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In Luke 8:16 Jesus warned us to be careful how we hear. This is a rather stunning warning against only catching the surface meaning of what He has to say to you.

“Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.”

Luke 8:18

I am not sure I have anything to say to those of you who are satisfied with whatever depth of spiritual truth that you have. But for those of you who hunger grow deeper spiritually I think I have some encouragement. Let me share with you four principles for hearing the voice of God better in Scripture. 

  • Read it slowly.

Everything I learned about reading in my younger days encouraged speed. That is wonderful training for many things in life. It is even a good thing for reading through the Bible, say in a year. But slowly reading God's word may be something every Christian should learn to practice. James 1:21 calls us to,"receive the implanted word of God." We need the Holy Spirit to plant His word deep in our hearts and minds.

  • Memorize it.

Many of us have memorized Scripture verses from time to time. Most of us would admit that memorizing Scripture is a healthy practice. Last year I began memorizing in a way that I never have before. I read the same chapter of the Bible everyday for a week. And each day I commit a segment of the chapter to memory. It takes me a little over a week to memorize some chapters, others a little less. They generally balance out. I am amazed at the nearness to God that I sense while memorizing larger segments of His word. Of course, this whole process has to be bathed in prayer. As I pray for God to help me memorize, I also pray to see deeper into what He is teaching me.

  • Review it.

Anyone who has memorized Scripture knows that you have to review it, to really have it memorized. I find this need greater with whole chapters. I review these chapters every day for about three weeks. Still, I could not quote most of these passages without reviewing them again. To memorize them I have to read each verse over and over again. I usually have to do the same in reviewing them. This becomes meditation which gives me deeper and deeper insights into God's word.

  • Submit to it.

For God to plant His word deep in our lives, we need to submit our hearts to it. There are two facets to this. The first is general. I have to yield to the over all authority of God's word. I have to surrender to the understanding that God knows better than I. God has a better grip on reality than my theological system, than my culture, than my limited experience. Have you ever heard something from Scripture, and said, "I don't believe that!"? You need to approach Scripture with the attitude that God is right.

You also need to come to each passage with an attitude of submission to what God presses on you that day. I quoted earlier from James 1:21. That verse continues, "receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls."



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