Home > Uncategorized > bland bible reading and pathetic prayer

bland bible reading and pathetic prayer

Have you ever tried to pick up your Bible or turn your mind to a time of prayer and just felt dead inside, lethargic and unstirred by something that should cause your soul to soar?

I think that most Christians can relate to this deeply disheartening and depressing feeling.

You may try to preach to yourself, to try to revive your heart to love the Scriptures, to love prayer, to love sitting under the preaching of God’s word, to desire the things of God:

“Soul,” you find yourself saying, “read your Bible, I am suposed to read my Bible; the Bible tells me that I am supossed to love the laws and commands of God, so you got to read your Bible.”

This is a familiar conversation and it is a losing battle.  Even if you are able to motivate your soul with this message, you are ultimately losing if all you do is train your soul to respond to this kind of preaching.

Why?  Because you are stirring yourself to obedience with a call to duty – a call to rote obedience and cold obligation.  I was reminded of this truth thanks to a blog entry by one of my favorite pastors, Mark Driscoll:

The spiritual disciplines are not something we have to do to make God love us. Rather, because God already does love us, the spiritual disciplines are something that we get to do as we love Him back and enjoy growing in our loving relationship with Him.  The spiritual disciplines are not intended to enslave us. Rather, they are intended to lead us into growing freedom in the same way that a trained athlete or musician is free to enjoy the task more than a novice.

Pastor Mark Driscoll, Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington

Driscoll’s words reminded me of something that all Christians are so prone to forget – the centrality of the gospel.  When we approach spiritual disciplines by overcoming our dragging feet and resistant hearts through the preaching of a gospel of legalistic rote obedience, we undermine the graciousness of the true gospel.

We were not saved to muscle up and “do what we got to do”; we were saved to have life and life abundantly.  It is the grace of God given to us through the death of his son Jesus Christ that we are able to know our holy God in prayer and Bible study, these disciplines are among the many gifts that our Lord has given us to bring us freedom.

Take my advice, stir yourself to obedience through preaching the good news of the gospel to your soul, not the “good news” of duty and obligation.

Check out Mark Driscoll’s blog for more helpful and wise teaching on spiritual disciplines – I know I sure will.

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