There are times when reading the Bible feels like an adventure. Every page reveals a new mystery about God and time flies as we scan each word and study each phrase. Then there are times when we drag our feet to open the Word, casually flip it open, and find that for some reason it leaves us feeling a little bored and a little unsatisfied.
We all have moments where we can only describe the time we spend in the word as “dry.” But, we also recognize that we have a hunger for God’s Word and we long for it to be satisfied.
If you find yourself looking for deeper fulfillment in your time in the Word, here are three steps to take.
If we don’t prepare for it, reading the Bible can feel like reading any other book. Engaging in God’s Word is truly meeting with God. For a meeting at work, a coffee with a friend, or a dinner party I usually have some ideas ahead of time of what my expectations are. That helps me prepare accordingly. I know what questions I might ask a coworker and I know the stories I’ve been saving up for a friend to laugh about over coffee.
We can also prepare and place expectations on our time with God. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
When we go to meet with Him through His Word, He is ready to receive us!
Our time with God becomes more fulfilling when we don’t just flip the Bible open like a Magic 8 Ball hoping for a Word from God, but instead, spend a few moments in preparation. Try picking up this easy habit: Before opening up the Bible, invite the Holy Spirit to speak to you.
Then, remove distractions just like you might silence your phone before a meeting or prepare a space for a conversation with a friend. Consider designating a certain room or chair to your quiet time so that your mindset changes when you’re in that space.
While some of us love a routine with the same predictable patterns, sometimes we need to add a bit of creativity to our time in God’s Word. Some creative ways to engage with Scripture are listed here. While some might come naturally to you, others could be a new and exciting way to engage God’s Word.
Consider your history with reading the Bible. Sometimes, we keep doing what was taught and modeled to us without realizing there are creative ways to explore God’s Word that can help us see it in a new way.
Accountability can feel like it has to be a formal system. It doesn’t have to be. Setting up an accountability system can be informal and fun and even bring new opportunities for evangelism and encouragement.
One common way to set up accountability is to simply follow a reading plan with a friend, coworker, or family member. Another way to track your Bible reading is to create a rewards system for yourself. This could be as simple as checking off days you’ve read the Bible in a colored marker on your calendar or as complex as favorite lattes or personalized celebrations for studying a book of the Bible.
A favorite creative way to hold yourself accountable to Bible reading and send some bonus encouragement to your community is to commit to reading and sharing what you read. Send a text to a friend with encouragement from your reading each day, or challenge yourself to incorporate talking about scripture in your day by sharing with a neighbor or stranger. It could lead to some interesting conversations, will help you recall what you read, and might lead you into deeper revelation as you summarize and share your thoughts with someone else.