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Devotion #1 – Wednesday, February 10

More Than A Manual – “Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart.” Deut 6:6
The Bible has often been described as an instruction manual for life, as if we are simply to read it and follow the directions. And for many, this approach is the beginning and end to God’s voice to them. God has given His commands, and we are to follow them. We read, then we do. It’s like assembling a piece of furniture; the instructions are printed on a page, and we follow them step by step. That’s how it’s supposed to work – if the Bible is the only an instruction manual.
The problem with that perspective is that God is intensely relational, and instruction manuals aren’t. God never intended His voice to be reduced to a reading list or a long distance letter or a business plan. Though we certainly receive His instructions through His Word, we also receive them through our hearts during the night (Psalm 16:7), through a voice speaking through our ears (Isaiah 30:21), and many other ways. Though part of our relationship with God is instructional, most of it goes deeper. It isn’t enough to merely follow instructions; our hearts have to be engaged (Deut. 28:47-48; Matt. 15:8). Jesus made it very clear that it’s possible to know the Word thoroughly yet not know God. (John 5:37-39 He tells the leaders who knew scripture, they had never heard God’s voice.) Reading His Word and hearing His voice are not necessarily the same thing.
Let Scripture be your entryway into a conversation with God this Lent but not the sum total of your communication. Hear His instructions, but let your relationship with Him go much deeper than that. Never let the Bible be reduced to a spiritual to-do list. Let it launch you into God’s presence!

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