So how do we make Bible study a habit if so much is working against us?
How do I study the Bible when it is so hard to understand and make time for?
There really is no cookie cutter answer to this question beyond, you just do it. Why? Because we are commanded to commit our lives to scripture.
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My child, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:14-17
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
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Our problem with habitual Bible study is not the Bible or our time commitments or anything else we use to make an excuse. It is our hearts. Our hearts are the first and foremost, the only real problem.
There is always something new to learn. There are exciting stories of life and death and love and battles. It is hardly boring, and yet, the lies are whispered into our ears that there is much more interesting, much more productive, much better things to do.
It is not a Bible problem. It is a heart problem. And I believe that there are a few habits we can take part in that will help us pivot our hearts toward a love for God’s Word.
Here are some of the best personal Bible Study tools that will help you build the greatest habit of your life.
Make a habit of setting apart time.
I get it as much as anyone else. I am a student, a writer, a wife, an active member at my church, I volunteer lots of hours of my week, and it is just as easy for time to get away from me as anyone else.
Some of you are moms. Some of you work 70 hour weeks. Some of you are in school full time, working full time, and have just enough time to crank out the 10 page paper due at midnight.
Can I affirm you in something right now? It does seem impossible.
Can I remind you of something? Jesus sees you.
He sees what is going on in your life and He still wants you. Do we somehow think that because our schedules seem busier that He has exempted us from the command to be “transformed by the renewal of our minds”?
If you can’t find a single moment in your day, ask Him to make it. He will bless us in what He has asked us to do. He will bless us when we are seeking relationship with Him.
In all likelihood though, there is time somewhere. Maybe you spend an hour catching up on your favorite Netflix drama each day. Maybe you scroll your phone at dinner. Maybe you sleep until twenty minutes before you have to leave.
I do not believe that Jesus is asking too much when He asks us to put our desires aside to pursue time with Him. Did He not give away all the comforts of heaven that we might take part in eternal life? Did He not walk this earth being beaten and bruised and spat upon to repair our relationship with His father?
Set aside time, sister. Christ is greater than our excuses.
Make a habit of prayer.
I wholeheartedly believe that when I am having a hard time reading God’s word, it is because I am having a hard time pursuing my relationship with Him.
Meaning, I am not talking to Him.
Peter and Paul remind us that prayer should not be a three-times-a-day before meals thing. It should be constant, unchanging, and it should take place every moment of every day.
Prayer is the crux of our relationship with God. We gave up our right to walk the earth with Him when we chose our way over His; and yet He still gives us prayer. He still communicates with us through His Spirit. He gave us Himself that He may dwell with us until we can dwell with Him.
So let us use this gift He has given us!
Spend time in prayer before you open up your Scripture. Ask God to breathe into your heart and life as you read each word. Whether it is Leviticus or Romans, He is trying to communicate something to us, and He wants us to ask Him what that is.
Make a habit of worship.
I am completely guilty of thinking about worship as a Sunday thing. Some awesome musicians get on the stage and sings some songs that move our hearts to this feeling we call worship. Then we go home.
If we are really great, we might worship in our cars on the way to work. That’s going above and beyond.
While these are good, they are not the end all, be all of what a worshipful lifestyle is. Worship should be our battle cry. It should be what wakes us up in the morning and the posture in which we go to bed at night.
Read each word of your Bible in worship. Thank God for the words set before us. Praise Him for even giving them to us at all.
He didn’t have to leave His voice on our end table, but He did.
Living a worshipful life only makes us want Him more. And when we want Him, we want His word. We want His heart.
Notice the heart change.
Then each morning as your rise just a little earlier or each afternoon when you choose to read the Bible over watching Friends, notice how quickly your heart beams with excitement. Notice how you feel after you close the book and continue in prayer.
It will not always be easy to continue in this habit. Our flesh will continue to bubble up within us and the enemy will continue to tell us it is all for naught.
And even so, we will continue. It will become easier by the day, and it won’t be because you found the perfect method or found the perfect Bible study. It will be because your perfect Savior renewed your unperfected heart.
To get started making Bible Study a habit, I have created a Seven Day Guide to Habitual Bible Study that is designed for heart change. Check it out, and let me know how you like it in the comments below!