Living in the Abundance of Christ, Making a Home

You Want To Hear From God? Read Your Bible.

Today I felt discouraged. I felt the sting of disappointment, again. I felt not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, and mostly invisible. I wanted to lend an encouraging word, but had none to offer. I wanted to offer great plans for success, but felt like a failure.

Today consisted of a lot of feelings. Some true and valid, others false and wrong. Truthfully, a lot of my days consist of these types of feelings, at least some of them.

But as a Christian I don’t have the luxury of living just by my feelings. Thankfully!

I have to hold up my feelings up to the Word of God (the Bible), and see how they compare. If they don’t line up, then I know it’s a problem with me and not a problem with the Bible.

This is how we are called to live as Christians. Not by our feelings or what we think is right or good, but by the Bible, God’s holy Word, and what it says is right and good.

And how do we know what’s in the Bible.

We read it.

When we want to be encouraged, or differentiate the truth from a lie, and when we don’t want to be a slave to our feelings, we need to read our Bible.

A few years ago I was really struggling to read my Bible consistently and when I did, I would typically pick out bits and pieces that I thought would apply to my life. I read plenty of other books, fiction, non-fiction, self-help, spiritual, etc, but I was not reading my Bible on a consistent basis. I decided to change that. So, this is what I did and it has worked for me. This particular way may not work for you, but I would encourage you to find a system that does. I am still learning, and although I am not a scholar, I do endeavor to know God more fully through his Word.

  1. I realized that I am not reading the Bible for God. I am not reading it to check it off of my list of being a good Christian. I am not reading it because I feel like it’s something that I have to do. I am reading it to benefit me. I’m reading it to know Jesus in a more intimate way. I’m reading it because I cannot attempt to live like Jesus, if I don’t know how Jesus lived.
  2. I committed to reading my Bible every day. Every. Day. Even if that meant only reading one verse. I really wanted to get in the habit of reading, even if only a very small amount. I figure it’s better than nothing, and usually I read much more than that. Anyone can read a verse from the Bible and it literally takes longer to go and get your Bible and open it up, than it does to actually read one verse.There have been some times that I have missed, but instead of beating myself up about it, I just pick up my Bible and read.
  3. I decided to read through the New Testament (N.T.) at least once a year. Straight through, not jumping from book to book, or chapter to chapter. It doesn’t take a whole year to read this through, even when taking your time (typically), so when I’m done with the N.T. I’ve been reading a couple of books from the Old Testament (O.T.), before starting over with the New Testament. I haven’t been reading these in order, although this last year I did decide to try to read them in chronological order. I read threes books before returning to the N.T.,and when I finish the N.T. I’ll try to continue with the chronological order of the O.T. again. (I’ve written down which books I’ve read)
  4. As I start each new book, I look to see who it’s written by, the time that it was written, and who it was directed towards. Context is so important, and the more information and details you have about each book and author, the better understanding you will have about what is being said and why. There are also maps in most Bibles, and understanding the geography of the land is also helpful in many instances.
  5. I read at night, and not in the morning (shocking, I know!). I tried for a long time to do Bible reading in the morning, but I’m really just not in the proper state of mind to do much at this time of day. I know many people will probably disagree with this, but if it’s a choice between not reading in the morning or reading at night, I’m going to opt for the evenings. I will sometimes read some type of short devotional in the morning, but not always. I like reading at night because it allows me to let go of the day and turn my mind to what matters most, Christ. It also allows me to dwell on what I’ve read right before bed, which I like to do, rather than other worrisome things that I often tend towards if not distracted by something better. Lastly, I’m more likely to read longer in the evening because I’ve already finished my day and am not thinking of the long list of things I need to get started on.

*Something I want to work on is scripture memorization. I am sadly lacking in this area. I also want to find a good Bible commentary, so if you have any ideas on that, then please let me know.

Like I said, these are things that have worked for me. This year I’ve added back in reading other books and have still been able to maintain my Bible reading, which was my goal. Whatever works for you in regards to reading your Bible, do that!

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11

You want to know how to hear from God? Read your Bible.

You want to know how to hear from God audibly? Read your Bible out loud. (I got that from John Piper and cannot take credit ;))

Here’s an article with “Three Tips for Better Bible Reading”, a great resource.

2 thoughts on “You Want To Hear From God? Read Your Bible.

  1. So many wonder why they are “starving” spiritually. Your article certainly answers that question. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” His Word is our nourishment, the source of our strength and the light for our path through this life. Thank you for sharing!

Leave a Reply