Daily time spent in God’s Word brings refreshment and perspective. Scripture tells us that “The revelation of Your words brings light and gives understanding to the inexperienced.” (Psalm 119:130) When it comes to our relationships and especially our dating experiences, we greatly need this understanding and discernment found in studying God’s Word.
Boxes Of Journals
I know in my case that trying to have a daily quiet time with God has been quite the journey. I’ve tried many approaches. I have boxes of journals that I’ve written in, pouring out my hurts, my concerns, my questions for God. I’ve tried disciplined reading plans and systematic study, as well as a free flow approach: open the Bible and point to a verse!
Throughout all the attempts to study the Bible, deep down I knew that I should do it, no matter how daunting a task it seemed at times. But in failing to get to a disciplined daily plan, I experienced guilt and often dreaded having a daily devotion.
Many of us often struggle with guilt if we have not been consistent in reading our Bible or we lack the desire to even start a disciplined plan of reading and devotions. But discipline, in and of itself, is not the goal when it comes to having daily devotions; it’s all about the connection with God. God desires to speak into our hearts and radically change our lives, our dysfunctional patterns and our mindsets.
Longing For God’s Word
I believe it’s God’s desire that we learn to approach our time in His Word with anticipation, not anxiety. So how do we do that? Here are three tips to help you look forward to your daily devotion.
- Remember the intention behind devotions: For many people, the biggest problem with daily devotions is the word “daily.” When you wake up each morning, you’re usually hungry for breakfast, or at least desiring a mug of hot coffee. In the same way, when we say that we “should” desire to read God’s Word daily; it’s not about the law, but about the longing we should naturally have. Sometimes, we have to uncover this spiritual hunger by reminding ourselves of how much God’s love has changed us and how God’s Word will help us continue to grow as a follower of Him.
- Look for the clue: Realize that there are secrets in Scripture. Jesus said, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” (Mark 4:9) There are principles and helpful words of instruction in the Bible. It’s exciting to uncover a truth, apply it to your life and realize that God intended for you to hold these “keys” to the kingdom. And when we share what we are learning with our friends and family, it also increases our awareness of just how valuable these treasures of truth are.
- Leave the classroom behind: Our childhood memories of classrooms and teachers can color our perspective of the concept of studying. There are no grades, though, when you personally study the Bible. Studying is all about the quest to understand, and not about a performance that will be graded. Don’t be dismayed by your friends’ charts and color-coded devotional journals; how you study the Bible is all about the approach that works best with your unique style of learning. Take the pressure off and enjoy learning and studying God’s Word in an environment of grace.
When we take away the pressure and the self-condemnation, we find that digging into God’s Word can be a time of fulfillment, discovery and grace. The more you experience these things, the more you will anticipate your daily time in God’s Word. As the sun comes up each day, you can look forward to knowing God has words of insight and healing to impart to you; they’re written in His Word. And nothing can stop you from all that there is to learn about this loving God of grace who desires to speak to your heart.
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