Happy New Year, everyone!!! 2016 was a great year and also a challenging one. Navigating homeschool, work, ministry, and family took its toll on me, and I found myself spending more time reading books and researching articles than opening the Bible. I could feel my attitude deteriorating and my energy depleting. So, I decided to get back to basics, and wanted to share my journey with you.
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” The Bible is a source of life, a fountain of refreshment, a guide for direction, and a hope for tomorrow. So towards the end of last year, I seriously committed to making the Bible a priority and specifically prayed for 2 things:
1) A desire to dig deep into His Word.
James 4:8 says that if we draw near to the Lord, He will draw near to us. Asking Him for a desire to read His Word produces the result. Now I’m not saying that I wake up every day and cannot wait to open my Bible, but it’s definitely something I desire to do more now than ever before. Try it, and see what happens when you simply ask.
2) One word to remind me WHY reading the Bible is so vital.
The word the Lord gave me is ANCHOR. Hebrews 6:19 says, “We have this hope as an anchor to my soul, firm and secure.” The physical responsibilities of a ship’s anchor (in movies and real life) are parallel to a beautiful spiritual analogy of the Bible. God’s Word has slowed me down when life feels like a runaway train, and I can’t seem to get my bearings. It has steadied me when the storms of life rage, and I just want off the boat. The Bible has secured me when I have questioned God’s plans and purposes in different stages of life. It has also secured me when it’s been a peaceful season, and I simply need something to keep me from drifting away. Hebrews 10:23 asks us to hold on to hope without wavering, because He who promised is faithful. No matter what comes, we can anchor ourselves to the Lord and to His hope. His Word is faithful.
So, what are some practical ways we can study the Bible and consistently read it?
- Do not be a slave to structure. Know that perfection is impossible. Let it go. Set a time to read, but give yourself the grace of a flexible schedule. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day. Maybe try to do it at lunch, or when the kids go to bed, or wake up a little earlier the next day.
- When routine becomes life-sapping instead of life-giving, change it up. There is a plethora of Bible reading plans online or on the Bible App. I also have a few devotionals of topical Bible passages I like to use and reference often.
- Model it in front of your kids. As moms and busy women, it is important to make quiet time to read. However, I firmly believe that it is also important for our kids to see us reading and studying. I want my kids to have a hunger for the Word of God, and what better way to encourage them than by showing them.
- Have accountability and discipleship. There are a multitude of small groups that can help with this: BSF (Bible Study Fellowship,) CBS (Community Bible Study,) your church’s small groups, online Bible studies, etc. My husband and I make it a point to discuss passages of Scripture we are reading, and sometimes we’ll read the same one. It keeps us accountable, as well as connects us spiritually. There is so much value in sharing with others what the Lord has been showing you.
It’s been a few months now since I’ve committed to getting back to the basics of consistent Bible reading. I had forgotten how much I loved it, and how much I needed it. Joshua 1:8 says, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” As inspiring, challenging, and encouraging as they are, books and blogs shouldn’t define my beliefs. Don’t get me wrong…I will keep reading them and loving them, but I want my core beliefs to be rooted in God’s Word, His voice, and His presence. I want what’s coming out of me to be from the Bible I’m putting in me. As a follower of Christ, I want to know what I believe and why I believe it.
Now it’s your turn! I’d love to hear from you on how you are “getting back to basics,” or anything the Lord has impressed on your heart to do this new year. Please share in the comments section below, and let’s encourage one another!