I will have to be honest and confess that life has gotten the upper hand of me lately. I have not been consistent with my blogging (which I had so desired to be). But, this month (even though we are already 10 days into it), we will be looking at:
Fear of Studying God’s Word
Now, you might be saying:
“Who fears that? You either do it or you don’t”.
But, I would venture to say that we are all afraid of studying God’s Word for one reason or another. And it’s these fears that keep us from diving head first into the spoken and inspired Word of God.
Today we are going to look at probably the first reason you don’t open up that Bible of yours:
Where do I even start?
The Bible is big and it’s intimidating. When you look at it you are probably so overwhelmed that you don’t even want to open it. It is comprised of 66 books (39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament). And let’s be real here for a moment…some of the names of the Bible you can’t even pronounce (Habbakuk…really?). See, you are already intimidated because you can’t pronounce it and you even made all A’s in English in school. I don’t know where to start and I don’t even like the fact that I cannot pronounce some of the books of the Bible.
I urge you to not get overwhelmed by the enormity of the Bible or by the difficult words in it. If you really want to hear from God, then first you have got to move past these feelings. I want you to go grab that Bible of yours (yes, the one that’s been collecting dust on your bookshelf). Now, open it up. Anywhere is fine. Just open it. And begin to pray. Ask God to calm these overwhelming feelings. Ask God to show you where to begin. After you pray, be silent and listen. God will speak to you and will show you where to begin.
I wanted to provide you with a few tips for beginning to read the Bible that have been helpful to me.
Pray As we just talked about, prayer should be the first thing you do before you even start reading. Ask God to show you where to start. Ask God to bring to the forefront of your mind the verses He wants you to hear today. Ask God to write the verses on your heart He wants you to keep close. God will clearly speak to you through His Word, but you just need to ask Him to unclog your mind, your ears, and your heart so you can hear from Him.
Start with Luke I once read somewhere that if you want to read more about Jesus then a good place to start is in the book of Luke. It begins with the birth of John the Baptist foretold and weaves its way through the birth of Jesus, miracles He peformed, parables He told, people He visited, and ends with His death, resurrection, and ascension. And then the cool thing about this book is that it picks right back up in the book of Acts. After Jesus went up to Heaven, Acts goes right into the disciples and how the church began. Both of these books are written by Luke, the beloved physician. Luke is a great place to start if you first want to learn more about Jesus.
Set goals If you are feeling overwhelmed then divide your goals of reading the Bible into smaller, easy to manage goals. If your goal is to read the book of Genesis (it has 50 chapters), then maybe you could break that into a smaller goal by saying you will read 2 chapters a day. It will take you 25 days to read Genesis, but better to start small and go longer than reading more in a shorter period of time and feeling overwhelmed. Starting with small goals is always best so you don’t get frustrated and close your Bible and stop reading.
Highlight and Underline One thing that has truly helped me is highlighting or underlining passages in my Bible that speak to me. I began using a yellow highlighter but found that it bled through the pages, so a red pen works best for my Bible. I love being able to go back and re-read the underlined passages. It’s been very helpful to me.