It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a journaling Bible entry with you friends. Truthfully, I fell out of daily scripture reading for awhile there. As someone who is always trying to work towards becoming a mature Christian, it was discouraging and I knew it was something I needed to make a priority again. It wasn’t until I was sitting in a sermon at church when our pastor talked about how there are people who say the love God, but won’t open their Bible to read His book that I realized how not being in scripture daily was affecting me. I looked down at nails that were being pulled away from the skin underneath, a nervous habit I do when I have anxiety, and I saw physical results of what falling away from my personal relationship with Jesus had on me. I know this all sounds very dramatic, but for me, not being in my Bible isn’t really an option. I know how it affects my mind and how it leads me astray. Daily Bible studying is important; especially so for me.
Thankfully, the Lord answered my prayers to help refresh my mind towards him and I have jumped back into my daily study which also inspires my journaling. They go hand in hand, which meant that if I wasn’t reading I wasn’t journaling. I’ve been following the daily prompts for scripture writing passages from Middle Places. I love that little community and it’s been helpful for getting me motivated and back into the Word. Earlier this week, the scripture writing was for Psalm 78 32-38 and as I wrote, I was thinking about a friend’s current struggle. Jacob and I have been praying daily about this friend and this person has been heavy on my mind. When I read the verses, I had one of those moments where words jump off of the page at you with neon lights and arrow signs.
32 In spite of all this, they kept on sinning;
in spite of his wonders, they did not believe.
33 So he ended their days in futility
and their years in terror.
34 Whenever God slew them, they would seek him;
they eagerly turned to him again.
35 They remembered that God was their Rock,
that God Most High was their Redeemer.
36 But then they would flatter him with their mouths,
lying to him with their tongues;
37 their hearts were not loyal to him,
they were not faithful to his covenant.
38 Yet he was merciful;
he forgave their iniquities
and did not destroy them.
Time after time he restrained his anger
and did not stir up his full wrath.
Verse 37 beamed it’s neon off of the page at me. And you guys, I had this realization: how can we ever ask for loyalty from people around us…how can we expect to be able to give loyalty to those close to us…if we aren’t first loyal to Him? It took my friend’s current struggle for me to read this passage in this light, and while I am heartbroken for my friend, I am amazed at how God worked through my empathy for the situation to make these neon lights jump off of the page.
Coming to the realization that my loyalty to God speaks on my loyalty to those in my life was a hard pill to swallow. It made me examine how my relationships were effected when I’m not in an obedient relationship with Christ; making excuse after excuse for myself and pointing fingers at everyone around me. But it also showed me the goodness I can share when I reflect God’s love and loyalty to those around me when I am in reverence of Him.