(You've figured out by now that we are just full-on down this rabbit trail, right? But it's important.)
Yesterday, I said something that is key to all of our spiritual development and growth, and I want to pull that little sentence out and expand on it because it is so central to our very being. That something was simply this:
We read the Bible looking for the characters we are most certain of.
And those characters are the ones like us. We read the Bible looking for ourselves. Because if there's anything in this world that we're certain we know, it's us. If there's anything we understand, it's us. If there's anything we can relate to, it's us. So we read the Bible looking for us because we know that's where we're going to have the most understanding.
But do you want to know something? Something that would absolutely, totally, completely change your faith?
If you read the Bible looking for God, it will make Him the one you are most certain of.
Read that again: if you read the Bible looking for God, He is the character you will become most certain of.
It's hard at first, I get it. There are so many questions that we have in our hearts about who God is, whether He loves us, what He's doing, how to talk to Him, what it all means, and so much more, and it's easier to just focus on what we do know.
But God, as He reveals Himself in Scripture, reveals the answers to those questions that we have. He exposes Himself, and He keeps showing us more and more of Himself until we can see clearly that our worries, our concerns, our hesitations have already been addressed. He's already acknowledged them and thought of them, and responded...just by being who He is.
When you read the Bible looking for God, you find Him. One hundred percent. You start to know Him, and when you know Him, your faith starts to build itself around who He is - not what He's done for you, not what you need, not your own depravity and redemption story, but God's incredible grace and His amazing character. (Sorry - is it supposed to always be "amazing grace"? That felt wrong.)
Over time, then, you get this faith that is just insanely strong, that believes in God unshakably, that just knows in the depth of your soul that things are okay because God is who He is.
Because here's what happens: you read the Bible looking for God, and you find Him. God becomes the character in the story that you are most certain of. Because God is the character that you are the most certain of, He becomes the character that you look for in every story...including your own. And you find Him. And when you find Him, the things you are most certain of about Him become the things you are most certain of in your own story and you can't help but live your life by faith.
I'm telling you - this changes everything.
So what would it mean for your life if you stopped reading the Bible looking for you and started reading it looking for God?