The thumb trick: I had never heard of it. A pastor told my son at boy’s camp that if he ever needed a word from God, he could just do the thumb trick. That’s where you rub your thumb across the pages of your Bible five times and wherever your thumb lands the fifth time, that’s where you open it and read. I told my son that sounded like a bunch of superstitious nonsense akin to witchcraft, and then we went on further in this conversation about needing words from God. Rhema words, as they are called.
I pointed out that reading out Bible is not just about us receiving. It’s about building a relationship with the Lord. If you think that you will always get a rhema word when you open your Bible, you will undoubtedly struggle with reading it. Because there’s a lot in between Isaiah and Malachi that will not serve the individual as a rhema word. Those words were penned for a collective people, and when I was much less mature in my walk with the Lord and read for the rhema, I was very discouraged and unsettled when I looked at the Bible as only my source of personal confirmation or exhortation. This limited understanding led me to a very dark place as I wrestled with these scriptures that I had taken to heart, and it took me a long time to understand that God was showing me himself and his heart through them, not condemning me with them.
I told my son that our relationship with God is very one-sided if we only open our word to receive from Him. Hidden within the scriptures are precious treasures we can only find if we take the time to sit and study the seemingly monotonous, mundane history of God working within His creation. Take, for instance, the prayer of Jabez. It’s one verse that ministers to so many, stuck in a whole lot of genealogical records. It’s a treasure that had to be sifted out. The Bible is full of these! Beautiful treasures that tell us so much about our Great Creator and King, who He is and who we are in Him.
My approach to the Word is that I want to be full of it. I want it to be buried inside of me. I have found that scriptures that seem to mean so little on the surface when I read them become so relevant when the Holy Spirit plucks them up in my memory in His own time. When I spend time reading the Bible, it’s just so I can know Him. So I can become familiar with God’s voice, so I can know that I know when He is speaking to me. And how can I profess a deep love and adoration for Someone I hardly know? I know Him through His Word. Because the word became flesh and dwelt among them.