Friday, October 7, 2011

Day 27 - Spiritual Formation

Read James 1:22-25

One of the best things we can do to shape our lives and become fully alive is to spend regular time in the presence of Jesus by reading and listening to his teachings. But reading the Bible is different than just reading a text book or a novel. The Bible is the story of God and humanity and how we are to relate to God, live, find and experience full life. Because of this it needs to be read “formationally” rather than simply “informationally.” This difference affects how and why we read the Bible. Either we read the Bible, join a life group Bible study, or attend a weekend service to learn more or we do these activities to be changed.  

In informational learning we:
Cover as much as possible
Read line after line
Have a goal to master the text
Treat the text as an object
Read analytically
Solve problems

In formational learning we:

Cover what we need to
Read for depth, perhaps only one word
have a goal of being changed by the text
Treat ourselves as objects of the text
Read receptively
Are open to mystery

(Robert Mulholland, Shaped by the Word, 49-63)

 Formational learning pushes us away from the process of simply “knowing information” to the transformation of “becoming.” Fully alive Christ-followers become alive when they allow what they know about God, that is, what it means to become fully alive, to become who they are. 

Q  How is His Word changing you?

Q  How can we intently follow through on what God speaks to us in His Word?

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