The Holy Spirit brings that "bang!" to the scriptures in many wonderful and dynamic ways. These ways lead us deeper into rest (read: not working our tails off trying to earn Gods love and acceptance), they lead us into a greater sense of the Fathers crazy love for us, our uniqueness, and expand our capacity to love; to love others and God in deeper, more genuine ways. To this end, as we mature in our understanding and "use" of scripture, we generally see:
1. The Capacity to Enlarge Us. Healthy life-giving faith should always enlarge us not make us smaller. The scriptures can jail-break us from our small, self-centeredness. To plunder the small self-made kingdoms and to open us up to a much bigger world. The scriptures reveal to us the Kingdom of God in ways that are expansive, life changing and inclusive.
2. The Ability to See through Fresh Eyes. Have you ever stared at one of those optical illusion posters? You know the ones, where you have to tilt you head and squint your eyes just right to see the hidden image? Scripture can have the same effect; it helps us to see things we haven't seen before in ways we haven't previously thought - without being a contortionist!
3. They Comfort Us. The reality of life is often there are some really difficult and painful things we must walk through. The scriptures can be a source of great comfort and hope as we travel through the hard things in life. Much of the apocalyptic literature was written to the people of God who were in tough situations; captivity, slavery and intense persecution. These stories served to remind people who they were, whose they were, and that there is an eternal, faithful hope!
4. They Heal Us. Well, the Holy Spirit heals us but often does so through the word of God. Many times I have experienced personal healing where the bible has been the conduit. It is amazing how an encouragement to forgive and show mercy to someone who has hurt me has brought great freedom. The scriptures renew, probably more accurately; they renovate our hearts and minds which often lead to healthier lives.
5. They Help Us Make Better Choices. Life is rarely as easy as black and white. This is one reason it is important not to reduce scriptures to a rule book. The percentage of the Bible that is rules is around 10%, and heaven knows some situations of life are not so clearly spelled out! However, scripture reveals the heart of the Father for us and His good creation and through relationship with the Father we learn the values, the heart of the Father. In a word, the key Kingdom value is love. As we experience the Father's love in our own lives and through the lives of others in the scripture, this operating value provides the basis of better choices!