Disciplines of the Faith: Crafting Daily Time in the Word
The written word of God is one of the most tangible ways God has revealed Himself to us. He passed the Law through Moses, spoke through the Prophets, and revealed the Messiah through the writings of the Apostles. All of Scripture is God-breathed. It gives life to our dry and weary bones.
Men and women have given their lives that I might have the Bible in my language, in my hands today. Instead of choosing to read the holy Word of God, I choose to binge-watch Netflix and to fill myself with silly, fleeting things that will leave my soul in the same state it was before.
The Bible should be an integral part of our life.
You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. -Deuteronomy 11:18, ESV
We need to surround ourselves with the truth of Scripture. It is a discipline for many of us to prioritize Scripture above the call to clean, serve, and rest.
Just read Scripture.
But to do this, we need to get over the idea that we will have a perfect devotional time or that, if we only find the right study, we will have a breakthrough. We need to abandon the idea that we have the find the perfect passage and trust that all of Scripture, yes, even Leviticus, is given to aid our faith.
If you are unsure of what to read, then start by picking a book of the Bible and reading through a chapter a day. It is an excellent way to start developing a habit of opening up your Bible daily.
Meditate on the Scriptures
Make notes in your Bible or prayer journal. Write out a prayer in response. Ask God to open your eyes to what He is revealing about Himself to you through His Word.
Consider utilizing the practice of Lectio Divine (read more here) to help you reflect on your readings.
This is crucial. Memorizing Scripture helps us to recall and strengthen ourselves throughout the day. It is a way to resist temptation and encourage our hearts in the midst of weary days. Write down scripture to help lock it into your mind. As a friend to work with you in memorizing a passage. Personally, I have found memorizing larger passages to be considerably easier.
Like every aspect of our Christian walk, we need our brothers and sisters in Christ to help keep us on course. Scripture reading is no exception. Ask a trust friend or mentor to encourage you to remain faithful by checking in with you, asking what God is revealing, or by going through the same part of the Bible together.
There are many ways to root yourself in Scripture. Different practices work better for different people. Some love journaling in response to Scripture, others like discussing with friends what God is doing in their heart as a response to Scripture.
What is most important for all of us, is that we are established in Truth. We are fooling ourselves if we think we can grow in the Christian faith without bathing ourselves regularly in the written revelation of God.
Our minds are prone to wander and need to be taken captive and renewed to center around the truth about who God is and what He has done for us. When we fail to center our lives and faith around the Bible, we fall into the trap of creating a God that thinks a lot like we do.
But, I know from my own follies, that I would not make a very good God. And any God that always agrees with me, that never challenges me, is probably not a God at all but a glorified image of myself.
Scripture reminds us that we are not alone in our struggles. We see the depth of humanity and the love that God has for sinners like us. It reminds us of the holiness of God, convicts us of our sin, offers us hope and salvation in Christ, and encourages us in the life God intends for His people.