Loving the Word of God does not seem that it should be a labor. Admitting a lax in your love or appreciation for the Word can feel shameful and wrong. I’m going to let you in on a little secret, though. Everyone deals with this. Everyone.
How to love studying the Word
I am passionate about the Word of God and the beauty of studying it. There is gold to be mined everywhere we turn. Not just in the Psalms or the Gospels but everywhere. Every word of Scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit and useful.
“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 complete, equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17
I love when people study the Word and I am particularly passionate about women studying the Word with depth and precision because women’s studies have too often been marked by emotionalism and trite sayings. I want the meat of the Word in my own life and I desperately want others to dig in and love it.
Despite my passion I too can lax in my love. I too can struggle to appreciate the Word and see its life changing, soul transforming beauty on days when my study seems hard and it does not seem immediately applicable to my life.
Our hearts are, as one of my favorite hymns proclaims, “prone to wander… prone to leave the God we love.” Drawing our hearts back to the beauty of the Scriptures is a labor and often it is a job we are not taught how to do.
For my own wandering soul I have found a few things particularly helpful and I hope they will be to you as well.
1. Remain in the Word.
Don’t glance at the Psalms and be discouraged when you don’t find the verse you feel you need on a particular day and walk away. Don’t find a devotional you can read in under 5 minutes and consider that your Bible reading for the day or the week. Pick a book of the Bible and use good resources such as Jen Wilkin’s studies and the Knowing the Bible series that walk you through whole books of the Bible step by step in an approachable manner.
There is no quick cure, though we all wish there was. It is a labor which takes time, effort, and perseverance. It often takes sitting in the Word when your heart feels distant and remembering the truth of Isaiah 55:11 – that God’s Word will never return to Him empty but will accomplish the purpose for which God ordained.
You may not immediately feel better in your situation today but over time as you come to know the God of the Bible, His Spirit will use the truths of His Word to heal your soul and change your life.
Become a member of a Biblical local church. I cannot overstate the importance of this in your personal walk with the Lord. The local church is the visible representation of God’s hand at work in the world.
The local church gives you the opportunity to love people and gives people the opportunity to love you. When you are discouraged, it is a local church that can encourage your soul. When you have need, it is the local church that can come around to help meet that need. When you are in the hospital, it is members and leaders of the local church who can visit you and take care of your family. When you face a soul shattering trial, it is the local church that can pray with you and hold you up.
Become a member of Biblical local church.
I am not talking here about an “accountability partner”. I don’t think that is a bad concept but I am speaking here in a larger sense.
Get involved in a Bible study. This has been a tremendous blessing to me over the last year in my walk with the Lord. Together with the women of my church I have studied 1 Peter and Nehemiah and I am now working through Practical Theology for Women.
The accountability that comes from meeting regularly (twice a month for us) kept me in the Word when I didn’t “feel like it” so I could be prepared.
Since becoming a mother 4 years ago I have found it incredibly difficult to be consistent in the Word. I know how important it is but I have always struggled with interruptions and plans being changed so a daily “devotional” time was difficult for me. If you are in a similar place I encourage you to check out Risen Motherhood. The resources they provide are very helpful!
If you just read that and said something like “Kate, that’s nice but I don’t know of any good Bible studies around me.” Then you have a few options. You can do what I did and start a Bible study at your church OR you can find one or two friends and ask them if they would like to join you for a study. Meet at your kitchen table if you have to, even with children circling your feet.
God will bless your efforts to meet with Him in the Word. I can promise He has blessed mine.
4. See your need.
We have a tendency to think far too highly of ourselves. We are full of pride and want to believe (even if we would never say it) that we are okay on our own. Or even that God needs our efforts.
The truth is that God is all powerful. He chooses to work through His people but he does not need us. We are vessels of His grace.
The God who made us, who formed mountains, and sea creatures, and red wood trees also came into that creation to give us eternal life. The God who hung the stars in the sky and counts the hairs on every head has mandated how we are to live. The God who simply spoke and the vast emptiness was filled with teeming life has spoken to us in His Word and it is capable of the same transformation in our souls.
We are in great need. He is our creator and sustainer. We must know Who He is and what He desires for His people. We find this in His Word. There is no greater course of study we can dedicate our lives to.
The Word can feel dry and difficult. However, I assure you, if you remain in it; if you fight the temptation within your own heart and the temptation Satan heaps on you to flee the difficulty and retreat from true knowledge, God will use His Word as He has promised in your life. May we come together, admitting our wandering hearts, eager to meet with our Savior, and humbly thanking Him for His faithfulness to His Word and His people.
For more thoughts on how the Lord is using His Word in our family check out The 7 Word Prayer that Changed My Life With Littles and The Hospitality of Jesus.