What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to your Christian walk?
For me, it’s always been studying the Bible. Searching on Pinterest for “bible study”, you’ll find guides, challenges, journals, places to start, and ways to dive in deeper. There are so many of us who secretly feel guilty for our lack of Bible literacy but just don’t know how to love God’s Word.
Less Bible Studies, More Surrender
There are no easy ways to navigate through the Bible. Getting to know God does not require more Bible studies but it does require more surrender.
- Surrendering our time. You’ve heard it before that we all have the same 24 hours in our day. How are you choosing to use them? For some, like myself, we grow used to the habits of our days. We wake up at the same time, have the same morning routine, we may even eat the same breakfast over and over again. Our lives become self-sustaining and introducing change can be incredibly hard. If we want to grow to love God’s Word, we need to make some sacrifices. By faith, we must believe that in doing so, God will reward us with the ultimate gift…Himself.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder for those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).
- Surrendering our self-centeredness. We can have the misconception that the Bible is about revealing who we are in Christ. While it does in relation to who God is, the ultimate revelation the Bible gives is to God Himself.
We are like Moses. The Bible is our burning bush – a faithful declaration of the presence and holiness of God. We ask it to tell us about ourselves, and all the while it is telling us about “I AM”. We think that if it would just tell us who we are and what we should do, then our insecurities, fears, and doubts would vanish. But our insecurities, fears, and doubts can never be banished by the knowledge of who we are. They can only be banished by the knowledge of “I AM.” We must read and study the Bible with our ears trained on hearing God’s declaration of himself.” (Jen Wilkin, Women of the Word)
There are some fantastic teachers out there who are sharing what they glean from their own study but God doesn’t want a spoon-fed people. He wants those who diligently seek Him to know the height, breadth, and width of His love!
Who’s Your Example?
Another big problem is that we’re really not shown how to love God’s Word. You may have grown up in a Christian home but there are many others, like myself, who did not. In the Bible, it was the responsibility of the father to teach their children God’s laws (Deuteronomy 11:18-21). When we don’t have a mature follower of Jesus teaching us how to love God’s Word, it becomes overwhelming and confusing.
Having first world problems often mean we’re just too busy. We go from Bible study to Bible study but it’s a supplement, not a meal. There are many Christians who are spiritually anemic and don’t know how to properly feed themselves. We’re the Marthas doing what we think should be done instead of the Marys who desire to know what God wants to be done.
Isn’t it amazing how Jesus walked with the disciples for more about 3 years? He is the very Word made flesh. He showed them how to trust God, how to hear God, and how to do God’s will.
Being Hearers and Doers of the Word
One of the reasons we avoid the Bible is because we’re afraid of what we’ll be asked to do.
If you’re introverted and love the comforts of home, going on a long-term mission trip may scare you.
If you’re in an unequally yoked relationship, scriptures may convict you to break up with your boyfriend.
Holding on to anger or bitterness? The Holy Spirit will definitely ask you to let it go.
Some of these fears aren’t true. God may not be calling you to the mission field outside of your own personal Jerusalem. He may ask that you put your trust and hope in Him however that looks. It will always be biblical and align with His heart’s desire for you: to live in freedom and have an abundant life. Sometimes, we’re just not willing to let go and let God be God.
Love = Feeling & Action
One of the most quoted Scriptures in the Bible shows us this love in action.
For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
God’s overwhelming and lavish love caused Him to send Jesus into the world. He could not stand the brokenness of His relationship with us so He made a way to repair it. We live in a fallen and broken world, friends. The same love God poured on us in our sin is the same love we’re to share and display.The same love that called us to God when we were in sin is the same love God is seeking for us to share and display.Click To Tweet
I love how the Message version states James 1:22-25,
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.
But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God – the free life! – even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in that action.
The bottom line is that we need to stay connected to God. He is the Vine and we are the branches. If we don’t abide in Him and His word, we will wither away. But connected, we’ll thrive, grow, and mature into strong men and women of God.
Loving God’s Word means loving God and doing something about it. It doesn’t have to be a burden; it can become our delight. Want a useful tool to help you with reading God’s Word? I’m offering free worksheets to help you cultivate the relationship with God you long for.
I’d love to know – Is personal Bible study difficult for you? How have you learned to love God’s Word?