I don’t have a T.V. in my house, but I stayed in a hotel room for the last couple of nights that did have a T.V. I didn’t spend very much time watching it, and when I did turn it on I watched something on TLC or a Disney movie. But even that small amount of time in front of the T.V. had an affect on my being. I just felt dirty. Not dirty in the sense of doing something overtly sinful or disgusting, just…cloudy and far away from God. Almost like when you wash your hands with really soft water, and you can’t quite get all of the soap off and are left with some sort of gross film on your skin. I left Tulsa with crafty, Kung Fu Panda film on my being and I needed a way to get it off.
This is where the Bible comes in. Usually when I’m in this condition, the last thing I want to do is read the Bible because I’m afraid to come to God in His word. I already feel so far away from Him and I don’t know how to come back. Sometimes I think that if I study the Bible really really hard and memorize lots of things and get super awesome at spouting off verses after I’ve read a chapter or two i’ll feel better about myself. Like I’m a good Christian again. But actually, making me feel like a “good” Christian isn’t a function of the word.
There’s a wonderful illustration in a book called Crucial Principles for the Christian Life and the Church Life:
“In Shanghai a sister once said to Brother Watchman Nee, ‘I read the Bible diligently, but after many times of reading, it seems that nothing remains within me. I forget everything that I read. Since I cannot remember what I read, is it still necessary for me to read?’ Brother Nee answered her by using the following illustration. In the countryside in China the women wash rice in baskets made of willow branches. These baskets serve as strainers. The women fill the basket of rice with water, and all the water passes through the rice and the basket. Regardless of how much water they add to the basket, eventually not one drop will stay in the basket. The water simply comes and goes, passing through, and no water remains. Brother Nee pointed out that after water passes through the basket many times, both the rice and the basket are washed. Brother Nee said that we are like the basket. We need to allow the water of the word to pass through us again and again. Perhaps nothing of the word will remain, but neither will any dirt remain. If for one week we come to the Word for at least ten minutes each morning and allow the water of the word to pass through our being, we will be made clean. However, if no water of the word comes and goes in our being, after one week we will be quite dirty. Whether or not we come to the Word makes a real difference in our Christian life.”
This is so good. I just need to be simple and come to the Bible in a simple way. I don’t have to do anything. The rice doesn’t do anything. It just gets in the basket and lets the water pass over it again and again and again.
Oh Lord! Make me a person who comes to Your word again and again! Several times a day! Lord I need to be washed from so many things! Thank You for Your living word that cleanses me!