Time changes our view of life. I am really seeing this these last couple of months. One of the things it does is it takes some of the “basic” lessons of life that we think we know and reveals a depth and power to them that we have not seen. I am always thinking about youth life and my own life and the things that God has been teaching me.
Over the last couple of months I am really starting to see the power of the basic foundational parts of the christian walk. When we look at history, those who were used by God in mighty and powerful ways didn’t stand out because of some special, unique thing they did. They stood out in their deep roots in the basics. Daniel prayed. David worshiped. Moses wanted to be closer and closer to God. Paul loved the church. Jesus spoke the truth.
As I reflect on God’s work in my life I wanted to share three powerful basics without which, I firmly believe, the freedom of our youth life will surely go to waste.
1. Love the Bible
“My soul clings to dust, give me life according to your Word!” (Ps. 119:9, 25)
It is by God’s word that the universe was created. It is by his words alone that we can have life. If you get this, you really don’t need to read the rest. You can stop reading. There is nothing more powerful we can do aside from building a daily lifestyle of feasting on God’s word. Sermons and christian books are great but they don’t count. We need to learn to come to our Bible with a thirst for more it, a desire for.
I admit this is a great challenge. Life is SO full of distractions – problems and pains and notifications that grab hold of our foolish hearts.
Learn to dig past the lies that fill your heart. Reach for God’s truth.
If your Bible reading and prayer are not the most interesting and exciting part of your day you will never grow in real stability and maturity. If you don’t find life in God’s word, your soul will always be in the dust.
2. Build Relationships
“…rather, speaking truth in love we are to grow up in Him who is the head…” (Eph. 4:15)
We start to see how ridiculous we are sometimes when we see that we think about ourselves more than anyone or anything else.
But think about it. You are just one little story surrounded by BILLIONS other others. And frankly, many of them are a lot more interesting than yours (and mine). You aren’t the only one who knows the truth. You are not the purpose of the kingdom of God that is at work in all the world. That purpose shines through every new heart Christ touches and changes.
Learn to discover that. Learn to discover the power of his work in you overflowing into the lives of others. No matter where you go in life, relationships will always follow. And the quality of our relationships is the direct sign of the depth of joy and fruit that we add to the kingdom of Christ. Christians who don’t learn to build deep, long lasting relationships end up spiritual cripples, always receiving, but never knowing how to give back.
What good is a candle that is under a table? What good is salt that looses its taste? What good is a christian who does not impact the lives of the people around them?
3. Read Books
“An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” (Prov. 18:15)
The wise person is the one who understands how little he/she knows. The wise person is the one who has awakened to a new life, understanding personal littleness and the unbelievable beauty and greatness of God’s plan for the universe.
This drives the wise to hunger for knowledge. To grow in understanding. To do seek to expand our perspective of life, seeing more, experiencing more, climbing higher to be able to see further in life. That is why we read. Books and language are a powerful opportunity to expand our knowledge and experience of life. Books tell stories that help us see life from a new angle, to see our selves from a new angle. Books take us deep in to the hearts of people we will never get to meet. Books help us see God’s amazing world more and more clearly.
Life is a battlefield. We are all soldiers in the long fight (2 Cor. 10:3-4). Some of us are stuck in the middle of the field, laying low, dealing only with that which is directly before us. But some of us climb the hill beside the battle field to have a greater look around. Whats this battle all about? Where is it going? What should we expect? Which direction should we be moving in?
Thats what reading books does. It helps you climb that hill and have a greater perceptive and understanding of the battle that you are in.
Yes reading is hard work. But the climb is definitely worth it. You will see things that will shape your whole approach to the battle.