Sometimes Planning IS the Problem

“What is your favorite Bible reading plan?” he asked me as I walked quickly toward my destination. Why did this question feel like a test? I thought for a moment.

“My favorite plan is to read the Bible in order to hear God speak, “ I responded.

“Yes, I know,” he said, “but … .” The “but” told me he didn’t know.

“When it comes to reading the Bible in a systematic way, what is your favorite plan,” he persisted.

“My favorite plan is to read in order to hear God speak,” I repeated.

He began to look at me like I was being obnoxious. I was just answering his question.

He was asking me a question that if I answered the way he was asking would result in a response that would be untrue to my deepest beliefs.

He was asking me about a structure, I was answering about a way. This is often the case in conversations I am involved in.

In many cases, people are looking for a structure or a plan. Jesus offers a way.

When it comes to reading the Bible, many ways can be identified. You see, the way has to do with what we are looking for and what we are looking through.

We can look through a lens of bitterness and superiority.

We can look for answers to an argument.

We can look through a lens of academia and knowledge.

We can look for mistakes and inconsistencies.

All of these and many others lead to a way of reading the Bible that results in self-focus and swollen ego.

We can look for the voice of God to us in any given moment.

We can look through the lens of an integrated natural and spiritual worldview.

We can look for the mind and heart of God.

We can look through the lens of spirit-led self-examination.

All of these and many others lead to a way of reading the Bible that results in God-consciousness and transformed hearts.

Jesus did not say “I am the Plan, the Truth and the Life”

He said, “I am the Way.”

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bob@gatewaychurch.org'
Bob Hamp is the Executive Pastor, Pastoral Care Ministries, at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas. He was a counselor in private practice for sixteen years and holds a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. He is also the author of "Think Differently, Live Differently: Keys to a Life of Freedom."