Thursday, March 12, 2009

Why I am fasting from Christian culture right now

I mentioned in an earlier post this week how Christian books, blogs, etc. (what I consider to be "Christian culture") can hinder us hearing from the Lord. There is no substitute for Scripture. I'm so guilty of filling up my bookshelf with books and materials on "being a Godly wife" or "how to" books. I order the CDs from the home school conference. These things are not wrong--but they definitely have their place AND time. I realize, too, that I probably seem to be contradicting myself by posting ideas on my "Christian" blog. I would like to say that any Christian books, websites, etc. should not take the place of a true, living, relationship with the Lord. Scripture should not replace a book. It really is as simple as that. Anything else we read should compliment our relationship with the Lord, not replace it. Oswald Chambers wrote:

All God's revelations are sealed
until they are opened to us by obedience.
You will never get them open
by philosophy or thinking.
Immediately you obey, a flash of light comes.
Let God's truth work in you
by soaking in it not by worrying into it.
The only way you can get to know
is to stop trying to find out
and by being born again.
Obey God in the thing He shows you,
and instantly the next thing is opened up.
One reads tomes on the work of the Holy Spirit,
when five minutes of drastic obedience
would make things as clear as a sunbeam.
It is not study that does it, but obedience.
The tiniest fragment of obedience,
and heaven opens and the profoundest
truths of God are yours straight away.
God will never reveal what you know already.
Beware of becoming "wise and learned".

I used to know a pastor when I lived in Utah who would ask whenever he would see you: "What book in the Bible are you reading right now?" What a great question for accountability!! Most of the time I stammered..uh, uh. But it did make me go home and start reading!! So, friends...
"What book in the Bible are you reading right now?"
Seriously, I'd love to know! I am reading James now, as well as some of the Psalms--Psalm 16 and Psalm 23 to be exact.


Alegra said...

Great Post Andrea, it reminds me about what I have recently heard from church. So many of us are satisfied with second-hand experience of God. A lot of times we hear just enough God talk on Sunday that we don't need to experience Him on our own. Experiencing God can happen in numerous ways, but the Word has so much to offer us, a personal way to find ourselves in Him. So right now I am in a discipleship class and we just finished studying The Torah and now I am getting ready to dive into JOSHUA.

TAMI said...

I do one of those reading plans where you read from four different books at a time, so I'm kind of "all over." However, I'm studying Isaiah and memorizing Chapter 55.

I love Oswald's straight at you writing - sometimes just the "kick in the butt" I need. Nevertheless, Scripture is living & active and watched over by God, so that's the main part of my feast.

Joy said...

I'm reading 1 John, and Psalm 90 and Psalm 30- memorizing the first chapters of 1 John.

I can really relate to what you wrote- I think it's a matter of discernment too. We should have the firm foundation in the scripture so that our "alarms" are working properly when we do read something (whether in Christian media or not) errant or misleading.

Aimee said...

yes, like I have blogged on many times before..."beware of the VOICES"...those book voices and conference voices get LOUD and DEMANDING and CONTRADICTORY!!! It's so so so so so so so so so healthy to take fasts (LONG ONES!) from Christian living mind and spirit were the most set free when I left that all behind. I became a much more peaceful, grace-filled, joyous person :)

Brenda said...

I'm reading Luke b/c our preacher is preaching his way through Luke this year.

I'm reading Acts b/c that's what we are studying on Wednesday nights.

I'm reading Daniel b/c that's what my daughter is doing in Bible time in school. AND we are studying Daniel in our Friday night Bible study.

I'm reading Ephesians b/c that's what husband is teaching in our Sunday night Bible study.

And yes...I do get confused! :)

laurel said...

We are working through a Tim Keller study of Galatians in our young couple bible study, so most of my time is spent in Galatians right now. I admit, my quiet time is struggling, and I am just kind of skipping around, not really getting much out of it:::sigh:::

Prairie Chick said...

