Through the years I have talked with people who have confessed that they had trouble reading amd studying the Scriptures. To them, Bible study seemed to be unpleasant and boring. And they wondered why that would be the case.
Do you find yourself looking at the Bible and thinking, “Well, I know I should read and study it. But (sigh) it seems so heavy and uninteresting. Maybe later.”
Here are some thoughts that may help. (I would suggest you read this entire post before choosing to check out some of the links.)
First, Are You Sure that You Are a Christian?
The Bible says we are to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith. We are not to merely assume it! This is not complicated. Have you acknowledged and turned from your sin and self-centeredness to God? Is Jesus Master of your life? Is the innermost desire of your heart to serve, love, and glorify Him? (Read more here!) (And here!)
Certainly, if you are not a true Christian, you will have no appetite for God and His Word.
Of course, I realize that few nonchristians would bother to read this post! But perhaps you are a nonchristian and God is stirring in your heart and you are sensing your spiritual dilemma! If so, acknowledge your sinfulness, trust Jesus, and get in the battle! You don’t have to be in a church building to trust Jesus. Just trust Him.
Second, Are You Taking Spiritual Warfare into Account?
Remember that we are in a terrific spiritual war. The world, our own flesh, and the devil will resist our spiritual growth with great vigor. (Study Spiritual warfare here.) Don’t be surprised if your attempts to study the Bible or efforts to grow stronger in Christ are met with great resistance!
Third, Do You Have a Project?
I have often found that I can get more excited about Bible study and spiritual growth when God has given me a “project.” Do you have a project? The project may be to spend some time studying what the Bible has to say about a particular topic. Or it may be to learn as much as I can about a particular book or passage of the Bible. Here are a few links that may help with finding projects…
A few years ago, Vickie and I put together a chart of skills that indicate Spiritual growth. You may also get some ideas for projects by having a look at that chart. (Marks of Spiritual Growth)
Fourth, Have You Given Your “Coming Appetite” a Chance?
When I was a kid, my Grandpa Payne (who died in 1987 at the age of 97) would talk of “eating with a coming appetite.”
He was referring to those times when you don’t really feel hungry, until you sit down to eat. Then, as you begin to eat, you start to realize just how hungy you really are! And the meal begins to taste good and you wind up eating heartily and with great enthusiasm!
Bible study can be like that.
The world, the flesh, and the devil may whisper (or shout!), “You don’t really want to read your Bible right now. Maybe later.”
But if you sit down, open your Bible (perhaps with a cup of coffee and a friend), and begin to read, you find your appetite growing!
Fifth, Have You Set Aside a Time?
Most people do not grow strong in the Lord because they simply let the things of the world (good things, not bad things) fill up all their time slots!
It may be that you need to go to bed 30 minutes earlier so that you can get up 30 minutes earlier. Then you can start your day beautifully with some time with the Lord in His Word.
If you are in the terrible habit of hitting the snooze ’til the last possible moment, then rushing frantically to get showered and dressed and out the door, believe me, there is a better way to start your day!
The one thing that I would recommend you not do, if you really want to develop an appetite for God’s Word and a hunger to grow in the Lord, is to simply wait for an intense emotional desire to overwhelm you with a craving to study that you simply cannot resist!
A sick person may become malnourished and weak because he has lost his appetite for physical food. Maybe it’s time to go the Lord in prayer and say…
“Lord, I seem to be spiritually sick. I’ve lost my appetite. Would you come and restore my hunger for You and for Your Word? Would you please show me the project you want me involved in right now? Would you help me organize my day to make time for You? And would you show me where to start feeding?”
Now you may want to check out some of those links I’ve included in this post!
You may also find it helpful to spend some time just browsing our web site (http://www.aboundingjoy.com) and some of the previous posts to this weblog.
Stay in the Battle! (or, if you are not there yet, GET in the Battle!)