I couldn’t believe a fifty cent souvenir exposed my stunted spiritual growth!
My husband and I have had the privilege of traveling many places throughout the United States and around the world. On one of our first trips, we thought it would be fun to send our friend Tony a postcard. This quickly became a tradition, and on every subsequent trip we searched for the perfect card, one that best captured our experiences in that particular place. From shopping in San Francisco to caving in Turkey, we wanted Tony to enjoy a taste of each.
After twenty years Tony has filled a few photo albums with these picturesque postcards. But has he truly experienced the places they represent? He has more understanding of these places than before he received the cards, yet he doesn’t have firsthand knowledge of the locales. He’s never heard the sounds or smelled the scents or felt the breezes. He hasn’t climbed the ruins, swum in the aqua seas, or savored the dishes specific to those lands.
“You’ve Got Mail!”
Several years ago I realized my spiritual life was very much like Tony’s book of postcards. I listened to preachers, sat in Sunday school classes, and read Christian books. Each time I heard a sermon, sat through a lesson, or read a chapter, it was as if I put a postcard in my own spiritual photo album. I caught glimpses of someone else’s experience and saw snippets of another’s relationship with the living God, but I didn’t truly understand that firsthand knowledge. The real experience belonged to the preacher, the teacher, or the author. I merely received their postcards.
But that changed when I learned how to study the Bible.
“Wish You Were Here!”
A dear group of women at my church in Florida taught me how to study the Bible inductively, which is a simple process with profound impact. I soon found myself experiencing the Bible and the God of the Bible in a whole new way, as if my senses had awakened to taste and see and smell and hear and feel all of what God wanted for me! I understood Him more deeply and more intimately. The words on the pages held meaning and life. For the first time I could send the postcard, so to speak. I wasn’t dependent on someone else to go to the places in Scripture and capture what they found on a postcard to send to me. I could capture it on my own!
God desires that we know Him, that we seek Him, and dig for ourselves to mine the treasures in His Word. When we do this, we will be the ones sending the postcards! But more than that, we will truly know the One who created all the beauty captured on those cards. So here’s my desire–instead of someone telling me what God has to say, I want to find out for myself. What about you? How about we join together and make this our prayer. . . our postcard prayer!
Enjoy your travels–
“But the one who boasts should boast in this, that he understands and knows Me–that I am Yahweh, showing faithful love, justice, and righteousness on the earth, for I delight in these things. This is the LORD’s declaration” (Jeremiah 9:23, 24 HCSB). “I love those who love me, and those who search for me find me” (Proverbs 8:17 HCSB). “I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure” (Psalm 119:162 NKJV).
A couple things you might find helpful as you learn more about inductive study:
- An overview of the inductive study process is available to you on my website. Click here for a free download.
- My book Rooted might be just what you need! Not only is the inductive study overview explained, each chapter allows you to practice the process using designated passages of Scripture. This repetition will hone your study skills, allowing you to apply it to other chapters and books of the Bible.
- Check out the Rooted promo video. In it, I describe the 4-step inductive study process.
- Suggested resources can be found on the Store page of my website.