Months ago, I committed to reading through the Bible in chronological order. Sticking to a Bible reading plan can become an arduous task and certainly one that I have attempted and tried numerous times throughout my life, only to feel like a total FAILURE. This time, however, I decided not to follow the legalistic rules that I previously set for myself, but instead have permitted grace to drizzle itself upon my daily time in the Word. Allowing me to linger long if need be so that the Holy Spirit has a moment to illuminate the Scriptures, making it personal to me.
What I have discovered is that I want Real. Tangible. Relationship. I have a hunch you want it too.
And I am afraid that for years I scurried through my Quiet Time like any good ole’ Bible girl would do. Getting ‘er done. Checking the box. Because that is what I’d been told to do from the earliest memories when I attended Sunday School. All good Christians read their Bible. Certainly, this should be the case, but there is a vast difference between reading and really reading.
For one can read as a taskmaster. Zooming through the pages. Skimming for highlights. Much like my kids use SparkNotes to complete summer reading assignments. But then begs the question, “What are You Reading For? “
- To avoid guilt and shame?
- Pure pleasure?
- Sense of accomplishment?
- Out of fear?
- Looking for a quick answer?
Put aside the mandate of legalistic rules and must do’s and peer inside for a moment to question your heart intentions…Is it more of Jesus that you are really after? Do you wake up every morning wondering “What does Jesus have to say to me today?” Is His Word my lifeline? Do I long to hear what He has to say? Do I desire to know God more?
When I started reading my Bible like my life depended on it…it changed everything. God’s Word truly is alive and active, sharper than a two-edged sword (Heb 4:12). He promises that you will find Him when you seek Him with your whole heart (Jeremiah 29:13). His Word is Truth (John 17:17). There are clear reasons why we are instructed to read God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
I challenge you today…look at your intentions. Pick a text from Scripture and ask the Holy Spirit to make it jump off the page. Step into the story. Ask yourself three questions, “What is God doing in this story?” “What is man doing?” Then the tough one, “How does this apply to me today?”
- Take time to confess.
- Take time to meditate.
- Take time to listen.
More than anything, I want you to know that God is real. A personal relationship with Him is possible. The most fundamental way God speaks to us is by His Spirit through His Word. Let the Bible be the place God finds you and speaks to you, and you speak back to Him. The relationship deepens as you commune with Him.