Eternal life is not defined by living forever. At least not according to Jesus. In John 17: 3, eternal life is actually defined as knowing God. Seems simple right? It’s not. And I’ll illustrate why.
Let’s say you are in a committed relationship or marriage. You are confident in who you are and what you have to offer. But the person you’re in a relationship with is not treating you like you’re valuable. They don’t spend quality time with you, they don’t trust you, they sometimes claim you, and they only want to talk to you when they feel like it. Would you say that this person knows who you are? And if they did, would they treat you this way?
Most of us have actually been in a relationship like this. And whether we want to admit it or not, we are guilty of one or more of these behaviors within our relationship with God. Maybe you spend time with God and you claim Him: you let the world know you are a believer! But do you always trust that He will come through for you? Don’t you sometimes take matters into your own hands?
More than anything, God wants us to get to know Him. And luckily for us, the book of Psalms makes it easy to learn His nature and ways.
But reading the Bible more often is not completely the remedy. We must study, learn, & apply what we read for it to have any effect. Here is a super helpful tool to use while reading many of the Psalms.
Psalms Study Tool
The tool is a simple, three column chart. As you read the psalm, in the first column, write down every word or phrase that tells who God is. In the second column, write every phrase that tells what God does and in the last column, write every phrase that tells how you should respond.
Applying the Tool: Psalm 18
Here is an example of this tool used with a few verses from Psalm 18.
Do you see that now we have clear, concise language for who God is, what He does and how we should respond? And this is important as we go to God in prayer. We might begin by telling God who He is based on Psalm 18: “God thank you for being my strength and my rock.” From there, you can expound upon what a rock is: “Lord, like a rock, you are stability for me. You keep my life in place. Nothing can shake me or throw me off because you are my rock.” You see?
This tool not only gives us material for prayer, but it also gives us truth to share with others. When someone calls you panicking or in need of advice, you can encourage them with who God is and what He promises: “Don’t worry my friend. God hears your voice when you pray. He is a deliverer. We must put our trust in Him.” All from Psalm 18. Studying in this way strengthens our faith and the faith of others.
Here is the rest of Psalm 18 broken down.
Psalms that Work Best with This Study Tool
It is incredible how much we can learn about the nature of God from using a study tool for just 1 psalm! And while every psalm speaks to God’s nature, the following is a list of psalms that work really well with this tool (my favorites are highlighted).
Click here for more study tools I use to understand the Scriptures and draw closer to God. And if you try this tool, please let me know your experience below!