Here is another question from a 10kreasons reader that I have been meaning to answer for months but just haven’t had a chance to.
“I enjoy waking up to read your blog and am always like, I want that. I want the knowledge and understanding of these scriptures like you have. I have to ask what are you doing differently? I’m reading through the whole bible with my church. So I am reading it, but it’s like reading a foreign language so it never really clicks for me. Any advice would be very much appreciated.”
I’ve totally been there before. I have always been a good Christian girl that reads her Bible and has scriptures memorized and there were even certain scriptures and passages in the Bible that I had some great revelation on, but before I started to read and study to write for this blog the Bible was mostly just the book I read every night before bed because I knew it was good for me.
I would highlight favorite scriptures, but I never went beyond that. A highlighted scripture is great and all, but what I’ve learned over the past year is that if I want that scripture to stand out in my life and not just on the pages of my Bible I have to meditate on it and to do that I had to change my whole Bible reading routine. Instead of reading at night when I was absolutely exhausted I started to get up and read in the morning.
I set my alarm for 6:00 a.m. to ensure myself plenty of time to get in the word before my two early risers wake up and when it goes off I pour myself some orange juice, spend some time in worship, some time in prayer and then I ask God to speak to me as I open up His word. I usually read and study for 30 minutes. I don’t follow a Bible reading plan, because I don’t feel like I absorb as much when I am trying to read a certain number of chapters each day, I simply rely on the spirt of God to lead me to a chapter, a book, a story, or a verse that He would like to share with me that day. If you are quiet for a few minutes you will usually hear a still small voice showing you where to get started. For instance, you might think of the word “angels” and then you can spend your morning looking up scriptures about angels. Or you may think about a verse you saw someone post on Facebook and feel led to study that. I just read wherever the spirit takes me.
Once I begin to read if a verse stands out to me I dig into it. I use the Blue Letter Bible app, which is free to download on your tablet or smart phone, to do my digging. Within the app you can type in a scripture reference and then find commentaries on that scripture, find other scriptures that relate to it, compare it in several different translations, look up the original Greek and Hebrew word meanings in the concordance, and get Biblical definitions of the words in the verse. It is an awesome all in one study tool! I also love biblehub.com, where you can search your scripture reference and view more commentaries and related scriptures.
After my 30 minutes is up that doesn’t mean that my time meditating on what I’ve studied is up. I continue to think on it and let it roll around in my head for the rest of the day. I chew on it and chew on it and chew on it until I get revelation of it. God will show me a picture or use my kids or something that happens in my day to reveal His word in a way so that I will always remember it. Revelation you get for yourself is always more memorable than revelation you get from a pastor, teacher, friend, or writer, because you have to put more work into getting that revelation.
Once I receive a revelation and I get what God wanted me to get I write it down. I have retained so much more of what I’ve studied over the last year than I have in all of the other years I’ve ever studied combined and I know it’s because I took time to write about it. Get a notebook or open up a word doc and put to paper what God put in your heart. Also, share what God reveled to you with someone else. Your kids, your small group, your spouse, a friend, your mom, or whoever will listen. Explaining to someone else what God has explained to you will also help that revelation and understanding to stick. You may get even more revelation as you are explaining it.
Most importantly, you just gotta practice.
Hebrews 5:13–14 (VOICE) No one who lives on milk alone can know the ins and outs of what it means to be righteous and pursue justice; that’s because he is only a baby. But solid food is for those who have come of age, for those who have learned through practice to distinguish good from evil.
“Milk is what you get from someone else, like a baby from its mother. Meat is what you get when you hunt.” – Bill Johnson
If you want to get some meat when you study the scriptures, you’ve gotta commit to the hunt and when you commit to the hunt God will begin to open the eyes of your understanding like never before. The Bible will become your favorite book instead of one that seems like it’s written in a foreign language.
- The Bible is full of good meat!
- When we commit to the hunt God opens the eyes of our understanding.
- Blue Letter Bible app.
- You Version app
- David Guzik, Matthew Henry, Gills Exposition, Jamieson-Fausset-Brown, Vines, Spurgeon. Learned so much by reading commentaries and sermons from those great resources.
- I’ve learned how to chew and chew and chew until I get revelation.
- I have all that God showed me over the last year in writing and will be able reference back to it for the rest of my life and I can share it with my kids and grandkids.
- Awesome, rainy, and sleepy sabbath day morning.
- The kids had so much fun playing with Josh in the tent that he built them. He is a way better tent builder than I am.
- Loved just being at home and being lazy and letting the kids play and make a huge mess with tons of their toys while I watched from the couch.
- Listed some items I’ve been wanting to list on e-bay this afternoon.
- Took a great nap on the couch.
- I can sleep hard! Josh said I slept through all kinds of army men noises coming from Gus who was playing just a few inches away from me.
- “Turbo” movie afternoon! Super cute movie. Both of the kids loved it.
- Beau has become a movie going pro this summer. She’s been to 4 already and she’s done great at all of them.
- Good batch of Sour Patch Kids!
- 40% off sale items at Gap.
- Found a perfect “little sunshine” onesie for Sunny! It’s going in the hospital bag for sure. Can’t wait to see her in it.
- Got a cute new maternity shirt!
- Got Beau and Sunny some great little shorts for next summer and they were super, super cheap.
- Beau will just bust some moves in the middle of a store if a good song comes on. “Moves Like Jagger” was doing it for her while we were at The Gap.
- PB&Js for dinner courtesy of Josh.
- The strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries we got at the grocery store this week are extra delicious.
- “Heavy Weights” movie night with Josh. I loved that movie when I was 10 and it was still pretty awesome at 28.
- Stayed up late to spend some more time hanging out with my very favorite. Making the most of the short weekend!