There is this misunderstanding that being a Christian means reading your Bible. Or praying. Or fasting. Or finishing x-amount of devotional books in a year.
I don’t agree.
Now before you click the little X at the top of your browser, would you just hear me out? I believe in the living God, the creator of the universe, the sovereign God that establishes my steps and gives me breath.
I believe in Jesus, His Son, who died on the cross to bring glory to the Father and to save us from eternal death. I believe in the Bible as the inspired Word of God.
And yet, I don’t read my Bible every day. I don’t think I have ever fasted from food. And I rarely finish a devotional book.
Well, for a few reasons.
First, I am a perfectionist. I love lists. I love check marks. And I love when everything goes according to plan. This means that I would gladly write “Read Bible” & “Fast for lunch” on my to-do list.
But guess what? My heart motivation would be for the check mark, rather than growth and sanctification.
Second, when the motivation is a check mark, I do not gain much lasting truth from the time I spend reading. Yes, I believe that the Lord works each time we meet with Him, but I also believe that my heart and my mind need to be receptive to His voice and presence when I am meeting with the Lord.
When I sit down with my coffee and my Bible and it’s NOT on my checklist – when I read my Bible because I feel the Lord’s prompting – I finish feeling rejuvenated, refreshed, strengthened, and challenged.
This is so much better than finishing to check a box on my list.
Last, I struggle with the routine of daily quiet time because the Lord works in every part of our lives. So often, I find myself finishing morning quiet time only to move on to the next thing.
God works ALL day long in our lives.
I feel that I should not confine Him to one hour in my mornings. Because of this, I struggle to sit and be still with the Lord every day during quiet time because my tendency is to stand up and forget it for the rest of my day.
Now, before everyone leaves and thinks that I never read my Bible, let me explain myself…
Here is what I do every day.
- I worship with music, with passions, with hobbies. I worship while I run. I worship while I hike. I worship while I sing in the mornings. Every day, I worship.
- I communicate with God. Intentionally. I think about Him, His word, His promises. I rely on Him for help with decisions. I talk to Him about my desires, my hurts, my relationships. Every day, I communicate.
- I practice gratefulness. God has given me everything I need for this moment. I thank Him for His individual gifts to my husband and me, as well as the everyday abundance of blessings we experience.
- I challenge myself (usually by reading). Sometimes it’s just one verse in the Bible, but sometimes it’s an entire book of the Bible. Sometimes it is half of a devotional guide, and sometimes it is a fiction book that leaves me pondering. I read, which in turn allows me to stretch my thoughts about humanity, God, my sin, His grace.
5. I struggle. Every day I struggle to live out my faith, to love others well, to be Jesus in the world, to live intentionally. Every day I desire to read my Bible, and oftentimes it does happen. But sometimes it doesn’t. Every day I desire to pray, and sometimes I pray for long periods of time. Sometimes it’s one sentence. Every day I long to be perfect, to have my life together, to accomplish everything on my to-do list. And every day I fail because I need Jesus to be made perfect in my weakness.
So, no, I do not read my Bible every day. But I do meet with Jesus. I do invite the Lord into my life. I do study His promises and His purposes and His principles and His commands.
Every day, I have a relationship with Jesus.
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