I’m not a “lightening bolt moment” person. What I mean by that is I very rarely have those huge “God moments.” You know, lighting bolts and electricity in the veins, thundering voice in the heart, writing-on-the-wall clarity. Many of us can probably say we’re not a “lightening bolt moment” person. Rather, the nudges on the heart are soft; the Voice whispers to the soul.
We probably wish for some lightening bolt moments; wanting to hear from God in big way; wanting to see His moving in a big way; wanting to feel His leading in a big way.
The few close-to-lightening-bolt-moments I’ve had were God’s reminders to me to have every-day-moments with Him; listening to His speaking through His Word and prayer; thanking Him for His provision and blessing in my life; coming to know His will in His Word and through prayer.
When I was about 12, I confessed to my dad the difficulties I was having in reading God’s Word. Namely, that I just didn’t have much of a desire to do so, because it took time and it was hard for me to understand. My dad answered me with a phrase he uses a lot when teaching: “A Divine interaction takes place when we read God’s Word.”
Yes, my physical Bible is simply a book, ink on paper, pink ribbon bookmark, highlighted and marked up. But when those words are read with eyes seeking God, ears listening for His whispers, heart desiring intimacy with Him, then they are alive, because then they penetrate and purify. (Hebrews 4:12) This reading becomes a fellowshipping with the One True God. God’s presence in the midst of the physical. A Divine interaction.
My dad told me with confidence that if I would read my Bible regularly, if I would make time for it and seek to understand it, God would reveal Himself to me. I would experience Jesus through His Word.
So with new determination and passion, I committed to reading my Bible. Shortly thereafter, I came to reading Psalm 73, and my eyes found these words:
These verses spoke of a desire for God, and promised His fulfilling, even when I fail. And my heart spoke that desire and I clung to the promises, and their was interaction between Jesus and I. Since that moment Psalm 73:25-26 has been my favorite passage; my life verse.
When I was in high school, I sat and listened to a fellow Bible quizzer share about the many times God had spoken to her as she memorized the verses. As I listened, my heart wondered, “Why hasn’t that happened for me?” God gently responded with a promise, “You be faithful to hide My Word in your heart, and I’ll be faithful to use it in you and through you.”
If I would have walked away from those lightening bolt moments and simply looked for the next one, I would have missed out on God’s teaching in the everyday. The gradual learning and growing in truth that has brought me through much decision-making, step-taking and emotional craziness.
When I read God’s Word, do I every time get this deep revelation, this wondrous understanding? No.
But God has been faithful to His promise. He has been true to His Word. As I have spent time studying the Scriptures, there has been Divine interaction, and God has worked in me and through me. As I have strived to live in the truth of God’s Word, following His instructions and living as a child of His, He has kept the promises and given the blessings of His Word.
I know from experience that being in God’s Word can be HARD. Life is crazy and busy and finding time and shutting out distractions so we can be in the Word is a definite obstacle.
In fact, that’s probably the biggest obstacle; making and spending adequate, intentional, focused time in Scripture. Because it’s a lot easier for Satan to bog us down with lies and negativity when we aren’t learning and believing and living the Truth. He whispers falsities about our identity and worth and purpose, and we fall for it because we’re not finding time to here God’s voice. Satan wants to keep this obstacle of time in between us and the truth of God’s Word.
In Psalm 19, God’s Word is described in this way:
These verses are full of promises and blessings. They describe the “great reward” there is for those who follow God’s Word: refreshment and revival, wisdom and direction, joy and righteousness.
The Scriptures are described as more precious than gold. Gold, and other precious metals and stones, are considered a treasure. They are seen as valuable and desirable. People sacrifice comfort and safety to mine these treasures. And God’s Word is more precious than these! More valuable. For it is not a treasure that moth and rust destroy and that thieves break in and steal. The Word of the Lord is enduring treasure; it stands forever. (Isaiah 40:8) It’s beauty is not in material shine and gleam, but in the Divine interaction that takes place. So it should be more desirable than any gem. We should be willing to take time and do some dirt-under-the-finger-nails digging, learning God's Word and hiding this treasure in our hearts, that we may not sin against the One who gives His Word so we can have deepening, rich relationship with Him. (Psalm 119:11)
When it comes to finding time to spend reading the Scriptures, there’s no magical, easy, 1-2-3-done solution. Because it’s not about finding time, it’s about making time. We all have the same amount of time in a day. 24-hours to fill as we please. Yes, we have responsibilities, like work and school and relationships. Yes, we have needs, like sleep and hygiene and nutrition. These things do take time. Everything takes time… so if we’re just wishing and looking for “extra” time to be in God’s Word, we’re probably not going to find it. But if we make time with the time we have, if being in God’s Word is a priority, a time to treasure, than we will make that treasured time, and will spend time in God’s Word.
How do we do this? When schedules are full and distractions pull, how do we make time for God’s Word?
Again, there’s no magical, easy, 1-2-3-done solution. But there are some things we can do to treasure our time with Jesus, and discover the treasure in His Word:
Choose to make time
It starts with a choice. Resolve to spend some time each day reading your Bible. Make it a priority. Mark it on your calendar, set an alarm on your phone, whatever works for you to intentionally set aside a bit out of those 24 hours to be with Jesus.
Choose the time of day that works best for you
There’s no right or wrong time to be in God’s Word. Are you a morning person? Does it work to read your Bible while having your morning coffee or tea? Go for it. Are you a I’m-not-quite-human-when-I-first-wake-up person? Need to eat some breakfast and get in a workout before you can focus? Go for it. Whenever you can make time, make time.
Get rid of distractions
That 15 minutes, half hour, or even hour you’ve set aside to be in God’s Word can be cut short and altogether disappear if emails are being checked, texts answered, and Pinterest browsed in between reading verses. Time in God’s Word needs to be treasured. We won’t hear and learn from Him if we aren’t listening.
Stick with it
God will use this time to work in you and through you. Each every-day moment in His Word will add up to fill your heart with truth and wisdom and peace and joy and hope and power.
Psalm 1:1-3 gives us a picture of those who spend time in God's Word:
When we make it a priority to spend time in God’s Word, we partake in the promises of God’s Word. God works in us. His Word nourishing our hearts like the water nourishes the tree. Our roots go deep and we stand tall and firm. God works through us. The Word planted in our hearts producing fruit in our lives; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) Fruit that others may “taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8)
Over the summer, I plan to write more Bible Study posts, sharing study methods and practical ways we can dig into God’s Word more and discover the treasure within.