Ever since I shared about how my daily time in God’s Word and in prayer has been so lifechanging, people have asked: Can you share how you started reading your Bible regularly?
If you haven’t yet, please read this. It’s important for people to know about, I think. How the old me was such a go-getter and how I relied on my own strength more than God’s (because I thought that being a good Christian meant that I needed to do all the right things – like I needed to somehow save myself instead of relying on the One who already saved me). How I used to be anxious and worried constantly. How I have been a Christian for my entire life but didn’t really start craving God’s Word and true fellowship with Him until just a few years ago.
How now I have found myself at a point in my life that is busier than ever before – and because of that, I realize that I MUST find time to sit in the quiet with God in prayer. I am not ok without this time with Him.
Please do read this —>
In short, I’m too busy not to find time to spend with God each day. I’m too challenged to try to do life on my own strength. And I’m too filled with joy over what God offers to hold back on seeking more and more through His perfect Truth.
His Word is Life
Now let’s talk about how to regularly start spending time in the Word and in prayer – even if it’s not something you crave (yet). Especially if it’s not something you don’t think you have time for.
Nobody “has time.” That’s why we have to do this. We are so busy that we HAVE to do this. We can’t do this busy life without God. And we can’t be at peace if we’re trying to do any of it without His constant guidance from Scripture and from communication with Him through the Spirit.
How to Start Reading Your Bible Regularly
1. Decide that you want this.
Deep down, I think we all really do want this. But we have to decide that we want it enough to actually do it. Eventually, time in the Word and in constant communion with God is something we will all desire so much that we can’t get through a day without it.
But until then, make the decision to want it. Make the decision today. Not at the first of the year as some kind of “I’m gonna do better” resolution. Not after you finish that big thing you’re doing so that you’ll finally have more time available. Decide today that today is the day you will be intentional about reading the Word and talking to God intimately.
2. Pray about a time and space in your day that you can make this happen.
God wants this for you. So no matter what season in life you are in and how many tasks fill your day, He will provide time for you to spend in focused conversation with Him. Mornings work best for me, but if that doesn’t work for you, find what does.
At this point, our littlest guys sleep through the night. So if I can get to bed at a decent time at night, I can get up at least an hour before they get up in the mornings so that I can spend that entire time in prayer, reading the Word, and journaling what God is teaching me and telling me.
The time of day that God works out for YOU doesn’t matter – what matters is that you do make time in your day. God will do this for you. Choose to do this with Him.
3. Know that sometimes it’s uncomfortable.
Other tasks and to-dos are going to tug at you. Saying yes to this means saying no to something else.
This is worth noting: Most mornings I roll right out of bed. But sometimes, if I’ve gotten to bed late the night before or if I didn’t sleep well for some reason, I have a hard time waking up early enough to head to my Bible-reading chair. But if I feel like I can (as in, if I know that I got a healthy amount of sleep in order to avoid sickness and exhaustion) I push myself out of bed anyway because friends, I NEED THIS. I know that if I don’t have this time with God in the morning, I’m missing the most important piece of my day that brings the calm and peace and Truth that keeps me going each day.
What I’m saying is, sometimes you won’t feel like making this happen. Do it anyway, as if your life depends on it. Because truth: your life depends on it.
4. Discover what you need to read and go for it!
Pray for God’s perfect guidance and direction for you in this. If you’re reading your Bible, you can’t go wrong no matter what you read and where you start. Just read. And read for relationship more than knowledge. You’ll gain knowledge, no doubt. But I’ve found that if my focus in reading is to hear directly from God and to get to know Him better, this changes how I read and understand scripture.
When I finally quit reading to prove a point and instead started reading to get to know my Savior – this changed my spiritual life completely. THAT’S WHEN I STARTED LOVING THE WORD!!
If you truly aren’t sure where to start, here are my first suggestions:
- Read the book of John to get to know Jesus and how He loved people.
- Read the book of Luke to get to know Jesus and how He served people.
Those two books, read through fresh eyes and a fresh heart, changed me. I got to know Jesus in a beautiful way while digging into those books. I was introduced more fully to the Holy Spirit – life-changing! And then, my journey through other parts of the Bible have been richer because I’ve been more able to see how the entire Bible and God’s plan came together to bring us our Savior!
5. Ask for fresh eyes and a fresh heart.
Since I just mentioned this above, let me encourage you to also ask God for this. I didn’t know it was possible to read words I’d read so many times and to understand them so differently than I had before!
See, I was raised in a Christian home (praise God) and had been taught a lot of scripture. But because of this, I struggled to read many passages without “already knowing what they meant.” I found myself wishing that I had never read the Bible before so that I could just read it and come to understand it for myself instead of through the lens of teaching I’d received. The teaching wasn’t bad, I just wanted to read it like it was brand new!
I had no idea it was even possible, but I did pray and ask God to help me read His word with a brand new set of lenses. Well, of COURSE it’s possible. God wanted that for me too!
So if you want this too – ask God for it. He’ll help you read His word as if you’ve never read it before and it will come to LIFE for you. It will become your life!
6. Be open to what you will learn.
If you’re truly ready to dig in, you will discover a Power at work that is mightier than anything you can imagine. You will find a God who loves you more than you realize, a Jesus who saved you before you knew you need it, and a Spirit who guides you and longs to be your everything in every way through every day.
In short, be ready for amazing things to happen in your life because THIS IS THE GOD YOU’RE GOING TO GET TO KNOW!
7. So be ready for battle.
The enemy liked you better before you started digging into the Word more fully. He’d rather you stay where you are, not growing, not learning, not meeting Jesus like this every day.
So be aware that he’s going to try to fill you with lies, discouragement, and pretty much do everything he can to keep you stagnant in your faith. Nope. Not today. Not ever. Jesus wins. Jesus already won. We are in Him and He is in us. We have nothing to fear. We choose God’s way!
Arm yourself: Read and pray Ephesians 6:10-20 and Psalm 91 over yourself, your family, and your home. Focus on the Truth that we live under God’s powerful protection and that all He offers is mighty over the enemy! Stand up. Stand firm.
8. Take note of what you’re learning. Literally.
I realize that not everyone loves to journal. But I find myself being filled with such incredible Truth that it really helps me to write down what I’m learning and what God is telling me. Otherwise, I may forget or not listen to Him in a focused way. Also, I love to look back and re-read Truths that I’ve learned that He wants me to walk in and live by.
So I keep a journal with my Bible and I write what I’m learning. Some days I write two words. Some days I write two pages. Always I write the scripture references that God led me to for the day so that I can look back if I need to.
There’s not just one way to use a journal. But I do feel that it’s effective to have and use them in any way God helps you to use them.
(If you’re interested, here are the beautiful scripture journals I asked my friend Charlene to design for us if you’d like to enjoy these with me)
9. Enjoy falling in love with God all over again. Every day.
Spending time in the Word, talking to Him directly, sitting in the quiet to listen to His direction – I am so very thankful God has made me want this. This time with Him each day fills me and has walked me through some incredible challenges the past few years as God has brought so many wonderful changes in our lives. I NEED JESUS. Constantly.
10. Focus on the Bible. Relationship is the goal.
Devotional books and Bible study books can be great, for sure. But nothing beats reading directly from God’s word. Nothing. Remember, this is about relationship. Growing in our love for the Lord and for others. The Bible is everything. Prayer is everything. The Holy Spirit’s guidance is everything.
Share with us!
What works for you? How is God at work in you to grow His relationship with you?