The patriarch Job at one point cried out, “Oh, that the Almighty would answer me, that my Prosecutor had written a book! Surely I would carry it on my shoulder, and bind it on me like a crown.” (Job 31:35b-36) Job desperately wanted God’s perspective on what he was going through and would have carried today’s Bible wherever he went.
The ancients longed for the Bible we have, but do we crave it as they would have? Do we hunger for God’s Word as much as for food? (We do not live by bread alone.) Do we adjust our schedules to read from it daily that we might grow in Christ? Someone once said, “We form habits, then habits form us.” Until you form the habit of reading from God’s word every day, you stunt your Christian growth and short-change your life experience.
Practical Advice for Seeking God through His Word
Proverbs describes how those who are passionate for more of God receive from Him. Notice the three “if’s” in these verses and the “then.”
My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the LORD,
And find the knowledge of God.
For the LORD gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;
He guards the paths of justice,
And preserves the way of His saints. — Proverbs 2:1–8
This passage is very practical:
- Every day we have an opportunity to receive God’s word, to take it in like seed sown on good ground capable of producing a harvest. Unless the seed is sown in our hearts, we can’t reap its benefits.
- Do we delight in the Word like a treasure to be discovered and safely kept?
- Is our ear attuned to hear the wisdom of the Word? Are we praying and crying out to God for wisdom as we meditate in Scripture? One of my favorite prayers has always been, “Lord, speak to me through Your Word.” My own thoughts can confuse me, but I can always trust the wisdom that’s recorded.
- Do we apply our heart to understanding the Word of God? It takes effort to look up words we aren’t sure about and to ask questions when we don’t understand.
- Do we cry out for discernment and lift up our voice for understanding and seek her as if she were silver (money) or hidden treasure?
- If we do these things, then we will discover true reverence (fear and awe) for God. We will find the knowledge of God. Our questions will be answered. God will cease to be so puzzling.
- The Lord will speak the wisdom that comes from combining knowledge with God-opened understanding. (Luke 24:45. Pray for God to “open” your understanding, and He will.) He guides us into all truth and show us how to abide in Christ.
- He will shield, guard, and preserve us.
…He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. —Hebrews 11:6c
Help! How Can I Do This?
It’s easy to state the benefits of spending time with God, but putting this into practice daily is challenging. I meet with God first thing in the morning at the breakfast counter. As I pray, read His Word, and meditate on what I’m reading, He’ll often make a verse come alive. No matter how many times I read through the Bible, I always find new things. As I read, the Lord may remind me of something I need to do. Occasionally it’s something important I totally forgot until I entered the presence of the Lord and the Holy Spirit reminded me. I put it on my to do list and go back to reading. If it seems I’m not getting much out of the Word, I keep praying, “Lord, speak to me through Your Word.” Sometimes it takes awhile to become fully engaged.
What do you do? Many of you work jobs, raise kids, have children in sports, dance, and other activities, and yet you carve out time to spend with God in this busy, crazy world. I would love to hear your best tip or hack for spending time with God in the Comments section below. What have you discovered might give someone else a breakthrough? Do you prefer to read your Bible on digital media or in printed form? Why?