Making Scripture about Us
Over and over again, story after story I see the Lord making much of who He is. So often, we take stories from the Bible and we make them about us: what God can do for us, what kind of people we will become with His help, what we should do… but what if that is not the point? I think it might be less about those things and more about God revealing His character to His people. Every story points to His glory, His plan for redemption, His character, His timing.
Genesis 3 reveals to us the bent of human nature to mistrust the things the Lord has told us and the desire of our flesh to disobey, but it also reveals God's justice and His master plan for redemption.
Jonah was about a guy who got stuck in a big fish because he didn't do what the Lord had called Him to do, but it was even more about God's perfect plan to give grace to Ninevah, even though they in no way deserved it.
Story after story, all revealing who God is. I've learned not to ask what stories mean for me, what God is trying to tell me about who I am, or what God can do for me or even in me because of the passage... I've learned to ask what does this story reveal to me about who God is, how I can bring Him glory, and how I should respond to the character of the Lord and His provision of that in my life? It's not just a change of focus... it's a change of thinking.
This doesn't replace life application. God does call us to apply what we are learning in the way that we live. Most of all, I think it calls us to worship a God who is much greater than we could ever imagine and in control of our every moment.