(The story of Luke Olweiler by Mary Alysse Dodds)
I’m not sure when exactly the barriers came down, but as I read Acts outside of a church in New Zealand, I realized I was weeping and amazed. I had so much I was holding back from giving God. Overwhelmed by how much God loved me, I began loving him more and being more vulnerable with him.
For three days, I really started to worship God, to stop hiding parts of me, to give all of me to him. God and I fell in love, and I became obsessed with him. I trusted my life to him, and I wanted to know everything about him.
I am all about God. Just like when I really love a musician, I read every article and watch every YouTube video. Now I realize how deeply my life depends on Jesus, how much he loves me, and how much I love him. And I’m all about Jesus.
Scripture isn’t boring anymore. It’s the words of someone I love that I cannot get enough of. It’s a joy reading about someone I’m growing closer to. My relationship with Jesus makes me love scripture.
But my relationship doesn’t come from reading the Bible. It comes from spending time with Jesus in person.
Time spent one-on-one with the father keeps scripture from becoming a religious chore. When I don’t spend time with God, reading the Bible becomes boring, something that isn’t real to me, something that I’d rather not do because it takes time out of my day. I have to ask myself, “What’s your relationship? Are you constantly and fervently seeking after God?”
Sometimes I read the Bible when I don’t want to because it’s the right thing to do. But I want to learn about the one I love and become more like him. When I’m completely seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness, reading his word becomes something that has to be done because I love it.
And not just letting the words pass through my mind, but really letting them sink in. Sometimes it’s not reading the whole way through. Sometimes I’ll find something I love and just read it over and over again. Sometimes I don’t get it, and if that happens I want to take time to let it sink into my heart. I’ll pray and ask God what it means, and he’ll tell me. That’s why I love it.
More than just reading it, I interact with God’s word. In New Zealand two really, really close friends and I were always chatting about the Bible. I absolutely loved hearing other people’s revelations and perspectives.
I love to sing scripture. I love to worship. Sometimes I play something on my phone. Sometimes I play on my guitar. Instead of just singing a song, I’ll sing whatever comes to mind. I love singing out of Psalms.
There’s no better way to start my day than spending time in the word, but sometimes 4:00 a.m. before work doesn’t happen. So that just means I worship on the way to work and before I go to bed or any spare time I have I read the Bible.
Reading the Bible is not a chore. It’s only a religious chore when there’s no one-on-one relationship with Jesus. But I’m all about Jesus, and I want to eat, sleep, and breathe his word.
Luke Olweiler is a musician, builder, home school graduate, and first and foremost a follower of Christ. He likes writing and playing music, surfing, skiing, and hanging out with friends. He’s thankful for the new zeal that God gave him while at Youth With a Mission New Zealand’s surfing Discipleship Training School.