The rock is Jesus. The rock is the foundation on which He builds His church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Paul said no other foundation could be laid than that which was already set in place, Jesus Christ.
Many of us have allowed Jesus to be the foundation of our doctrine and have stopped there, but life is more than doctrine. Look at the words of Jesus in John 5:39-40 –
You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
Some of us know Jesus mentally because we have received Him as the foundation of our doctrine, but we hunger for something more intimate. We need to let the scriptures bring us into the presence of Jesus so we can find life.
Some of us are hungry for His presence and try to bypass the scriptures. We look to the signs and personal encounters with Him that come in visions and dreams. Like the wise men who followed the star, we will find that these experiences can get us only so far before we need to consult the scripture to zero in on His presence. The star got them to the right country, but only the scripture could get them to the right city.
As we seek more of Jesus, we will find that it takes the word and the Spirit working together to lead us into Him.
Jesus says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Have you ever come to Him when you were overwhelmed with work and cares and found a tangible sense of rest in His presence?
Psalm 16 says that in the presence of the Lord is life forevermore, and pleasures at His right hand. Have you ever sensed the inrush of life that happens when you get into His presence? Have you found the pleasures at His right hand? We can acknowledge these truths as part of our sound doctrine, but we can also experience them.
Psalm 23 says the Lord our Shepherd prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies. Have you ever been surrounded with enemies and impossibilities, only to find that before the Lord took care of your battle for you he sat down with you and shared a picnic lunch with you in perfect peace, as though no battle were raging?
These are just three samples of what might happen if we search the scriptures and let them bring us to Jesus.
As a young man, I learned to find Jesus on every page of the Bible. He’s there; the Spirit of prophecy who inspired the scripture is the testimony of Jesus. I find Him in the symbolism, the allegories, the prayers and prophecies, and of course in the passages that directly describe Him.
I’ve learned to look past the deeds the Bible records and to look into His heart. What kind of God cares enough about the crowd who listened to His words that He goes on to multiply loaves and fishes so He can feed them? What kind of God then carefully gathers the leftovers so they won’t go to waste? His thoughts and motives must be very different from ours.
Lately I’ve been noticing that as I read the Bible I’m walking down memory lane with Him. This passage reminds me of an impossible prayer He answered; that passage reminds me of a visitation in which He taught me something about prophecy; yet another reminds me of a miraculous healing I got to participate in.
How many experiences with God are anchored in your Bible? The text is there in black and white, but His works in us are the illustrations, and the pictures are in vivid color.
As you get more of the Rock in your life, God will fill your Bible with illustrations. Get the illustrated version. This is the abundant life Jesus promised.