When I think of Scripture, I do not equate it with the Bible — but with the mind of God, the eternal words of God, the ethereal message from another domain coming to man — not originating here with men, but there with God.
Over a span of 1500 years, Scripture recorded itself in 40 different human beings, from 3 continents (Asia, Africa and Europe) in 3 different languages (Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek) on hundreds of subjects. And yet, it bears one consistent, non-contradictory message: God’s redemption of us.
Over time, it was recorded and copied by scribes…ethereal word captured physically in ink on papyrus, in ancient leather scrolls, and finally on paper. . . then bound within a book — a wonder — my Bible.
Scripture lies behind the physical entity of the Bible we touch. Our Bible translations differ slightly and show minor textual inconsistencies in their copying. But Scripture — the message and body of what God is saying — survives without error. If every Bible in the world was burned, Scripture would remain untouched.
IT is supernatural. It defies reason and is shot through with paradox, coming in the guise of weakness, but possessing such latent power that it blows our minds as we begin to know it. Knowing Scripture has little to do with our dexterity in quoting it, and everything to do with knowing the heart of The One who is speaking through it.
When the New Testament writers describe “Scripture,” they use the Greek word graphe.
Graphe primarily denotes “a drawing or painting”
You grasp what Scripture is saying, when you see what the picture is showing. For example:
- Yahweh commands Israel to wipe out every living thing in Canaan — a difficult picture — what is it saying?
- Israel is always a picture of you. You are the chosen one; you are the one He has redeemed; you are the one He is bringing into the Promised Land. The Promised Land is always a picture of your completed redemption where you are safe, secure, healed, whole, fulfilling your destiny, living with God where He wants you to be, with nothing from your past hindering what He wants to be and do for you.
- The picture of having to destroy every living thing that keeps us from possessing The Promised Land tells us that we can’t expect to possess what God wants to give us — without destroying every argument and false system of belief (in ourselves) that opposes and denies it.
- Many struggle with hearing and seeing God — who want to get there — but they are harboring, and sympathetic to, a dozen arguments against it — each of which needs to be put to a swift and decisive death.
- Every picture in Scripture bears a redemptive message communicating some crucial aspect of what God wants to accomplish for us.
Graphe also means “a writing,” and is frequently characterized as the living voice of God speaking through the writing.  Some of us come perilously close to worshipping The Bible, as if God stopped speaking two thousand years ago. It is God, speaking to us through what has been written, Who is to be worshipped. What is written, has been written, so that we can know Him, the living word.
The effect of building Scripture into our life
Every Scripture is like a living stone holding the voice of God. When we build Scripture into our life, it is like we are building a spiritual roadwork of living stones . . . bearing us to God and God to us . . . across rugged terrain, with minimal hindrance.
The strength of the Roman Empire lay in the roads she built over wild terrain, making it possible to quickly cover the ground between Rome and her farthest outpost. In the same way, Scripture built into us enables God to communicate with us faster and more effectively, than if that roadwork was not in place. To the degree that Scripture becomes integrated into us, we will see God’s reign extended all the more over our personal circumstances.
I was a brand new believer torn between the home I loved in Durham, North Carolina and the possibility that we should leave everything behind, take a deep cut in our income, and move to Milwaukee, Wisconsin — where Bill would be immersed in a development program equipping him to return to the field as a managing partner. I wanted God’s reign to extend over Bill’s and my decision, and I was too new to this life of being led by God and too naïve to know the “danger” of playing Bible roulette — so I prayed fervently for guidance and opened the pages of my Bible “to see what God would say to me.” I opened to Isaiah 35. . . where a poignant description rose like a picture from the page, capturing my heart with what my husband was meant-to-do and be.
Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble.
Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not. . .
Then the eyes of the blind will be opened
And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped.
Then the lame will leap like a deer,
And the tongue of the mute will shout for joy.
For waters will break forth in the wilderness
And streams in the Arabah.
The scorched land will become a pool
And the thirsty ground springs of water;
Isa 35:3-4, 5-7, NASU
In the eyes of the world, success in building his business would be measured by premium, volume, and lives. But as I read these verses, I knew that in God’s eyes my husband’s future success lay in mentoring others — encouraging the exhausted, strengthening the feeble, helping those with anxiety to summon courage, opening eyes to the need for integrity, not allowing deafness to prevail in moral matters.
As I read what was written, a living voice began to speak in me, that was not my own. And in its speaking, a supernatural message flooded my being. It was like God’s Knowing was streaming for a brief moment into me — giving me His same sense of knowing. This knowing was supernatural, but it was more real than the chair in which I sat, or the sound of the birds outside the window.
It gave me a sense of what lay in the future, what was operating within my husband beneath the radar, and what was actually the purpose and driving energy behind what he would do.
