God speaks to me in different ways, through the beauty of nature, through words from other people, and through conviction in my heart from the Holy Spirit. But when I started to listen to what God was speaking to me through the Bible, His own Word, our relationship blossomed. It became more intimate. I can always mistake or ignore the nudges, get them confused with my own thoughts, or be amazed by nature though not sure what God is trying to tell me through it. But there’s something incredible about knowing when God’s own words are speaking to my heart. He’s written those words down for us. What a gift!
I don’t remember when it happened… this insatiable hunger for God’s Word. But I do remember the prayer that initiated it. I had been out of work for quite some time and it was during my very dark period so I’m sure I was desperately trying to grasp for whatever was going to get me out of the darkness. Deep down I knew I needed to let God get me out and I figured regular time in His word couldn’t hurt. But it felt like such a chore so I knew my attitude had to change first. I don’t know what made me say these words but I prayed, “God, help me be addicted to Your word.” I’m not God but I can’t imagine that’s a prayer He wouldn’t answer. Of course He wants to engage with us through His Word.
I’m not saying God is going to physically put your Bible in your lap and open it for you each day but I believe He will put the desire to encounter Him through His Word in your heart. He did for me. I’m also not saying that I always enjoy reading the Bible now, but my day feels off if I miss the opportunity. And many days I enjoy it immensely!
It takes 21 days to make a habit. It helps to break it up in our minds like that, to convince ourselves that surely we can stick with something for 21 days. We don’t have to think about it like, “ugh, how will I ever have time to do this every single day for the rest of my life?” Just take it in small steps and eventually our brains will form a habit. Let God grow the hunger in us.
Nothing about my day feels right without time in God’s Word… and a lot of it! I know not everyone has the kind of time I do but it’s absolutely essential to make time to read the Bible. Sometimes I wonder how I’ll handle it if I’m able to go back to work but I really believe that if we truly want to spend time with God, He’ll help us find the time no matter how busy we think we are. Any relationship will get stagnant without communication and we just cannot afford to let that happen with God. I am absolutely addicted to His word now and I could not be more grateful. Each day is another beautiful opportunity to encounter Him. Will I open myself up to that opportunity?
My purpose in writing these blog posts about how I found healing has been to practically lay out how to practice each concept but I am concerned it will sound like my way is the right way. It’s not. I’m just giving you ideas and you and God can discover what’s best for your relationship. Here’s what I have done for years, but that may change as God leads. My quiet time is in the morning. I try to remember to invite God to speak to me through His word. I read the devotion from the First 15 app on my phone. I like it because it’s very well balanced, includes worship and prayer, and zero fluff. I can’t even express how much I dislike fluff. Give me Jesus.. period. Then I just read the Bible straight through cover to cover. I usually make two page turns a day and end on a chapter ending. Then I read a Psalm because sometimes reading so much Leviticus deserves a palate cleanser 🙂. I definitely know my way isn’t for everyone but I have so enjoyed God opening my eyes up differently each time I read the same passages. I recently heard someone ask Beth Moore how she spends time in God’s Word and she was hesitant to answer as well because she knows her way isn’t everyone’s right way either. She gets up early while it’s still dark and only turns on a reading light so she can’t see anything but her Bible. That provides much less distraction and the first bit of information she gleans every day comes straight from the mouth of the Lord. How beautiful. We each have to work with God to find our ideal method of communication and learning and it may take some time trying different ways to figure it out. You won’t regret sticking with it!
God didn’t have to give us the Bible but we need to be thankful that He did. Some people don’t have the privilege and we often squander it so. It’s such an incredible gift from our Father who loves us and wants us to know Him.
When you get to the point where God speaks to you about whatever is going on in your life directly through His word, it’s going to be hard to go back to the days you spent without reading. There have been a few times that what I was reading on a particular day was undeniably God-ordained because it applied exactly to what I was struggling with on that day. I wrote about this a few blog posts ago. After hearing directly from the Lord, I became so smitten with Him, overwhelmed that He would care enough about me to speak to my heart in this way. It makes me want more: Addiction!
I’ll leave you with this. Once, God spoke to me through Isaiah 45. I have nearly every verse of that chapter underlined but the one that most jumped off the page at me was verse 3, “I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” I could write a book about what this verse means to me… and I am, haha. My book, if I can ever get it written, is called Treasures of Darkness. When I first noticed this verse I thought… treasures of darkness? Things are SO dark for me right now. I have to know more about these treasures. I believe the Word of God itself is one of these treasures. It’s something to be treasured even when things seem dark. It’s a shining light. Let it shine on your face each day and see how it lights you up. The Word of the Lord is a priceless gift but it means nothing if we don’t open it. Open the gift! Let it light up the dark!