Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sitting By

"And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by..."

Luke 5:17 (KJV)

Sunday afternoon I had opportunity to chat with a very dear friend. Easily, four months had passed since our last conversation, yet after only a few brief minutes of 'catch up' regarding our families, conversation turned to the sharing of God's Word and to truths we were currently applying in our lives. With my Bible open on my lap, she and I traced God's goodness and promises. We talked of the 'new Word' he had spoken into our hearts. We shared doubts and fears. There was no idle chatter. Eternal matters were the topic. Our hearts were burning within us to do more than listen, for living is our lot.

In the verse above we see the posture of passivity. The Pharisees were "sitting by" while Jesus was teaching. Matthew Henry writes, "How many are there in the midst of our assemblies, where the gospel is preached, that do not sit under the Word, but sit by! It is to them as a tale that is told them, not as a message that is sent them; they are willing that we should preach before them, but not that we should preach to them."

Beth Moore questions: "Can you recall a time when you attended a Bible study or church service that profoundly affected a few of the people you were with, while others in attendance were completely unmoved? Like the Pharisees and teachers of the law, sometimes the unaffected can be the most 'religious' people in the room. Could the difference be that they were sitting by rather than sitting under God's Word?"

In Beth's book, "Jesus the One and Only", she encourages the reader to sit under God's mercy instead of sitting by with a critical eye. She writes, "If you will actively engage yourself in every message you hear or read, you will never hear or read another ineffective message."

Where are you positioning yourself? It's not so much a physical location, but a spirit's surrender. Think of the foyer conversation you indulge in at the close of Sunday's sermons. Do your words reflect the passion of one who has longingly sat 'under' the revelation of God's Word or impatiently sat 'by', checking your watch to see the time, oblivious to the miraculous? Words are falling around you, but not within you. Don't be satisfied with less when God wants to give you more. Sitting by makes you an observer. Sitting under makes you a participant.

What Word has He revealed to you that requires action today? Don't be caught 'sitting by'. Do something!

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15 comments:

Sheryl said...

Thank you for that word from God. When I first became a Christian I had a wonderful friend who loved God and showed me how to be in relationship with Him. I can remember many times when we just sat with the Word on our laps, in our minds, permeating our hearts as we discussed what we were reading. I've had that a few other times but not as much any more. It is so difficult to find women who are really wanting to do that. When I read your words I had hope but also a request to our LORD for a similar friend.

Thanks!

Sheryl D

Cindy said...

These types of friendships which you speak of are so few and far between. It does seem that everybody has an agenda, a list, or a 'something' they must do. Few of us today take the time to really share what God is speaking in our hearts and into our lives.
I am so thankful for the moments I get a glimpse of God working in anothers life.
I appreciate the way you share the truths of God's word.
Blessings, Cindy

On Purpose said...

Hello Joy,

I just started a Beth Moore Bible study today...To Live is Christ...and she talks in the beginning about "being teachable" that we need to "want to learn"...I so want to know more of my Jesus!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Good thoughts. You can imagine how it goes in my home on Sundays when the sermon doesn't "measure up" according to elaine standards! Not pretty.

You've taught me well today.

peace~elaine

Joy in The Truth (Sharon Sloan) said...

Hi, Joy!

Congratulations on winning Holly's birthday poem party! I am so excited for you! In my heart, I was praying you would win!

Warm blessings!
Sharon :)

Kimberly said...

Wow! I was coming by to congratulate you on winning over at Lysa's, but I got so blessed! What a great post! My heart is very much to position myself to receive His Word and not to just "sit by". But I realize in order to do that, I need to make sure I allow Him to keep a heart check on me!

Thanks for reminding me to check my "posture"!
Blessings!!
K :)

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

I'm so excited for you that you won!! You did a GREAT job with that poem!! Congrats!!

Vern ~ Inspired said...

Ooh that was good...I soaked it in and appreciate your challenge.

Praise the Lord for your precious friend that shares that experience with you!

Be Inspired!

RefreshMom said...
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RefreshMom said...

How true! Your first paragraph really spoke to me though. We're newer to this area and I'm still working on building friendships here. I've found those that mean the most to me are like the one you mentioned, where there's a spiritual connection and the conversation turns easily to the things of the Lord.

I can see that your blog is like that; I'll be back for more!

Lynn Cowell said...

Joy,
This is the most powerful post I have ever read of yours. Yesterday I started "He Speaks to Me" by Priscilla Shirer. I think you are saying the same thing. He is speaking; am I in a position to hear?
Very powerful my friend! May you and I both hear from Him today!
Lynn

Cheri Bunch said...

This is powerful! Thank you for this reminder! I want to sit under the Word. I want to soak up everything He wants to give!
You have blessed me today, dear friend!
Love you!
Cheri

Julie said...

Joy,
Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I am so blessed to have other sojourners, like yourself, along the path.

God is good!
Hugs,
Julie

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

I too have read this bible study by Beth Moore and it changed my heart forever!! But what a great reminder this was today! Thanks!

ps-thank you for your sweet words of encouragment! You really are a JOY!!

HIS Daughter said...

Precious Joy,

In my morning prayer time, I saw your face and your name over and over.

You need to know that the LORD Almighty is with you. You need to know it deep down in the marrow of your bones. Let it go deep inside of you. The LORD Almighty is with you. Be joyful in all things.

Blessings to you,
Teri