“Anything we read in the scripture is an invitation for us to experience.” ~Bill Johnson, Bethel Church
Now there’s something to think about on a Monday. How do we come to the Bible? Are we looking for information about God, or an encounter with God? When we say the book is inspired, do we mean that the Holy Spirit breathed upon those who wrote it, or do we mean that the Holy Spirit wants to breathe on those who read it now? Correct answer: “Both.”
I was sitting around the office Friday with a friend, talking about reading the Bible for the first time. Do you remember what that was like for you? Do you remember thinking, “Man, that’s crazy! I wonder if that stuff could happen to me?” As we talked about our first encounters with God’s word, my friend commented, “I think we have to be trained not to believe the stuff we read.”
This was John Wimber’s experience (Wimber was the founder of the Vineyard movement). In his testimony he describes how God delivered him from a self-centered life of drugs and alcohol. He describes how the Bible was fresh and alive. Then he tells the story of going to church and seeing the distance between Christianity described in the New Testament and Christianity in the modern church. So Wimber cornered the pastor one day and asked, “When do we get to do the stuff?”
“What stuff?” the pastor asked.
“You know, the stuff in the Bible. When do we get to heal the sick and all the other stuff I read about?" The pastor explained to John that “stuff” like that doesn’t happen any more—at least not to normal Christians.
And so began the process of training a new convert into not believing, or experiencing, the stuff in the Bible. So for a new Monday, consider: what have I read in the scripture that's an invitation for me to experience? How would that change my life?