This post is mostly excerpts from a teaching by Mike Bickle.
It is not enough to study the Word, we must give our heart to God and receive from Him as we read it. Bible study must create an active dialogue in our heart with God. Scripture gives us the “conversational material” in our prayer life. It creates the language of our heart with God. Using the Word in our prayer language with God makes prayer easy and enjoyable. We must actually speak the Word back to God and against Satan’s attack on our lives. Many do not speak the Word back to God or against Satan (they only speak it to others). The power of God’s love touches us as we declare back it to God. We thank Him for the love that He declares over us.
We must put our relationship with God first, not work or ministry to others, not anything else, to be ready in the day of Christ’s return. Without intimacy with God, we’ll lack the fuel of God’s Spirit in ourselves and also being God’s vessel as each one is called to be like Christ to others.
Matthew 25: Parable of the Ten Virgins
The kingdom of heaven is like what happened one night when ten girls took their oil lamps and went to a wedding to meet the groom. Five of the girls were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps, but no extra oil. The ones who were wise took along extra oil for their lamps. …someone shouted, “Here’s the groom! Come to meet him!”
When the girls got up and started getting their lamps ready, the foolish ones said to the others, “Let us have some of your oil! Our lamps are going out.”
The girls who were wise answered, “There’s not enough oil for all of us! Go and buy some for yourselves.”
While the foolish girls were on their way to get some oil, the groom arrived. The girls who were ready went into the wedding, and the doors were closed. Later the other girls returned and shouted, “Sir, sir! Open the door for us!”
But the groom replied, “I don’t even know you!”
So, my disciples, always be ready! You don’t know the day or the time when all this will happen.
Mike later shares that to grow in relationship with Jesus we must:
- Spend time regularly and intentionally feeding on God’s Word and meditating on His truths (read the quote at the top of this post).
- Live it! We must be doers of the Word, not just hearers (James 1:22)
- Intentionally utilize God’s Word when faced with temptation – speak His truth and take all thoughts captive to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)
- Say “no” to things that hinder our relationship with God or keep us from cultivating intimacy with Him and living by the Spirit instead of the flesh. (Mark 8:34, 2 Corinthians 5:15, Colossians 3:1-2)
“Many ‘ministry lamps’ will go out because they will lack the spiritual vitality of the Spirit’s oil & will not be able to feed the heart of God’s people in the coming time pressures.”