(ANON QUESTION RECEIVED FROM GodfirstGodalways)
Do you have any tips on reading the bible? I always get distracted when I start and I feel as though I’m reading it just to read it and not for understanding…Thanks in advance
I love this question. 🙂 I read from my devotional this morning and I’ll go ahead and take an aspect of it and apply it to this. I think you have to approach Bible reading as a pauper. Be aware that you’re a pauper but don’t have self pity because in God’s eyes that’s a sin. The scripture in the message I read said “Blessed are the poor in spirit…because it is through your poverty that you can enter My Kingdom.” (Matthew 5:3) In your case, I believe your poverty (lack of) is your focus. Everyday God puts us in situations that make us uncomfortable (even if He knows it’s just us wanting to give Him our attention). Our job is to look at this poverty as an opportunity to offer it to Him in prayer. If we are alert to our lack, whatever is bothering us about it, it’s best to be honest with God and ask Him to give us the understanding, patience, perseverance, enlightenment by presenting whatever it is to Him so we can go ahead and give our full attention to reading the Bible. And no matter how many times I’m distracted while I read, I ask God to give me an undivided attention, I end up praising Him and thanking Him and I may even turn to the Psalms before I read anything else. Bible reading becomes boring oftentimes because we think we already know it all. By approaching the Bible with that attitude whether we are aware of it or not, what happens is our pride builds up and blocks us from seeing this about us and it puts our mind in a state of carelessness. When we don’t really care, we’re unprepared to receive any of the Lord’s blessings. But if we humble ourselves and are completely honest with God before we approach Him or the Bible, He meets us halfway and helps us to focus on Him as He is completely focused on us. Always have a heart that hopes to be presented the verse/scripture/message that He intends for you to read. That is faith right there. You already have the Bible in front of you, just pray that wherever You turn to it is exactly what the Father in Heaven planned for you to read. He is always guiding you.
Right before I read from my Bible or daily devotional book, I pray and believe that God purposely wants me to read the day’s message, and whatever the “day’s message” is is the perfect one for me because everything in the Bible is good (it serves to teach), and also everything in Christian daily devotionals are good because they are biblical and God-breathed. Pray that He reminds you to offer your lack every single time before you open your Bible. If you feel this lack is such a mountain and it’s turning you away from reading, then it’s clear that it’s become like a mundane routine for you. Every morning, you have to be aware that Satan is always ready to divert your attention. Every day is new and you have to wake up to the fact that you must do whatever it takes to meet God halfway instead of being distracted. Sometimes I set my alarm (my phone) at the opposite side of my bed in my room with my Bible/devotional/journal next to it, so it makes me have to get up, and I know the Father sees that as effort in meeting Him halfway, you have to be aware that everything is an opportunity, I mean EVERYTHING, even those negative thoughts and distractions that come early in the morning….or any time of the day. I put up visualizations and positive messages including scripture all over my room to remind me why I’m doing this, because if your purpose is powerful enough, which it should be because it’s God, then He will empower you with strength to encourage you to grow spiritually. It’s in His will. Sometimes I sleep with clean gym clothes on and when I wake up, right away I run in place or do jumping jacks for 1-2 minutes, then get right into scripture putting on faith that He wanted me to get up that early so I pay attention to what He has for me, because that’s how much He loves me! The secret is taking every thought captive and doing WHATEVER it takes to do something about it, so Satan remains uninvited in your heart and instead you benefit from all God’s blessings, peace, wisdom, and more!
Try sleeping with your Bible next to you with a highlighter. Turn your Bible into a journal! Write on it, make it messy with notes, make art out of it. There’s a ton of Christian podcasts on the internet and videos of sermons on YouTube. Listen to/watch them and make a list of as many scriptures as you can and later at night or the following morning when you read your Bible you can review them. You can also write journal entries like something that happened in the past week that certain scriptures would apply to. Writing for me really helps to make a reflection on my relationship with God, because if I only make time to read or listen (and sometimes we don’t really even hear what we listen to or comprehend what we read because we simply were not aware that we weren’t aware), but when I write that’s me communicating to the Lord, I also talk out loud, but writing for me is something I can always go back to to reflect on, it also helps my growth by seeing my point of view from the past. So my point is write as you read, summarize verses and turn them into affirmations, even if it means just rewriting it, it produces a meditation in you, and that’s pleasing to God because He sees that as you praising and worshipping Him. Do all that it takes to help you apply that scripture to your life. There’s something about the first hour of every morning you get up, something very private and personal, that time belongs to God, and that is perfect for giving Him your first and your all. I’m going to make another post about this because I have more ideas, but I wanted to make a quick reply because I’m about 2 weeks behind replying to messages. Thank you for that question. I’ll be praying for you too. God bless you. 🙂
By His Grace, Sheela (Via godfirstgodalways)