Frequently when I am training Sunday school teachers I tell the following story:
A professor was teaching at school and one of his students asked the question, why does the Scripture (Deut. 6,6) tell us to write God’s word on, instead of in their hearts. The professor said it is not given to us as God’s vehicles to put His word into a person’s heart. We simply lay it across their hearts and when the heart breaks it falls into the soul.
I was thinking about this in regards to the individual Christian and their walk with the Lord. I listen to the Scriptures for 35 minutes each day as I run on the treadmill. It has become a part of my daily routine. But it has also become the line by line, precept by precept, that is laid across my heart. I believe my soul is strengthened, healed and nourished by the Word even as my body is conditioned by the running.
But the second part of this story, I had always thought of in conjunction with a camp, conference or revival spiritual experience. Now I tend to think God’s word flows into the nooks and crannies of our soul best when we act on God’s mission for our lives. In my work with the Burmese, I try to respond to apparent needs and find the power, protection and strength of God’s Word, right there, as I have need.
Three years ago, prior to our ministry with the Burmese, Kay and I prepared to go on a short-term mission trip to Zambia. While making arrangements for the trip, one day I was traveling past the intersection of Main and Westchester streets and encountered a blind man walking down the middle of this the busiest road in High Point. I stopped my car, flagged down the traffic, went out in the road to him and spent the next few hours helping him home to Greensboro. It seems he had caught a bus to High Point from Greensboro, lost his wallet and was trying to make his way home. This was probably one of the first times I distinctly remember moving “at the impulse of His Love” and it was just as important as our later trip to Zambia. But knowing how to hear and act on God’s word is dependent on our saturation with the Scripture and our listening to God’s voice.