I saw this cute quip on Facebook this morning: "There is no app to replace your lap - read to your child." It was a sign prominently displayed over the doorway to a bookstore, so it made all the sense in the world to me. It also spoke to me of something even more important - the idea of coming fully into God's lap and allowing him to open his Word to us. Sometimes I think we kind of want to replace the "time" just nuzzling close to each other with whatever can be found in the "Bible Verse of the Day" delivered to your email or Twitter feed. No app will ever replace the moments had on the lap! Sorry, but it is the cold, hard truth and I just thought I'd put that out there!
Immerse them in the truth, the truth Your voice speaks. (John 17:17 VOICE)
Jesus is about to be taken from this earth, leaving those who were called his disciples and followers in a place of potential harm. He knew the only way to protect them was to leave them something which would help to guide their continued growth - the Word of God. He says: "In the same way You sent Me into this world, I am sending them. It is entirely for their benefit that I have set Myself apart so that they may be set apart by truth." (vs 18-19) We are given the Word, not because we needed the "nice stories" ABOUT Jesus, but because they reveal to us who he is, how he acts, what he loves, and why people are so important to him.
He asks his Father to immerse us in truth - the truth which comes directly from the throne room of God. I remember hearing my dad call out on occasion for me to come home for supper - usually because I was off wandering in the desert around the house, or maybe riding my bike up and down the street. As kids, we were all "tuned into" that "bellow" from the doorway announcing it was time to end our hard day of play. That far off voice was beckoning me home - calling me into the place of protection and provision. It would have been growing dark outside - a time when harm could come my way unsuspected and unwelcomed. It was also a time when my body needed "refueling" for the next day - through food and rest.
Dad's voice was clear when he called, but it was clearest when we sat close to each other at the table, on the sofa, or just hanging out side-by-side on a hot day by the cool waters of a running brook. His voice took on clarity, not because he shouted from the doorway, but because I drew near enough to listen intently to every word he spoke. The same is true of our heavenly Father - draw close enough and you will be able to hear not only the words he speaks to you through his Word, but even the beating of his heart as you nuzzle right on up into his lap for a little while. You don't get that from an app!
To immerse is to saturate. Do something for me. Take a totally dry sponge and pass it quickly under the running faucet. Did it get wet? Yes, it likely did. It expanded a little, showing it had capacity to take on what it received, right? Now, take that sponge and sit it in a bowl of water which totally covers the thickness of that sponge. Give it a minute or two. Now, remove that same sponge from the bowl. What is different this time? It is the saturation of the sponge's every nook and cranny, isn't it? The sponge was immersed in the water and as a result, it reached a point of saturation - it was full to capacity and now dripping wet.
When we immerse ourselves in the Word of God, it is as though we are saturated not only to capacity, but so as to be oozing the truth of God from every pore of our being! The sponge could have done the job of maybe wiping up a few spills on the counter top with just being quickly passed under the water of the faucet, right? What more can the sponge do when it is fully soaked in the water? It becomes pliable in the hand of the one using it, doesn't it? It has the ability to be bent this way and that, getting into this spot and then the next, until all the "service" that sponge can provide is fully performed. We don't recognize the value of being immersed in his Word more than when we see the results of how "clean" our lives can be made when we are pliable in his hands. Just sayin!