By Jamie Harms
Years ago I heard Jen Wilkin give an illustration that compared feeling lost in her hometown with being lost in God’s Word. The illustration resonated with me. I understand that feeling of being lost. When we moved to Eugene before the smartphone with GPS and I tried to navigate the area, especially downtown, I often had to pull over on the side of the road to figure out where I was. Frustrated from taking yet another wrong turn, I would consult my paper map and figure out where I was and how the streets connected to get me back home. However, the more I allowed myself to get lost and explore the area, the better I became at navigating my city. It took getting lost a lot in Eugene in order to learn the area.
I think we often feel lost when we open up God’s Word. We ask ourselves many questions. “Where do I start reading? What does this passage mean? What do these Old Testament narratives and laws mean for me today? How do I understand and apply all the dense theology in the New Testament?” It can be completely overwhelming, but remember that being lost can actually bear fruit in your life. Being lost causes us to ask good questions, to study, and to apply what we have learned, just like it did when I sat lost in Eugene on the side of the road looking at my map. And we get to be lost together, learning from one another and pushing each other to explore more of the Bible. We invite you to join us as we study the book of Philippians beginning Thursday February 9 at our usual times of 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Just like with the previous studies, we will provide three days of ways that you can practice engaging in God’s Word for yourself. We will write out passages, look for observations, practice some different study tools, and answer a few questions to prepare us for our time together on Thursdays. We will also be posting on Mondays different Bible study tools to add to your toolbox as we cultivate a deeper love for God’s Word. On Thursdays, we will post an audio recording of the passage for the week in the voices of your friends along with our discussion questions to ponder.
Being lost is rarely fun, but it can be fruitful. As we spend time with God in His Word, take what we’re learning, and let it form us to be more like Him in our thoughts, words, and actions, we will find we can better navigate what God has for us. The prophet Isaiah gives us this promise from our God in chapter 55 verse 11, “(My word) will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” When we are faithfully and simply in God’s Word, it will not return empty. He will accomplish in us what He desires through His Word.
I’m looking forward to getting lost with you all on Thursday as we eagerly anticipate what God will do through His Word in us during this next season.
Have you registered yet for Rejoice: A Study of Philippians? If not, click here.