His Word is Life

A packet of printer paper 50 pages high hit my desk my junior year of high school as our teacher passed out excerpts of the Bible to our AP Language class. In my small coastal California town, there was nothing seen as wrong with studying the Bible in public school, as long as we studied it for what the teacher believed it was: an important piece of historical, fictional literature.

The Spring of 2015 was a season characterized by uneasy doubting for me as a young Christian. Never discussing anything outside of the safety of my youth group bubble, my faith was questioned for the first time, and I had no answers.

I went through some rough weeks of asking “why was Jesus so geographically confined in his teachings?”, “How could a being truly speak the World into existence?”, and “Why would God want us to live in a world with sin when He could stop it with one word?” It wasn’t until I dove into scripture that I began to remember why I chose God in the first place and why I should continue saying yes to Him, even when the world thought I was crazy.

 “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” - Hebrews 4:12

The Word of God is not like any other work of literature, because the Word of God is alive and active, so when we read it and it penetrates as deep as dividing the soul and the spirit until we are changed. The Holy Spirit is in us as Christians, and when we read the Bible, we can’t deny God’s presence. His words are sharp, piercing into our hearts when we read it and constantly invading our thoughts.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” - 2 Timothy 2:16-17

Not only is the word of God sharp, it is God-breathed, which means that God doesn’t give us this active scripture to scorn us like children, but rather because He loves us and chooses intentionally to give us the guide book for life. God’s heart isn’t to beat us down for all the sins we commit, God’s heart is to guide us and breathe life into us as we live the life he gifted us with.

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them...be merciful just as your Father is merciful.” - Luke 6:32-36

Even as I began to find the answers for myself, I began to see the way that my teacher and others around me were interpreting the Bible out of context, and I began to build up resentment in my heart towards them. It was then that I became overwhelmed with this verse from Luke, because if I only ever loved people who thought specifically like me, what credit would that be to me? As I walked through doubting God was merciful and kind, and I needed to show that mercy to others. God never forced me to believe. He never threatened me or got angry. He only loved me for who I was and showed me kindness as I walked and He met me exactly where I was.

Whether you are in a season of questioning or firm in your faith, I would like to invite you to pray along with me, asking God to reveal what is hidden in your heart.

First, pray that God would meet you in your questioning. Ask the Father of all creation to listen in as you struggle to conceptualize everything you are reading and understand about Him. Pray that in the midst of your questioning, the Holy Spirit would be holding your heart gently as you learn and grow.

Next, pray that you would be challenged in a way that would increase your faith. Listen to what God has to say about you, about His word, about the world, and fight against what culture says is not logical. It is not logical for God, in all his power, to have sent His own son to die for the sins of all of humanity, but God’s love for us exceeds logic.

Ask God about the posture of your heart towards doubts. Pray that any hesitation to bring your questions to His light would be disintegrated and that you would be able to come to Him in comfort.

Finally, reflect with God on all the things that He has taught you, and ask Him what it looks like for you to know what you believe. Pray that God would give you the words and wisdom to share that with others, even when the feelings, thoughts, or emotions you have are hard to put into words.

Author  |  Olivia Ellis

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