Last week, during our church small group study, I skipped over a section of scripture in favor of saving time so our group could finish on time. This wasn’t the first time I have done this, and as soon as I realized what I had done, I knew I had made a mistake.
The word of God is living and active. The Holy Spirit resides within each believer, and if we let Him, will teach us everything we need to know (1 John 2:27)
Having bypassed this seemingly well-known scripture, we were not equipped to handle challenges that arose during our discussion time. One of our group members made the point that when someone shows up to a homeless shelter or food pantry to be fed, they don’t want to hear about God- they just want to be fed more than anything. Since we hadn’t brought the Word into our discussion, while the point was made and it did not quite sit right with me, I was not able to speak to the wrongness that I sensed in the statement. The moment came and went, and we parted ways that night with what felt like unresolved issues.
As I spent the next day reflecting on those challenges, the Spirit led me to reflect on the story of the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4). In this story, an ostracized Samaritan woman goes to the community well to fetch water. It’s the middle of the day, and it would have been quite hot outside, so no-one else is out for water. The woman encounters Jesus there, who is waiting by the well for water, and for her. What the Spirit showed me regarding this moment was that this woman came to get her physical needs met, but Jesus knew that she needed much more; He offered her living water, that she may never thirst again.
When the Lord revealed this to me, He also told me that it is important to stop relying on myself and my own understanding. If we bring all things to Him, He will provide and He will guide us in our lives. I believe that this includes bringing our thoughts and our lives into the Word of God daily. In small group settings, it is a mistake to skip over the Holy Word, even if it is well-known scripture.