My friend had to cut our phone conversation short because she had to “cram” for her Bible study class coming up that night.
“I know this isn’t the way I’m supposed to be studying the Bible,” she said. “The study I am in is designed so that we read a little each day building up to time for the class, but this is just where I am right now.”
I assured her she likely wasn’t alone, that others in the class are probably doing the same thing. I’ve been there before myself.
Committing to a weekly Bible study with built-in accountability sounds great when you sign up, but then you actually have to follow through with the plan. That’s when life seems to always get in the way.
Finding time to read and quietly meditate on Scripture will be an eternal battle I fight.
But I’ve found the most success by simplifying my daily Bible reading to a specific chapter or section of a chapter, spending time meditating on the words and listening to God rather than trying to accomplish too much too fast.
For the past few years I’ve followed a plan that has been featured in previous issues of The Alabama Baptist (TAB) — D-Life (www.livethedlife.com).
Once I grasped the idea of truly living a life of discipleship, I was freed from the temptation to read and study solely to answer the questions in the study book or to see how quickly I could read through the Bible each year.
TAB will feature a variety of articles on discipleship and processes that are working for congregations around the state in each of the January issues.
The start of a new year provides a great time to hit the reset button on all things, especially our Scripture reading methods.
And I couldn’t help but get a head start thinking about the importance of prioritizing our time in the Word as another friend shared with me recently about a sermon series she has been meditating on.
It deals with how we as believers tend to have spiritual amnesia and must stay in the Word daily in order to remember God’s truths and not stray from His path.
I had never heard it described that way but it makes total sense. No matter how simple the command “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength … and love your neighbor as yourself,” we still can’t seem to remember all the parts of it.
We are so easily distracted, exhausted, tempted and disillusioned. And when we return to the Word completely, openly and repentantly, it is obvious, so very obvious.
Yet one day away from the Lord takes our eyes off Him even if just for a moment; a week away moves our whole being away from Him.
Weeks can easily turn into months and months into years and then the spiritual amnesia moves to a critical level.
Trust, faith, obedience
We are called to trust, have faith and follow the Lord in obedience, but without including Him in every part of us and prioritizing focused time with Him, how will we grow in our faith? How will we become more like Him?
His ways are certainly not our ways, as Scripture says, but we are called to trust and follow even when we don’t understand.
My life group leader at church challenged our class in mid-December in the area of faithful obedience. He asked us to ask ourselves:
“Am I living a life of faithful obedience that will bring blessings to my life and those near me? Or do I think I know better?”
—Jennifer Davis Rash