There have been stretches I haven’t read scripture, some longer than I would be willing to admit. Every believer has had times like this, and the reasons for this are as varied as the people who have experienced it. For many years of my walk, scripture reading was always an issue for me. I was inconsistent, and I often didn’t get anything out of it when I did read. I’d once heard an authoritative man say to a room full of high school kids that “If you’re not reading the bible daily and are hungry for it, you’re probably not saved. I haven’t missed a day in ten years”. Years later I realized this kind of righteous, line-in-the-sand muscle flexing was not out of love and more out of pride, but it stuck with me for a while, and through high school I continued to struggle.
A few years ago, what I was doing wrong hit me. I had been viewing the bible as a tool, nothing more.
I’d thought of it as a book of wisdom, teaching, laws and stories meant to serve a purpose to me. It had been a means to an end. The reason I struggled was because I was reading it for me.
The bible is not about you. It’s not a mirror to hopefully see a better reflection of yourself, it’s a window into the soul and story of God.
Because I had been approaching it with only me in mind, I had often missed God in the process. I read His words and deeds, but I didn’t really dive into him. Then, as it always goes when you only focus on yourself, I would get frustrated and fail. The best advice I can give, after coming to this realization?
Read scripture and ask God to teach you more about him, not you.
The more you get to know God the more you become like him. The more you’re in his presence, the more you learn about his character, the more you’ll desire to work with him for his kingdom. None of these things will happen if you focus on yourself.
If you look beyond all the stories, wisdom, and psalms of the bible, you realize it’s all about the Author and his love for you. When you’re trying to really get to know someone, you don’t sit there and talk about yourself, you listen to what they have to say. Don’t read God’s Word and try to lead the conversation.
When you read scripture with only God in mind, he’ll pour into you far more than you’d previously thought possible. Then you’ll have a much easier time coming back day after day. Will you never miss a day? Oh you will, I promise you. You will miss multiple days, because you’re human. But the more you practice focusing on God instead of yourself, the more you’ll notice his work and movements in your daily life and relationships outside of scripture.
Open your bible, then get out of the way. God always has something to say if you let him speak.