And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. – Mark 12:30 (ESV)
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about, well, thinking. I remember back at bible college, our principle taught us that in his experience, the greatest spiritual discipline was to “think on God”. What did he mean by that? He meant to engage with Scripture, and then simply think about; meditate upon, the truth about God contained in the Bible’s pages. I completely agree with him and find it one of the best ways for me to engage with God.
When Jesus says, “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength”, I think many of us tend towards some of these aspects of our nature and veer away from others. Some are naturally more inclined to loving God with the mind, however most, I think, are not.
I am convinced however that a discipleship of the mind can lead us to a confident and assured faith. Let me explain why:
Take the Sun for example. You see it ‘rise’ every morning and ‘set’ every evening. Apart from being scientifically inaccurate terminologically (of course it doesn’t rise, but the earth rotates), the truth of these statements are un-challengeable. Why are these statements un-challengeable? Because we have (a) experiential proof and (b) scientific knowledge of these events. We experience it every day. And we are taught about it in school based on scientific discovery. I think many of us have experienced God personally, and that’s why we begin believing. But many of us stop there. I genuinely believe that if you began to get some knowledge of who God is, what He is like, and how He acts in this world, your faith would be a bolder, stronger and more resilient one.
For, just as we trust the Sun to ‘rise’, because of its nature and characteristics (and more precisely Earth’s characteristics), we can also trust …
God to heal, because He is revealed to us in Scripture to be our healer.
God to provide, because He is revealed to us in Scripture as our provider.
God to comfort, because He is revealed to us in Scripture to be our comforter.
God to save, because He is revealed to us in Scripture to be our saviour.
The list of course goes on. But the benefit of getting to know God, and getting to know about God, is that, even when circumstances may look like they aren’t working out, you can trust what you know because you’ve spent timethinking on God.
I want to challenge you today to not just read Scripture, but to really think about what you read. How does what you’ve learned about God impact your day to day life? Perhaps write it down, or tell someone about it and I believe you’ll begin to enter into a richer, deeper experience of God than you ever have before.