The book of Ephesians describes the goldmine of knowing God. It talks about “the riches of His grace” abounding toward us, “the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,” “the exceeding riches of His grace,” and “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (1:7, 18; 2:7; 3:8).
We’re not rich just because of God’s blessings; we’re rich because of God Himself. He is our eternal treasure and our exceeding great reward. Shouldn’t we have a holy craving for Him? Shouldn’t our yearning for the Lord be greater than any earthly longing?
How, then, can we mine the depths of His grace? Here are four nuggets to whet your “God Fever.”
Prayers of Affirmation
First, offer prayers of affirmation, rededicating yourself to the Lord every day, telling Him of your love for Him and asking Him for a deeper relationship and a closer walk. Psalm 27 says, When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, will I seek.”
We seek the Lord best during our times of prayer, and we find Him easiest on our knees. When we grow deeper in our praying, we grow richer in our Lord.
Hymns of Aspiration
We also need to consider the goldmine of our hymnals and rediscover the joy of singing and making melody in our hearts to the Lord. A good example is the old song, “Higher Ground,” which says:
I’m pressing on the upward way,
New heights I’m gaining every day;
Still praying as I’m onward bound,
Lord plant my feet on higher ground.
I think it’s a good idea for every believer to have a hymnbook near at hand. Nothing enriches one’s personal devotional time like singing a hymn quietly in the Lord’s presence—it helps us express the desire of our hearts to grow closer to Him.
Words of Contemplation
We can also find some rich nuggets in the writings of the great devotional writers of Christian history. I read a lot of new books on current subjects, but I like to return to the classics, too—those works that have stood the test of time. It’s a good idea to find a quiet spot every once in a while, order a cup of tea, and feed from the wisdom of the saints of past eras, for they knew something about pressing through to the higher life. Need some suggestions? Try John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, the sermons of Charles Spurgeon, The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret, the prayer books of E. M. Bounds, and a bevy of old devotional books like Streams in the Desert and Daily Strength for Daily Needs.
Times of Meditation
Nothing, however, compares to the direct practice of meditating on Scripture. The Psalmist wrote, “The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of coins of gold . . . More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold . . . I love Your commands more than gold, yes, than fine gold!” (Psalm 119:72; 19:9; 119:27). Every verse in the Bible is a glittering nugget, and when we meditate on the Word, it’s like storing up gold in the treasuries of our hearts.
When missionary Geoffrey Bull was imprisoned by Chinese Communists, they took his Bible and subjected him to mental and psychological torture. He later said that one thing kept him from losing his mind. Though he had no Scriptures, he had studied the Bible all his life. So he began systematically reviewing the Word in his mind. It took him about six months to go all the way through the Bible mentally. Then he started over again. He later wrote, “The strength received through this meditation was, I believe, a vital factor in bringing me through, kept by the faith to the very end.”
Nothing is more advantageous in our Christian growth than the consistent, daily meditation on Scripture—not just reading it or studying it, but hiding it in our hearts, storing it in our minds, mulling over it, visualizing and personalizing it until it works its way into our daily lifestyle.
This year let’s go for the gold in our Christian lives. Don’t be content with where you are, but reach forward and press onward toward the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Dr. Jeremiah is the founder of Turning Point for God, and serves as Senior Pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California.
For more information about Turning Point, go to www.DavidJeremiah.org.
For a Christian to thrive in the current culture, it takes more than faith. It takes courage. Dr. David Jeremiah begins the series, Courage to Conquer, in order to help you grow in this important attribute-especially if you tend to react with fear to what’s happening in the world.