I split the bible up into seven segments and read one chapter from each segment each week. So on Monday I am in Exodus (20), Tuesdays I'm in 1 Samuel (21)
Wednesdays I'm in 1 Chronicles (22)Thursdays I'm in Psalms (28)
Friday I am in Jeremiah (4)
Saturday I am in John (2)
Sunday I am in Phillians (3)

and no, I don't find it confusing. I always remember last weeks reading from that book when I come back round to it, and it gives me time to really meditate and see how the bible ties themes together. I love it. I have a blog that is solely for journaling my thoughts from the word.

Jerusha said...

Wonderful post. I once knew someone who would not read anything except the Word of God, he had amazing amounts of Scripture memorized.

I'm reading: Just started Psalms again (which I go through over and over), Acts (as I go through the NT narratives), 1 Samuel (at I work through the OT), & I'm memorizing Philippians (currently still in Chapter 1).

Monica said...

Ah, this speaks to my heart.

I'm reading/studying Habakkuk, Acts and Exodus. I'm reading John to the kids at lunchtime and asking them questions which has been quite revealing.

I just purged our bookshelf this week of some "Christian" books that make no sense now that I've read the Bible more. I had forgotten about these and was surprised some of them were still hanging around.

I've often appreciated reading book reviews. Often our pastor will read a Christian book or book that is popular because it is "spiritual" in order to give the congregation a Biblical response. I have really benefited from this.

Katherine said...

This is a fantastic post- I am (kind of reading) Daniel. I started it & then put it down- now I'll need to pick it back up! :)

Janel said...

Good thoughts and I love your former pastor's question! Good for small talk... or conversation stopper! ;)

As a family we're in 2 Samuel reading about the later life of David. Generally I tend to read where I'm studying at the time. Yesterday it was Joshua crossing the Jordan.

A Mac and a Mug O' Joe said...

Thank you! A wonderful post that I needed to read. We are reading Psalms for our morning devotions before school begins.

Anonymous said...

I have been convicted that no book will give me the answers I need and seek, but prayer will. Having said that, I still want to learn about love languages, being a godly wife, etc. from authors we admire.

BUT, for now, I need to be in God's word more than in books.

I am loving and am amazed by James. We are memorizing lots of the beginning of Chapter 3. Funny, it has to do with *what wisdom is*

We read the Proverb of the day most days (half because it's so rich...much to chew on).

I'm learning about Jesus' life by reading to my boys from the story bible (I know, it's paraphrased but sound).

from James 3:
17But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Mary Brooke

Christine said...

I am one also who loves a good spiritual book. And you're right, they certainly have their place and can lead us to wonderful faith-filled places, but can never replace scripture! I have been meditating on fewer verses lately, ones chosen out of my daily readings of the books of John and Psalms, and find it to be so centering. My breath prayer lately has been from the words of John the Baptist, "He must increase, I must decrease". Powerful stuff!

I am praying for you! Hope you're feeling well these days.

(Oh, and I am also daily reading the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds with the day of the month!)

Denise said...

I'm reading Hebrews. My thoughts on all the Christian lit is particularly related to marriage books. A friend and I debated the worth of these books and came to the conclusion that they can create several more problems than they solve, or at least create an equal number of any they solve. You know, the whole idea of reading about your needs vs. his needs and all of the sudden you have needs you never knew you had and coincidentally, they are needs your husbands isn't meeting.

Miriam said...

It *is* a good question! I just got done with Phillipians and am starting in on Colosians.

lorraine uk said...

am reading mark at the moment.Its a christianity explored course im on. I thought i was a christian (brought up catholic). But i am discovering Jesus like i never ahve before. I am feeling the Holy Spirit within me. Am really enjoying your blog, it helps me in my discovery of Jesus.

Ann Kroeker said...

Great message, great reminder, and a great word from Oswald, keeping it simple and real.

I'm reading in Numbers & Mark, per the One-Year Bible. But I'm behind a few days.

Sandi said...

What a great quote. One that's needs re-reading regularly.

I'm reading 1 Thessalonians.

Anonymous said...

I'm reading in John right now.

I had similar thoughts the other day as I walked through a Christian bookstore thinking, "there's nothing here I need. I need God. I need His word. I need to access it."