Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
My whole life, I grew up being told, “Read your Bible.” I heard it a lot at church. I heard it at school. I heard it from my grandmother. Actually, she lived that example. She always read her Bible. But to me, it was just something people said. It wasn’t something I always witnessed them doing, and some of the people who said it didn’t act like they were actually doing it….if you know what I mean.
I prayed as I grew in my relationship with Jesus (that’s a whole other post). I read devotionals. I read books and listened to sermons and radio stations (no podcasts back then). I read my Bible by default because the books and devotionals had Bible verses in them. I didn’t often just read my Bible.
Fast forward a few years, and the bottom fell out of my life. I won’t go into all the details here, but I was afraid. Really afraid. I was afraid that my entire world was going to come crashing down around me. I could not fix it on my own (and believe me, I tried). So I prayed. A lot.
God first spoke when I woke up in the middle of this with a Bible verse in my head. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 Funny thing is, when it happened, I thought, “I think that’s a Bible verse.” I got out of bed and went and looked. Sure enough, there it was. I knew this was God talking to me.
God’s direction during this time was “Wait.” And He let me wait for a long, long time. But during that time, He talked. He talked through friends. He talked through music, but mostly, He talked through His Word. He kept bringing promise after promise to me, and I wrote them down. I carried them around. Each day, I got up and went to read what He had to say in His Word. It truly became my love letters from God. And for the first time, I understood.
Years have passed, and I have been reading my Bible. It’s been really amazing. Last year, in one of my discipleship meetings, my friend said she wanted to learn how to study the Bible more. So we bought a book and workbook called “Living by the Book” by William and Howard Hendricks. We went through the book and workbook and learned different techniques. It was very helpful.
Do you know the biggest lesson we learned on that journey? If you want to dig into the Bible more and get more out of it, it takes …. Time. Like you, I often don’t think I have a lot of extra time. I’m busy….aren’t we all. But, in this journey, I realized I was trying to come to the Bible, get my quick fix and move on. I wasn’t making time to really let the Holy Spirit speak to me through it. I needed to read it, read it again and again, and then ask questions. I needed to put myself into the text and figure out what God was trying to say to me.
The more I did this, the clearer I could hear Him speak. The more I lingered, the deeper my experience. I love hearing Him talk through His Word. It is truly mind-blowing.
Why am I sharing this? Because I think many of us want to grow deeper in our walk with Jesus. We want to know him more and truly be His disciple. But we are busy. We don’t think we have the time. And we let our business interfere with our Journey. If you want a deeper walk with Jesus, you have to make room for Him. Carve out some time. Linger a little. Make it a priority, and watch how Jesus speaks to your heart. It is truly life altering.