Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Some people read the Bible every day. I don’t do that.

Generally, I’ve found that imposing a sweeping blanket rule on the future, regardless of variables, is to make a decision without being in posession of more facts. There may be days when you actually don’t have the time. “Oh but you should always make time” people may protest. Sure – but there’s a difference between making time for reading the Bible, and making time for reading the Bible every single day regardless of what God may have planned instead. That, believe it or not, might just qualify as a form of idolatry.

When I was a teenager, I used to begin each day with a single-sentence prayer. Over the years I added so much onto it, that it became about 20 minutes long. I just couldn’t focus on the day at hand until it was out of the way. And it had become a major hassle that I didn’t want to do. But I had to get it out of the way before bedtime, because then I had my evening prayer I had to say, about many of the same things. Talk about OCD.

Today my prayers are generally quite short, but numerous. I rarely do anything without praying something beforehand. God seems to provide longer opportunities for longer prayers. I’m really quite bored of those – I rarely have anything new to say, and have always avoided calling how I feel “listening to God”.

It follows that I should now say what I do call “listening to God”, but again I’m wary of breaking that down into one set-in-stone method that God always follows. That would be turning God into a mere science. I guess I’m saying I’ve found that I have to be open to his holy spirit, and his lessons, by whatever methods, at all times.

For that sort of reason, reading the Bible is something that I only do on most days.

Guidelines September-December 2004
A year or so ago I got a new Bible-notes book – Guidelines – at a discount from Bogdan at the Christian Resources Centre on Queen Street. I found it pretty heavy-going at first, and gave it up for a while to try other books, but presently I came back to it and finished it today.

Like Doctor Who, I think part of its success is in the range of different authors who write for it. If one writer’s philosophy or style is not convincing me, there’ll always be another one along in a few weeks. It’s also great to simply get other viewpoints on familiar texts.

Again, I like to look up and check all the cross-references, which will keep me busy with some authors, but not with others.

Looking back, I’ve underlined a few bits. On page 98 Jeremy Duff says The proof of the pudding is in the eating: to whom we are slaves is demonstrated, in reality, by what we do.

Raises some interesting questions about those long-winded prayers I used to say, and my continued refusal to refer to a mere feeling of rightness as God.

So am I putting that opinion - my opinion - in front of God?


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