LIFE at Wheaton Bible Church

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Breaking Out of the Loop

In May of last year, John Schultz was invited to talk to the men at the Thursday morning huddle about what God has been doing in his life. This is what he said.

I’ll start by saying that I suspect I’m not too different from many of you. This is my sixth year in huddle, and until recently, my spiritual life has been a little bit like that movie Groundhog Day. have you seen that? It’s a movie about a guy who finds himself in kind of a time loop, repeating the same day over and over again. That was what was going on with me spiritually. I’d come to huddle every week and “get the play” and tell myself, I need to get out there. I need to do it better. I need to try harder. I need to be bolder for Christ.

John Schultz with some of his "Huddle buddies"

John Schultz with some of his “Huddle buddies”

The guys at my table will tell you my favorite saying is “Nothing like a good Thursday-morning huddle to make me feel like a horrible christian.”

Until just recently, it’s been like that. I’ve been struggling. I’ve been stuck. I’ve been in this comfortable orbit around God— but still pretty much a coldhearted christian. I had all this head knowledge but not much going on in my heart. I wasn’t bold about doing anything for Christ. I had no passion, and Christ didn’t seem all that real.

But all that changed for me recently as a result of taking on Jeff Walser’s challenge to start reading in the Psalms every day. he encouraged us to read Psalm 1 each day and, in addition, to cycle through Psalms 30 to 40 on a daily basis. (So one day we would read Psalm 1 and Psalm 30. The next day we would read Psalm 1 and Psalm 31, then Psalms 1 and 32, and so on.)

A Moment of Clarity
I was immediately struck by Psalm 1:1–3, which says, “Blessed
is the one . . . whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.”

I’m reading that and thinking to myself, Man, I want to be that tree. I want to be like that tree. I want to have that for my life.

Right away I realized that the only way I could do that, the only way I could meditate on God’s word day and night would be if I committed some Scripture verses to memory. Then I’d have them. I’d be able to meditate on them. I’d be able to repeat those verses to myself.

So I started with Psalm 1. Then I moved through Psalm 23 and Psalm 40, and then into the New Testament: John 3:16–21 and Ephesians 2:1–10. Next I moved through Colossians.

And something happened inside of me.
Something changed.

The words in the Bible that I’d read so many times before had new meaning for me. They came to life. They actually became real. God had put them in my heart, and that has changed everything.

Overcoming Distractions
It’s amazing all that can go through your head when you’re trying to read the Bible. You’ve got a million things on your mind. You’re reading the Scriptures, and next thing you know, you’re thinking about what you need to get done at work, and you’re distracted.

But reciting Scripture from memory shuts everything else out. It seems almost as if God is speaking to you directly.

It’s changed me, including how I deal with the stuff that used to make me angry. and I’m getting better at controlling my tongue.

When it came to sharing my faith and telling others about Jesus, I’ve always felt as if I were trying to sell something, you know? I’m out there “selling” Christ—and without the passion in my heart, people aren’t buying it. But since this experience, it’s not been something that I need to “sell.”

Taking up Jeff’s challenge has gotten my heart on fire for God. It’s made a huge difference in my life.

Once you have Scripture memorized, you take it anywhere you go. You’re in the car, you’re exercising, you wake up in the morning, you go to bed at night—what are you thinking about? God’s word, right?

That’s what the christian life is all about. God wants our minds and our hearts. he wants us meditating on his word—and being able to do that has really changed my life.

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This entry was posted on March 10, 2013 by in Spring 2013.

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