The vital relationship which the Christian has to the Bible is not that he worships the letter, but that the Holy Spirit makes the words of the Bible spirit and life to him. 

- Oswald Chambers

I saw this quote earlier today and it’s been on the front of my mind for much of the day. I think Chambers understood the difference between worshiping the words and worshiping God - who breathed those words.

Having spent about 3 decades in “sola-scriptura” church cultures, I can say through experience that the "worship" of the letter can lead people on a path contrary to the Holy Spirit.

Jesus told the Jewish leaders of His day: 

“You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life.” - John 5:39

He said this without diminishing the importance of the Scriptures:

 These are the very words that testify about Me, yet you refuse to come to Me to have life. - John 5:39-40

This worship of the letter can manifest itself in ways such as legalism, and spiritual pride or superiority - just as it did during the time of Jesus' ministry. It can also lead to narrow mono-cultures that “quench the Spirit” (1 Thes 5:19-21). The reading and studying is one part. The other part is believing so that "His word can dwell in us" (John 5:38) and transform us. That is the work of the Helper, the Holy Spirit. I think that is what Oswald Chambers was getting at in the quote above.

The words of the Bible are God breathed, and therefor it’s no coincidence that the Spirit often leads through our interaction with these words. But it’s also not the only place the Spirit leads.