“When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight…” (Jer. 15:16, NIV).
Have you discovered the delight to be found in the words that flow from God’s heart?
It’s okay if you haven’t yet. We all go through seasons when reading the Bible can feel like drudgery. I was just talking to my thirteen-year-old son about this the other day. He was transparently sharing that his attempts at keeping up a devotional habit were feeling empty. I assured him that he is not alone. This is a normal part of spiritual development.
I also assured him that if he keeps at it, he is going to come into some deep, deep treasures. Treasures worth giving up everything else to obtain them. Treasures worth the sacrifices of pushing through the dry seasons.
Jeremiah discovered this reality. He pushed through the difficult places. In doing so, he grew up in God to the point where His words had become his “joy and heart’s delight.” This is not just poetic. It’s not just a carrot swinging in front of our nose to keep us pulling the proverbial cart of spiritual duty. It’s a real place that we can get to, if we don’t give up.
I will share with you from experience, if you push through, that carrot is going to be yours. God cannot lie. He is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. You will be rewarded with more and more of Him. This is the way He has set up reality.
To keep us from becoming discouraged on our quest, there’s something we need to remember. Even Jesus went through a dry season. He survived forty days in the desert with no food. How did He do that? How did He make it through the buffeting of temptation that tried to take Him out, at His weakest point? He came through victorious because He deeply understood this truth: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4, NKJV).
I want to encourage you today, whether or not you feel anything when you read the Bible, it is nourishing you. It is strengthening you. It is feeding your spirit. It is making you more alive than you ever were before.
And it will never, ever “get old.” Even if you read the same verse ten thousand times, you still need to read it again. Slowly and carefully. Those words are not just black marks on a page. They are not just printed syllables. They are living. They are Spirit. They are life. They are eternity.
What do I mean by that? Think about it. As we learn from the first chapter of John, Jesus is the Word. He is God’s communication to us. The more we dive into the communication that flows to us from God’s heart, the deeper we go into the depths of Jesus.
Every word that proceeds from the mouth of God is alive. We don’t want to let even the tiniest nuance slip by us, unnoticed. So we read hungrily, eagerly. We want to be like Jeremiah and eat God’s words when they come. Devour them. Masticate them so thoroughly that we get every possible bit of nourishment out of them.
Jesus, the Living Word, is infinite. How, then, can you fit infinity into a single human word? Take this verse for example: “God is love” (1 John 4:8). How much meaning is in this verse? An infinite amount! Imagine these three words manifested as a body of water. If you saw it from afar, you might think it was a small pool, maybe even a puddle. But as you get closer and then step into it, you realize that it’s an exquisite, breathtaking well with no bottom. You dive in deep, and realize that it literally has no end. Without exaggeration, you will need the entire rest of your earthly life to delve into all of its depths, and that won’t be nearly enough. Go ahead and acknowledge it: you will need all of eternity to continue to explore this glorious, life giving water.
That’s how every verse is, from Genesis to Revelation. In truth, everything in the Bible seems understated. This is because human language, on its own, is not adequate to express the fullness of God. As we study the Scriptures, we need His Spirit to breathe on His logos (written word), filling our spirits to overflowing with His revelation.
Holy Spirit pours Himself into our spirits as we engage with the Bible. Far surpassing what any descriptive adjective or adverb could do for us, He envelopes us in His unending ocean of living water. We begin to discover that every word, every verse, every phrase, has infinite depths awaiting further exploration, experience, and discovery.
If you have not yet encountered this stage of exquisite delight, you will, if you don’t give up. Never tire of diving deeper, and deeper, and deeper into what He will reveal to you as you thirst for more of Him!
Is there a particular Scripture that Holy Spirit has been bringing you back to again and again, taking you deeper into the depths of its truth? If so, which one?