NCC 42 – How is the Word of God to be Read and Heard?

The following is an excerpt from The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives by Dallas Willard.

“In the spiritual discipline of study we engage ourselves, above all, with the written and spoken Word of God…In study we also strive to see the Word of God at work in the lives of [ourselves], others, in the church, in history, and in nature. We not only read and hear and inquire, but we meditate on what comes before us; that is, we withdraw into silence where we prayerfully and steadily focus upon it. In this way its meaning for us can emerge and form us as God works in the depths of our heart, mind, and soul. We devote long periods of time to this. Our prayer as we study meditatively is always that God would meet with us and speak specifically to us, for ultimately the Word of God is God speaking.

Does that sound like a scholarly pursuit? Actually, study isn’t necessarily that at all. It does, however, involve giving much time on a regular basis to meditation upon those parts of the Bible that are more meaningful for our spiritual life, together with constant reading of the Bible as a whole. We should also make every effort to sit regularly under the ministry of gifted teachers who can lead us deeply into the Word and make us increasingly capable of fruitful study on our own.”

With diligence, preparation, and prayer; so that we may accept it with faith, store it in our hearts, and practice it in our lives.

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