So I’ve been using a chronological Bible reading plan. (This is the first time I’ve read it chronologically.) I aim for two kinds of reading when it comes to books and the Bible: power reading and precision reading. Power reading is when I push forward to read quickly, while still maintaining a good level of comprehension. When precision reading, I slow down and focus in.
My continual challenge is to maintain a healthy balance between these two kinds of reading. I love to “get through” things, so I often find myself quickly marching forward while missing some important things. Anyway…Today, my reading plan took me across Psalm 116. In the course of my reading, a precise truth jumped out at me in the first verse.
I love the LORD, because He hears my voice and my supplications.Psalm 116:1
This one verse caught my attention and stuck with me today, much to my comfort and awe. We know God has factored into spiritual life a kind of cause and effect dynamic. We reap what we sow. We ask, He answers. But at the heart of the Christian life is God’s gracious and primary initiative in our lives. It’s true that God responds to us, but it is in no way near the way in which He acts first so that we can respond to Him.
This single verse is packed with truth, but today I’m zooming in on the relationship between my love for Him and His attention to my voice. The Psalmist could have written, “He hears my voice because I love Him. And that certainly would be true. God listens to those who love Him. But here, the order is opposite. Here is a good reminder to me of why I love Him. I love the Lord because He hears me. His attention breeds love in my heart. And my heart loves the way He attends to me.
We love because He first loved us. – 1 John 4:19
There’s much more to be said about this. But for now, we’re left with a strong meditation: I love the Lord, because He hears my voice and my supplications.