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God’s Word in Your Real Life

God’s Word in Your Real Life

Let’s be honest with each other.

You’ve likely heard that spending time in God’s Word is vital to a flourishing relationship with God. And one hundred percent that is true. Scripture is filled with truths about what God says about us, thinks about us, and what it means to be loved, set free, and chosen by God.

But what happens when reading the Bible starts to feel mundane and routine? A joyless obligation? When our faith feels stale?

If you’ve ever felt these things, you’re not crazy and you’re not alone. And over the years, I’ve met thousands of people who feel this same way. I’m raising my hand here, too. I have two theories regarding why the habit of reading Scripture is hard for many of us.

We Think of God’s Word as a To-Do List Item

Some of us were taught that reading Scripture is an obligation, and that came with negative connotations (perhaps strictly religious ones) that have been a serious strain to overcome. Perhaps you gave your life to Jesus and then someone handed you a Bible and said, “Now read this,” so you’ve been doing it because it’s what Christ followers are “supposed to do.” Or you have known Jesus your whole life and read the Bible your whole life, so it’s a practice you’ve always done; you just haven’t felt anything fresh from it in a while, and you don’t feel more joy or peace — but again, you know you’re “supposed to.”

Overtime, it can feel like a lifeless to-do list item. This might be one of the Enemy’s favorite ways to keep you from knowing who you are!

  • God spends a lot of time in the Bible telling us who we are. The Enemy’s greatest threat is us knowing who we are.

And the Enemy knows that when we stop engaging with God’s words, we grow disconnected from God and disconnected from ourselves.

Don’t let the Enemy convince you that knowing what God says about you is a religious box you must check every day, or else. That is what happens when we put the emphasis on the structure of our faith, not the Source of our faith. There is no power in the structure. Reading God’s book of truths is meant to connect you to the Source of life, which is Jesus Himself.

Jesus came to set you free from guilt.

  • If your Bible-reading brings you feelings of guilt, you’re doing it wrong.

If it’s taking life out of you instead of giving life to you, then you’re doing it wrong.

If it doesn’t bring you closer to the person of Jesus, then you are doing it wrong.

Which brings me to my second working theory.

We Don’t Personalize Our Practices

This is the truth: There is no one-size-fits-all way to read God’s words for every person in every season.

Your time with God doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s time with God. It doesn’t have to look like your mom’s, your pastor’s, or that one person on Instagram. And it does not have to look like your routine fifteen years ago. If you are struggling to enjoy God’s Word, maybe you need a fresh way to read what God says about you.

Do you want to know what the fresh way is?

It’s the way that works for your lifestyle, your personality, how you engage, how you enjoy, and most important, what’s that’s doable.

Consider trying a new translation of the Bible to see if it helps you see the Scriptures in a new way. Try Bible apps, audio versions, or praying through a Psalm each morning. Switch up times of day, consider involving a friend, or search out Bible study guides that pique your interest. When my little brother gave his life to Jesus, we slowly read through the Gospels together. Reading it slowly and in community helped me see Jesus in a brand-new way.  

When Jesus was growing up, He went out of His way to know what God said about Him. One time His family lost Him on a family trip, and they

found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. — Luke 2:46 NIV

Jesus did not always follow the path everyone else was on. It was urgent to Him to read, learn, and engage with God’s Word.

The question is not, “How does everyone else practice reading God’s Word?” The question is, “How will you make time and space to engage with what God says about you today?”

Just like Jesus, you might have to go out of your way. But this will be one of the primary ways you connect and stay connected to Jesus, and with who you really are.

You will know who you really are when you spend real time with the One who knows you the best.

Adapted with permission from You Are More Than You've Been Told: Unlock a Fresh Way to Live Through the Rhythms of Jesus by Hosanna Wong, copyright Hosanna Wong.

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Your Turn

Does Bible reading feel boring and obligatory? Do you feel guilty if you don’t have a devotional time just a certain way? Why not change it up? Jesus wants the real you to know the real Him. He wants to spend time with you and speak to you. It doesn’t have to follow any particular pattern or stay the same all the time! ~ Devotionals Daily