Time to be real. Thorough, in-depth study of the Bible takes time, persistence, dedication and a willing heart. If any of those aren’t present, going deeper could prove fruitless, or even perilous.
It’s never okay to set the Bible aside. The words on those pages are from God. Reading them is how we hear His voice in this age.
If you stop having a conversation with Him, you can guess that your relationship will struggle.
However, reading the Bible for a “Word from God” is different than studying it to make discoveries.
We should always read God’s Word. A scripture passage each day should be a minimum requirement. And sprinkle that with focused prayer time.
Life happens. Often it gets in the way of fruitful study time.
Although this isn’t the best scenario, it’s true in the fallen world we live in. Are their reasons to set aside your deep-scripture exploration?
When my mother was fighting cancer, she couldn’t focus her eyes well enough to read. Even if someone read to her, she had a hard time following what was going on in a story.
Disease, grief, hospitalization—all these are circumstances the life throws at us.
And if we try to keep studying God’s Word searching for deep things and uncovering rich truths, we might end up frustrated.
Everyone knows you don’t exercise when you’re sick. Your body needs the energy to fight off the virus or bacteria.
It’s the same for spiritual things. When our body is weak and our mind focused on temporal things, we won’t be able to “get into” a deep study.
This isn’t meant to justify months without Bible study. And there is never an excuse not to read the Bible.
Even in her sickest times, my mother meditated on verses from God’s Word. They offered her the comfort and encouragement she needed. Believe me, those things can’t be found elsewhere.
So if your circumstances make deep Bible diving unrealistic, make sure you’re still investing time in reading and meditating on scripture.
Let’s face it, there are days when we wake up and we don’t want to do life. We’d rather just roll over, close our eyes and return to the oblivion sleep provides.
There will be times when we don’t “feel” like studying the Bible.
As Nike marketers have said: Just do it.
“But I’m not getting anything out of it.”
I didn’t feel like going for a walk today. But I put on my workout clothes, laced up my walking shoes and headed out. Forty minutes and three miles later, I felt a whole lot better.
Did I burn calories even though I didn’t feel like walking? Yes. Did my muscles get a workout? Of course.
In the end, I had a much better outlook on my day because I went for the walk. In other words, I did what was right because I knew it was the right thing to do.
If you’re lacking motivation for Bible study, a self-guided study might fall short.
You’ve got the steps. Going through the motions to check them off isn’t the same as investing your heart and mind.
But do it anyway.
Just do it.
God blesses obedience. It might seem like a wasted effort. Maybe you won’t recall a single verse after you close your Bible.
But God’s Word is powerful. It accomplishes what He intends it to.
Without a Guide
For a new Christian, it can be dangerous to study the Bible without a guide of some sort.
Would you think of crossing the Mojave Desert without a road, a map, a compass or supplies? Of course not! Only an idiot would.
And Satan hopes you’ll forget that exploring God’s Word is even more fraught with danger. He wants you to go it alone so he can whisper in your ear and distract you from finding the real chest of treasure.
Many people have gotten off-track by setting out to “discover” what the Bible has buried deep in its pages.
Why do you think there are so many different Christian denominations? It’s not because they all have the truth. It’s because they all have men who decided the Bible really taught something different than what Jesus left with His Church.
Not having a guide can be akin to opening Pandora’s Box.
So before you set out, make sure you’ve invited the Holy Spirit to be your guide. If you’re not sure what to study, ask someone who is more spiritually mature to suggest a book or meet with you to study.
Don’t get caught in deep water with failing batteries on your light and oxygen tanks with a gage on empty.
There’s no excuse for not studying the Bible. God wants you to dive in because He wants to show you “great and wonderful things.” But don’t get in over your head if you’re not prepared.