Foundation: Overcoming Obstacles and Developing Good Bible Study Habits/ Post #2
If you want to fully experience walking with God, have complete satisfaction, be rooted in wisdom and truth, and you aren’t reading your bible regularly… I hate to say it sister, but you’re going to keep wanting.
You’re not going to enjoy the experience of walking with God. You’re going to face those storms Jesus talks about in Matthew 7 and not know how to deal.
But, this probably isn’t new news to you. I’m sure you’ve heard it before and it may stir something inside of you. Something that says “yes, that’s what I want completeness in Christ.” The question is how? Most of us who love God have made attempts to read his word daily and for some reason or another we fail. The truth is we all struggle at times to read our bibles. In fact, the reality is only about 20% of church goers read their bibles regularly. I hope that stirs something inside of you! Imagine what the world would be like if the people who believed in the one true God were fully equipped by his word on top of their faith?!
So how do we get from having that desire, to actually making reading your bible regularly a reality?
1. Identify the Obstacles:
Its inevitable that when we begin to focus on our relationship with God, we will face more and more obstacles.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12 (Read 6:10-17 In Context)
You have to know that there is a lot more going on in the heavenly realms and drawing nearer to God is not going to be easy. The promise is though, when you draw nearer to HIm, He will draw nearer to you (James 4:8). You must be prepared to fight for it though. Not understanding your specific obstacles would be like showing up to a fight blindfolded. You can swing your arms with all your might until you wear yourself out to exhaustion. So, you give up and your enemy has won without breaking a sweat.
I’ve faced tons of obstacles and I’ve asked around quite a bit. Here are the common ones I’ve heard or experienced:
- Not enough time
- Too busy
- Don’t understand what I’m reading
- Don’t have a plan
- Apathy/ bored with it
- Have no real desire
- Lack of focus
- Too many other priorities
- Doesn’t fit in the schedule
I’m sure there are other reasons for other people. What are your obstacles? Write it down so you can strategize. Don’t show up to the fight blind!
2. Strategize and Step Out on Faith:
“Step out in faith” can seem like one of those religious sayings, but don’t glaze over this… Isn’t it a Faith issue when we don’t read our bibles? It takes faith to say “I really want __”X”__ for my life but I believe that walking in unity with God will be what fully satisfies me. So, I’m going to cut out special time to connect with God and grow in my understanding of Him.” That’s faith!
We all have desires that can override our desire for God. Sleep, time with family/friends, working out, growing a business, watching TV and zoning out, shopping, our hobbies, and so many other things can come first. Faith is not the easy thing. Faith doesn’t make sense.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
I’ve learned that when I struggle to have quiet times, its because my faith is weak. I’m putting my treasure, hope, and my faith in other things to fulfill me.
We can’t see the outcome of reading our bibles consistently, but we believe with hope that it will bring an experience into our lives that we cannot create on our own. That it will fulfill us for eternity when we walk in obedience and that it will help us connect with our God. We believe that it will be the best investment of our time.
Understanding your specific obstacles will allow you to come up with a strategy and step out in faith. If you are interested in specific help with that let me know and I’ll do a post or you can email me. Some examples are waking up earlier, cutting out activities, putting it in your schedule, setting a routine (same place, same time), ask for help and accountability, and if your kids are old enough teach them that they shouldn’t disturb you while you’re having your bible time.
3. Build a Conviciton
“The one who has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. And the one who loves me will be loved by my Father. I also will love him and will reveal myself to him.” John 14:21
This promise is that Jesus will reveal himself to us if we know and obey his commands. I love that!
This is one of the scriptures that excites me and motivates me. When you have a conviction in your heart it builds up your faith and helps you stand firm. You will find your own scriptures that will help you build a solid conviction. That is something that you’ll have to develop yourself. Do a topical bible study searching for words like: scriptures, teachings, word, my words, commands. This will help you find scriptures that talk about Gods word itself.
You can start by reading this post and a few of my other favorite scriptures are:
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17
- James 1:22-25
- John 15:1-8 (Actually the book of John in its entirety is a great place to start)
- Psalm 1
- Acts 17:10-11
- John 12:47-48
4. Get Inspired and Walk with God:
What inspires you? As a designer, I was inspired by visiting beautiful places, magazines, talking with other designers etc.. As a Christian, I certainly have things that inspire me to draw closer to God. A community of believers but also things within my home.
Here are some of the things I love but I would recommend finding what works for you.
- Christian Music
- Podcasts (I LOVE this one)
- Books/Audiobooks (I’m currently listening to Chronicles of Narnia [for the third time hehe])
- I follow faithful women on instagram who inspire me and try to avoid people that pull me away.
- My church and small group inspire me.
- Talking about God with people including my husband and 17 month old daughter.
- Home decor/ scriptures around the house
These things excite me and I literally look forward to getting in his word. I am also reminded of His presence in my life throughout the day when I surround myself with things that point me to him. This reminds me that he is with me all through the day. So,these are some of mine, but some people love connecting with God other ways. Taking walks in nature helps people. My husband, who is studying to be a Physicians Assistant (PA), finds that science actually points him to God! There are so many things, but find what inspires you. Have fun! ENJOY your walk with God and you will become more and more excited about getting in His Word.
5. One more thing…
So, this isn’t really a tip but more of a mistake to avoid. It’s actually a mistake that I made for a long time. Many people refer to their bible study or quiet times as their “time with God.” Its great to have that special time with God, but when you think of your quiet time as your “time with God” it can sometimes limit your faith. And it really doesn’t matter what you call it, but remember that you’re always with God.
I just wanted to address this because, for me, I’ve experienced many pitfalls through looking at my personal bible time as my “Me and God” time. I limited my relationship with God through my warped perspective. It made my relationship dull sometimes. I viewed my only time with God as this very structured, monotonous time. I hate to say it, but at times it was just boring. It also brought a sense of guilt if I didn’t get to spend time with God that day. That’s why its so important to experience God throughout the day. Create and environment and a life that points you to him. You won’t feel obligated to read your bible but you will start to become drawn to him and want to read your bible.
I think these 4 simple tips will get you off to great start in your personal bible study! Please let me know how it goes! Also, if you have any other tips that help you, please share in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Did you miss the first post in this series?