Years ago I’d just come out of a string of bad relationship experiences. Transitioning to a different and “calmer” way of life was a challenge to say the least.
I was drowning in regret, fear of the unknown, restlessness, and a lack of focus.
A huge question loomed over my head:
“Who was I without all the baggage I’d been carrying for years?”
I couldn’t seem to complete anything. My unfinished college degree (at the time) and unmet personal goals were vying for my attention.
And most importantly, something else was demanding my time, effort, and energy: a closer walk with God.
And I’m not necessarily talking about upping my church attendance. Although I could (at the time) certainly improve in this area.
I’d been born, bred, and raised in the church. But now it was time for something deeper, more lasting, and undoubtedly intimate. I was desperate and needed God so badly. I didn’t know it then, but to know God was truly getting ready to change my life.
#Jesus was calling…
I remember the day like it was yesterday. The month was January and I and a couple of friends began to meet weekly. We read the Bible, beginning in Genesis (Old Testament) and Matthew (New Testament). We casually conversed about our discoveries and journal entries centered on the scriptures over coffee and dessert at the local Barnes & Noble. It was great. But soon our group of three turned into two.
Then our group of two became one. This “one” happened to be me.
I could have become discouraged, but for some reason I became even more motivated. This was God’s doing because I had no desire to go on this journey previously.
I plugged along in the scriptures, read other nonfiction books and material that supported my studies about God and Biblical womanhood. I also took notes at every church service as the minister would teach.
I became captivated at what the Story of God was revealing to me in the Bible – The Lord loved me deeply, was pursuing me fervently, and had given me a purpose and reason to exist outside of all the “drama” I’d been chasing for years.
God showed me Himself in a way I had never experienced and I was grateful. God and His Word saved my life.
Years later, I still read the entire Bible in a year. DailyAudioBible.com is my go-to resource and I must say I’m still learning more about God! Do the scriptures get old and redundant? Never!
As I’ve evolved as a woman, wife, mom, and teacher of the Bible, I’m challenged each year to go just a little bit deeper with my studies. These times with God are not merely to acquire more “knowledge.” Additionally, I don’t minimize my efforts if I don’t understand every verse and every chapter. God is much too gracious than that.
Instead the goal is to literally be transformed by the power that rests in God’s Word!
Hebrews 4:12 (ESV) For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
If you desire to embark on a similar journey, I recommend:
•Don’t overthink your pursuit of the Bible. Think of it as a pursuit of God versus a pursuit of a boring history book. God can’t be separated from His Word. He is the Word (John 1:1).
•Set aside time. 15 – 30 minutes is sufficient. If there are days that you can dive in for a longer period of time – go for it.
•Utilize a journal or notebook. Write down the scriptures that may be “speaking” to you the most.
•Don’t understand something? Research the scriptures or passages that have peaked your interest or curiosity. One of my favorite Bible Commentaries is @ https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/matthew-henry/toc/
•Find a Bible Study plan that works for you. Perhaps you want to read all of Psalms or Proverbs. Maybe you want to read the entire Bible.
•Pray always for a desire for the Word of God. There will be days you are unmotivated, tired, or really busy. Pray for the strength and discipline to see your Bible plan through – not out of “religious duty” but as a time and space to be with the Lord intimately.
•Eliminate distractions. I say this lightly and seriously. Your phone, emails, texts, and even people will suddenly start buzzing, beeping, and talking when you begin to put God first in this manner. Lol😊 #TrueStory #StayFocused
•Don’t guilt yourself. If you have to skip a day. Make plans to pick things back up the next day or soon after.
Have more questions? I’m just one email away.
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