I do not think it is possible to achieve Bible study perfection in this life, “and that’s… ok.'” (Stuart Smalley Voice). Here’s what I mean. For the Christian, regular time in God’s Word is vital to spiritual growth, and yet I don’t know anyone in my faith circle that hasn’t at one time, or another had problems staying on track with their devotional time. Many struggle with guilt over this, and even feel like they are “bad Christians”. I believe that these negative feelings are used by the “great deceiver” to damage, and discourage us as we work to grow in Christ.
That being said, Satan’s attacks, and the onslaught of everyday life, does not excuse us from the need to establish a consistent, quality, time of Bible study. If anything, it should reinforce just how desperately we need to invest in a personal “quiet time”. However, before this quest begins, there is one inescapable truth that we must first come to terms with. Bible study is a discipline. You have to take ownership of it. You have to make it a priority, there is no way around it, and the quicker that you accept this fact, the sooner you will be on the road to success.
For example, who would Peyton Manning be without the hours of film study and throwing reps? Certainly not the NFL Hall of Famer he is destined to be. With football, and any other competitive sport, winning requires sweat equity and time spent in training. Winning and training, the two go hand in hand, they cannot be separated.
Training pays off. When Peyton finally won that elusive Superbowl the victory was big on many levels. Financially: he was paid somewhere in the realm of 80K for winning, and then countless thousands for all the endorsements. Mentally: for years critics claimed he couldn’t win the “big one”, with his Superbowl win he finally shed that proverbial “monkey” from his back.
Winning the Bible study battle has its rewards as well. You should expect a vibrant, and growing faith as you apply the scriptures to your daily experience, and that in itself is reward enough, but I’d like to share another “reward” that I have come to enjoy. I find that when I spend regular time meditating on God’s Word, the more I WANT to meditate on God’s Word! I literally begin to hunger for truth, and I get energized as scripture leaps off the page and penetrates my core. It is in these moments that I can actually feel the Spirit inside me taking pleasure in the reading of his own words!
I get caught up in what God feels when he delights in his truth, his plan, and his own glory. The overflow of pure joy that God radiates while reveling in himself pours over me, and I can not help but worship him.Typically, in moments like these a song comes to mind, and while a song presented itself, lines from one of my favorite movies did as well. The good stuff starts at 1:19 so feel free to skip ahead.
Lest we get too far from the whole “My Life, In Music” thing, here’s the scripture, and song that I think explains what is going on in these special moments.
Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me (Psalm 42:7)
“…I want to be near You, Want to be known, Want my deep to find its home
Calling to deeper love, Calling to higher truth, Calling to anything that leads me
Deeper and farther on with You…”
So In other words, the Holy Spirit in me constantly calls out for deeper connection with God the Father, and Jesus the Son. When that connection is made I get the benefit of experiencing the pleasure that they find in one another! (remember the Dance?)
Friend, I share this in the hopes that you will be encouraged in the fight, and that you will be spurred on into a more consistent, and fulfilling time of personal Bible study. You have everything to lose, but when you put in your “reps” you’ll there is sure to be gain. I will pray for you in this struggle, and I ask that you remember me, as I am sure to stumble many more times along the way.