing biblical content, but as was mentioned in the last post, we need to slow down and have personal time with Truth (Jesus Christ). All I remember from my first year of Bible college is what is called positional truth– things that the Bible says are real just because I’m saved, no matter how sinful I feel. It sounds funny to say that after 32 credits of classes, all I can remember is the groundwork of how God sees me, but those are the things Jesus used to restore my soul.
Good note-taking is awesome! I love looking back and relearning the things that mattered in class. I have enough written down in my notebooks to be relearning for years! But the most essential thing I could have done is rest more in what God was speaking to me. I need academic discipline and focus in classes to learn, but I need quiet times of meditation with God to mix faith with what I’ve learned, to internalize it.
Jesus shows us this many times as He retreats regularly to spend time with his Father in the Gospels.
Paul often instructs readers to meditate and give attention to the Word so that our faith would be stable, ready for when trials hit. God will never leave us or forsake us. He had an angel feed the depressed conqueror Elijah. But at the same time, it’s so much better to be readied by God’s presence in personal devotion.
It makes us the blessed man in Jeremiah 17, planted by the water and unaware of the heat when it comes.