Last night as I was waiting for the color I had just smeared onto my glistening gray hair to turn it a soft brown (okay, maybe not so soft…course brown), I picked up Powlison’s book Seeing With New Eyes. I began this book several weeks ago, but am taking my time digesting the information bits and pieces at a time. Anyways, I only had ten minutes before I had to rinse, condition, and blow dry so I quickly read two pages. However, what was on those two pages struck me like one of my children catching me off guard and tackling me to the ground. Here’s what it said (italics are my emphasis):
“To be ‘filled with the Spirit’ is to have your language alive to God, both your daily conversations with others and the inward conversation within your heart. Your cognitive stream-of-consciousness and your social interactions are meant to be psalm-like and psalm-informed…Paul calls you to a lifestyle of joyous dependence on Christ, to live in faith like the Psalms (the author had previously quoted Ephesians 5:18-20). A videotape of your outward speech and inward thoughts would look like a continuously updated and personalized psalm. The realities of a living relationship with Christ infuse the way you process the specifics of your daily life. You speak and think new-minted re-creations and applications of Scripture into the exigencies (def: that which is required in a particular situation; yes, I had to look up the meaning too) of the moment, updated at very point by Jesus Christ” (24).
Powlison goes onto give examples such as Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary, Jesus, Peter’s speeches, etc. that show them speaking God’s word in response to circumstances, giving instruction, encouragement, and walking a Spirit-filled life. After reading this section, my first thought was that in order for these people to respond with scripture, they had to KNOW the scripture to begin with. If I am going to live a psalm-like life, a spirit-filled life, a life that affects the specifics of my daily schedule, I have to immerse myself in the word.
As I have mentioned before, the Lord laid on my heart Philippians 3: 10-12 as my focus for 2012. At the same time He also called me to immerse myself within in the whole book of Philippians. So beginning shortly after Christmas I have read and reread the whole book taking in, processing, and digesting so many new, yet familiar things about the book.
After I had completed the hair coloring process and we all gathered together for our family worship time, Scott told us about a man he had listened to on the radio that morning. He was sharing that if you change your mind you change your life and to change your mind you read scripture. He went on to say that the best way to read scripture is to take a whole book of the bible and read it twenty times. He said about the eighth or tenth time through it gets dry and boring, but about the twelfth time through God begins to really open up new things and it will change your life. I was in awe. Here I was in the process of reading Philippians and yes some parts had become just rote reading and God was using Scott to reinforce and confirm what He had asked me to do. The man said that only a handful of people would probably take the challenge, but those who do will be transformed and will be moved like a river through God’s hand as they are transformed by His word. His words had challenged Scott and were now challenging the kids and I to press on through reading God’s word, seeking and anticipating His faithfulness to reveal Himself to us.
My Heart’s Prayer: Lord, I am so humbled by your word and how you work. I am utterly amazed and so blessed how you have willingly opened up your heart to me over the last few days. Help me to live my life so that whatever comes out of my mouth or is demonstrated in my actions is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, moral, excellent, and praise worthy of you. Help me to live up to the truth I have attained through your power to instill it within me. May my children see your example through me and be challenged to do the same. Lord, continue the work you have begun in me and our family and carry it to completion. In Jesus Name, Amen.