Scripture gives us a window into the supernatural
working itself into our life.
That afternoon I began to pack.
Years passed, and I remember an agency picnic when the shouting of kids and the huge number of young families enjoying each other suddenly overwhelmed Bill. Slipping his arm around me, his voice hoarse with emotion, he described the wonder of his work . . . and the immeasurable satisfaction he felt as he looked out on his agency family, thinking about the opportunity he had been given to create meaningful work for so many, and how their productivity positively impacted so many other lives.
When we make our decisions in light of Scripture,
we build Scripture into our life,
paving the way for the supernatural to work itself through our life.
The effect of building Scripture into your life is a road, by which God is continually coming supernaturally to you, by which He is continually advancing you supernaturally toward the promises He has made to you.
Building that road in ourselves
In ancient times, when a king determined to visit his people in a distant province, workers went ahead to build a road, to prepare the way for Him to come to them. As we build the living stones of Scripture into our life, we are laying the road for our Sovereign to come to us. . .
- In an unexpected situation, His voice rises from some familiar passage of Scripture, explaining what is going on beneath the surface of what we see.
- When we are troubled and scramble across the rugged terrain to find the road — He comes — our coach, our counselor gently steadying us with the wisdom, guidance, and perspective we need.
Building Scripture into our life brings God close.
A voice is calling,
“Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness;
Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.
“Let every valley be lifted up,
And every mountain and hill be made low;
And let the rough ground become a plain,
And the rugged terrain a broad valley;
Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
Isaiah 40: 3-5, NASU
That voice of the one crying in the wilderness is sometimes our own — rising from the depths of the unruly, undisciplined, uncharted, unknowing inner wilderness in ourselves, craving a sure way to find God and for Him to find us, a highway upon which divine intercourse can flow.
But to build that road, to build a Scriptural basis into the beautiful but untamed territory of our soul — the way has to be prepared.
Preparing the way of the Lord
As you can’t build a road across rugged terrain without first preparing the way, you can’t lay the living stones of Scripture into your soul without first addressing what stands in the way.
We see this clearly in the ministry of John the Baptist.
Deep in the Judean Wilderness, at the turn of time, the living voice of God rose powerfully in John, speaking from a passage in Isaiah, recorded 500 years before John’s time. John was an eccentric preferring the wilderness to the city, aloneness to crowds, locusts and honey to fine food, and rustic skins to fine clothing. But God’s Message came like a heat-seeking missile, from which he could not get away, telling him what he was meant-to-do.
The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; Make straight in the desert a highway for our God . . .
Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley;
Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
From the living stones of this Scripture, God’s voice rose, supernaturally revealing to John who He was (the voice of one crying in the wilderness) and what He was to do (prepare the way of the Lord).
He was to transform the valleys and mountains, the rough and rugged ground of the inner terrain in Israel’s soul. He was to prepare the way for the road to be laid, because only THEN would the glory of the Lord be revealed.
The glory of the Lord will be revealed
where there is a road that can bear it.
This is what Jesus meant, when he said, “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.”
John 16:12, NASU
“The Glory to be revealed” is the exceptional experience of God’s palpable presence, being, power and activity expressed in our circumstances. But we cannot bear what He wants to reveal — until He lays a road in us that is capable of bearing the glory. And before He can lay the living stones of that road, a lot of blasting and digging has to be done — with immense amounts of dirt and rock moved — preparing our inner terrain to receive that road.
Knowing this, John left his solitary life-style to engage. His preaching drew crowds, even in the wilderness, anticipating the coming of the Messiah. But John did not give them promises and pleasantry. He was strident about their need to repent: telling them that they must change their thinking, that they must line themselves up with the word and way of God, and turn away from the things in their life that could not bear God’s glory.
John the Baptist became the truth teller, the teacher, the prophet, the servant, the embattled conscience of a king, the rebel against entrenched religion, the courage of a lone voice — SO THAT, DONE GOD’S WAY– conviction and repentance could change the lie of the land in his people’s souls. . . preparing the way for Glory to come.
Many who listened to John recognized their need for repentance, receiving it.
Conviction digs and blasts. Repentance moves the rock and dirt smoothing the way, transforming the landscape. These are the ground-moving activity of the Spirit in us — not to be ashamed of, but rejoiced over and yielded to. Those who flocked to John to be baptized in the Jordan, were eager to confirm the inward reality of the cleansing transformation taking place in them. They were being made different inside. And that difference was the preparation that would enable them to recognize the Messiah when He came.
If we will let Him have His way,
Repentance and conviction will transform our inner terrain,
So that we can build the living stones of Scripture into our life . . .
the supernatural road that can bear His glory.
 from Vine’s Expository on New Testament Words, Scripture