This years study with Bible Study Fellowship has been a struggle for me. I feel like I’m barely making it across the finish line. When I look back over the past year…in an attempt to figure out why this year was different…I see a lot of factors that influenced me. But if the truth be told…I may be using them as an excuse for something else…something from within me. That’s why my bedtime prayer will be asking God to help me clearly see and understand what within me held me back and caused me to struggle. To keep me from a full, no holds barred commitment to studying God’s word. More than that…to make a change…so that in the fall I’ll be on track as we study Matthew. To be obedient…even when my feelings haven’t caught up with my will.
I’ve loved BSF for years…I love the discipline of it. In fact…it spoils me for other Bible studies. I love the combination of studying, sharing, reading and lecture in our concentrated study of the Bible. But this year…not all my cylinders were firing. At times I found it all too easy to have a critical eye. I wonder how much I focused on what was wrong with something or someone else rather than examining the attitude of my heart. Has my love for Jesus waxed cold? Is it because I had my eyes on my circumstances and not my Lord?
In some respects…I think I’ve tried to get through very difficult and challenging circumstances based on my own power, will and might…rather than trusting in God and looking to Him and His word to see me through. Trusting God even when He allows painful circumstances in my life. I think that whole thing comes down trusting God. Instead…the Bible counsels me to lean not on my own understanding…in all my ways acknowledge Him and He will direct my path.
That may mean…it’s a path I didn’t want to walk down it. But I think I’m finding out…better to be on a path not of my own choosing…if Jesus is with me…than to be on my path solo.
I’ll tell you what…I don’t ever, ever want to have another wishy washy lackluster year of Bible study again.