Monday, December 5, 2011

Suitably Affected

I’ve often heard pastors and teachers of the Word say that a common challenge for them as they read the Bible is to simply read and receive for themselves without seeing a sermon. Well, I'm not a pastor or a teacher but I’ve gotten a taste of that when it comes to my reading and blogging. I can’t tell you how many times I see a potential blog post while doing my devotions and have to make an effort to put that idea to the side in order to receive for myself.

Let me share with you what happened to me a few days ago. I was reading Psalm 1, camped out in the first few verses...
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night. Psalm 1:1-2

I began to think a little deeper about the whole idea of delighting and meditating on the law (the Word of God). Then I looked up the verse in Matthew Henry’s Commentary (I have my Grandma’s – in roman numerals!). Regarding Psalm 1:2, he first wrote… “All who are well pleased that there is a God must be well pleased that there is a Bible, a revelation of God, of his will, and of the only way to happiness in him.” I loved that quote. But what really got me was this…

“To meditate in God’s Word is to discourse with ourselves concerning the great things contained in it,
with a close application of mind, a fixedness of thought,
till we be suitably affected with those things
and experience the savour and power of them in our hearts.”

That hit me so hard. Suitably affected. I saw that and a light bulb turned on in my head. I already had an entire blog post written in my mind about meditating on the Word of God. But apparently it hadn’t hit me hard enough because I felt this voice inside ask, “But are YOU suitably affected?” Ouch. The answer, in all truthfulness was no. I hadn’t taken all that much time to really chew on that verse before I was ready to go and write about it. Then I heard that same voice say, “Then don’t blog about it until you are.”

I’d put time aside to write that evening but I knew the Holy Spirit was telling me to forget about writing and spend more time with Him doing exactly what Psalm 1:2 says... delight in the Word and meditate on it. I did and of course, I was blessed … just like the Bible says I would be. It would have been so easy to read my Word and pray that evening and then go about my business but I am so thankful that I had that extended time. Nothing compares to
being in His presence.

One of the greatest joys of my life is to be able to encourage someone from the Word. I love to write and point others to Jesus. But the greater joy needs to be the Word itself. I thank God that He was quick to let me know about myself the minute it wasn’t and bring me back on track.

My pastor has been doing a sermon series on the armor of God and yesterday’s message was on the sword of the Spirit. Interestingly enough, he referenced Psalm 1:2 about delighting in the law of the Lord. My lesson from God about being suitably affected was still fresh on my mind. It made my heart glad to hear it again. Another wonderful reminder about the importance of loving the Word, meditating on the Word and properly using the Word.

I am so glad that I took the extra time last week to sit with the Lord and be suitably affected by the Word. It made those verses – verses I’ve heard my entire life – mean so much more to me. It made yesterday’s sermon mean so much more. And it made writing this post mean so much more.

“To meditate in God’s Word is to discourse with ourselves concerning the great things contained in it,
with a close application of mind, a fixedness of thought,
till we be suitably affected with those things
 and experience the savour and power of them in our hearts.”
– Matthew Henry

I am praying that this truth would always be alive in us each and every day so that we would never miss out on experiencing the savour and power of the Word of God in our hearts. There is nothing greater.

Be encouraged. Be strengthened. And be suitably affected.


Fawn said...

I can relate. So many times when I'm reading the Word, I'll see pictures in my mind of who I think that passage applies to and the Holy Spirit will tap me on the shoulder and say, "Hey you. Yes, you. This is for you too." Thank God for His small still voice that will always lead and guide us.

Monique Zackery said...

This totally spoke to me! I can really relate. I've been having to let the Lord quiet me in moments of wanting to rush toward a blog post too. God wants to teach me and and 'suitably affect' me before I go off and try to minister to others. I'm working on a list of questions to ask myself before publishing each post. Some of which are: Did I pray about this? Is this in line with God's Word? Does this point people to Jesus? Maybe a good addition would be: How is this truth active in my own life?... stopping to ask before I post is helping me to spend more time with Jesus before I publish things. I'm also working on deciding how often I blog. Many people blog daily. But I also love blogs that only post weekly, and are filled with incredible things, because they spent time with Jesus all week (ex: Katie Davis @ Kisses From Katie). Maybe I'll lean toward quality, not quantity. :) Some people can do both! But I'm just not that deep every day. hehe. Thanks again for sharing this post.

Jennifer Roth said...

Thanks for sharing, Fawn! I am also thankful for that still small voice that leads and guides.

Jennifer Roth said...

Monique, I am so with you. I've been asking myself similar questions lately. Quality over quantity is so much better. I don't want to post something for the sake of posting something. But I've been praying for wisdom in my writing because it is something I know God has called me to do. I trust He will lead us both. Thanks for stopping by again. :)

Betty said...

Fawn, it's an age old trap we fall into of not being able to righly divide the word of God...and it does take time. I like the phrase suitable affect and love the list of question Monique is coming up with to use before she post. The simple truth of quality before quanty works every time. Even to admit oneself is not that deep every day show maturity. Maybe thats why I have never been compelled to write for money...besides I am totally aware of my lack in writing. I still want it to be straight from Him through me to others.

Jennifer Roth said...

Hi Betty! Thanks for stopping by and sharing. I went to visit your blog and I have to tell you, I see no lack in your writing quality. I was incredibly blessed and would love to learn more about your missionary experiences! I'll be stopping there again soon. Be encouraged, your words are most definitely straight from Him! :)

Alison said...

Yes! I want to be suitably affected. The Word is there to build us up and change us from glory to glory. I think that's what "suitably affected" looks like!

Jennifer Roth said...

Amen, Alison! The Word of God is so amazing. Nothing compares to the way God meets us through His Word when we allow ourselves to sit and be "suitably affected." Thanks for your comment!

P.S. - My Mom spells her name the same way - with 1 L. :)