“All Scripture is God-breathed…” 2 Timothy 3:16
“This indicates that the Scripture, the word of God, is the breathing out of God. God’s speaking is God’s breathing out. Hence, His word is spirit (John 6:63), or breath. Thus, the Scripture is the embodiment of God as the Spirit. The Spirit is therefore the very essence, the substance, of the Scripture, just as phosphorus is the essential substance in matches. We must strike the Spirit of the Scripture with our spirit to catch the divine fire. [2 Tim. 3:16, footnote 2, par. 1 from the Holy Bible, Recovery Version]
I’m reminded of the importance of “striking the Spirit of Scripture with our spirit” whenever we come to the Bible. The Spirit is the essence of the Scriptures. Since the Scripture, the word of God, is the breathing out of God, it conveys His essence. Just like your breath conveys your essence. We need to touch this essence in the Scripture whenever we come to the Bible. Then we’ll “catch the divine fire.”
The Lord Jesus directed us to this essence when He said in Matthew 4:4, “Man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God.” God’s word is not just letters on a page. It’s a living word, full of His breath, His essence.
How can we receive God’s living essence when we come to the Scriptures?
We need to learn how to strike the Spirit of the Scriptures with our spirit. It’s like striking stick matches on the phosphorus tip to get a flame. When we use our God-contacting spirit (John 4:24) to touch the Spirit in God’s word we get spirit and life (John 6:63). That is, we get His essence.
The simplest way I know to “strike the Spirit of the Scriptures with our spirit” is to exercise your spirit, your deepest part, to mingle your Bible reading with calling on the Lord’s name (1 Cor. 12:3), praying short prayers (Eph. 6:17-18), singing, praising, and giving thanks (Col. 3:16-17). Try it and see if you don’t get divine breath from your reading and “catch the divine fire.”
“Dear Lord, thank you for showing us that Your word is “God-breathed” and that Your Spirit is the essence of Your word. Lord, teach us to strike the Spirit of the Scripture with our spirit to catch the divine fire. Whenever we come to the Bible, we want to touch You. Make Your word so living and even a burning flame within us. ”
For more on this point, you may want to get a copy of “Pray-reading the Word” and read this short chapter for yourself. You can read it online at ministrybooks.org or you can get your free copy from Bibles for America as a part of Basic Elements of the Christian Life, Volume 3. It’s the last chapter in the booklet.