This is something I’ve come to know well in my time spent with the Lord, in study of the Scripture. I’ll come across a line or two previously underlined or noted and wonder why that was so significant to me at one time. It isn’t holding the same powerful punch in this moment – but at one time, it must have spoken loudly to my heart.
And, this phenomenon is how I’ve come to really understand that the Bible is LIVING.
I set a goal to finish reading the entire bible in 2016 – a goal I’ve set out with many times previously, even in my youth, but never quite accomplished. This time, though, I mustered up lots of determination and got crackin’ on the task at hand…only to realize I was sorta missing the point.
Okay, not sorta. REALLY!
So intent on moving forward with the reading, I wasn’t allowing time for the Scripture to penetrate my soul. To stop and examine why a particular verse stood out. For God to speak to me.
The Bible is the primary means through which God will communicate with us so if we don’t take the time to pause we may go speeding right past something really important. A personal message meant just for us.
Examining my goal through this lens made clear for me that I was missing the whole point and also the reason that I’ve probably struggled in the past with achieving the goal of “entire Bible = read”. The Bible doesn’t read like a usual fiction or non-fiction story book. It requires thought and openness to hearing what’s being communicated – and because the significance can change depending the time and situation – it really requires the intentional pause to listen and process.
For this reason, I have accepted that 2016 may not be the year I cross “read entire Bible” off my bucket list. I want my time with the Lord, spent in the Word, to be more significant than simply words on a page. I’m taking the time for the intentional pause; noting verses in my Bible, meditating on them and then pouring my thoughts into my journal. I love to go back and be reminded of God’s promise to bear the burden for communicating to me.
Lots of people have different methods for working through that intentional pause. I’d love to hear about the method for your madness as it relates to your quiet time with the Lord. Comments welcome below!