This is me still learning after nearly 20 years of being a Christian, so thought I’d share it so it might benefit you lovely people out there.
I don’t find Bible study easy. Firstly, there’s the whole actually fitting it in thing when everyone and everything is demanding a piece of your time. Secondly, if you use a study guide, you have to make sure the author is scripturally right and that the level of study is right for you.
I’m a self-confessed back-seat driver: Having a Theology degree and being a Christian a long time, makes me want to second-guess where the book or speaker is going with a topic (I know that sounds awful, but I’m just being real with y’all). Sometimes this makes me skip ahead and miss something because I want to read around an idea or see if answers to questions are what I thought.
However, I’ve realised quite recently that the degree means nothing to my spiritual development; God doesn’t need me to be a big-head, just a servant.
On my course, there were dozens of non-Christians simply studying Theology as part of philosophy, politics, ethics or teaching courses. They weren’t looking for spiritual growth, just academic knowledge (which is fine, I love learning, go for it).
So I knew quite a lot about the Bible, but some of it didn’t sink in spiritually…so this is what I’m trying to do now:
- The Word comes first and God wants me to read it. There are hundreds of excellent study guides and sermons out there, but none of them are His Word like the Bible, so I’m trying to increase my reading time.
- Accept there are things that you haven’t got right yet and ask for help. (God knows already what you find easy or hard, ask Him for help with what you’re working on…and seek others who may know.)
As an aside to points 1 and 2, be realistic with your time and start with a simple study: Something we always try to do is the Word for Today daily devotionals and read a Proverb each day of the month. The book of Proverbs is a great way to start studying because, as well as being basically a whole book of advice, there are 31 chapters so there’s one for each day of the month!
3. I’m trying what our amazing pastor suggested a few weeks ago: 10 minutes each of worship. Bible study and prayer (and then increase the time).
Worship (singing, prayer, praising God for what He’s done) really opens you up to hearing the Spirit when you study.
Prayer gets you focused, you can ask God to reveal stuff to you as you read.
The study itself is soooooo much better for you than it would have been just done as a quick thing to fit in that day. (Like I said, just being real. We all have days that are more rushed than others.)
The time thing really helps as well, it’s like allowing yourself time to exercise, but for your spiritual muscles. I found the days I did study like this, my prayer and worship were deeper too and actually went back to worship afterwards…. I thought the increasing time would take more effort, but when your Spirit is wide awake it’s harder to stop than to keep going.
If you want to grow in your walk with God, try this because it really does make a difference… and if, like me, you struggle to read your Bible sometimes, I know from experience that this will make a difference.
Have a blessed day x