At the beginning of each new year, we hit reset on a whole host of things. We recommit to what we let fall off the tracks the year before, and we try to come up with better plans to make sure we don’t lose sight of what’s important this time. Bible reading is, no doubt, among the host of things we are always seeking to find fresh, new ways to help ensure that it remains at the forefront of our priorities.
This is a good thing. Without regular doses of the Bible, our souls will wither and wilt, and eventually starve to death. As much as our physical bodies need physical food for strength and life, so our spirits need the spiritual food God gave us in order to become strong and healthy – to thrive.
For many, Bible reading is a frustrating experience. They don’t understand much of what they read. For some, it’s not a desire, but a discipline they have to try to force themselves to keep, because they know it’s right and important. I’ve been there. Many times. That’s not such a bad thing, if it’s still driving us to the Word of God. It might not feel good, but it’s keeping us alive. And God honors that kind of obedience, because it is rooted in faith, not feelings. He gives strength and perseverance to those weary souls, until duty becomes delight (don’t worry…it will).
There are also those for whom Bible reading is a joy and a delight, and yet lacks real structure. They love the Bible, and every time they open it, God seems to be speaking right to them. But it’s always a random flipping through the pages that happens to land them on whatever they need for that day.
This, too, is good – and fun. But there will come a day (if there hasn’t already) when this will lose its grand appeal, and your soul will begin to crave richer, deeper things. That’s because we were designed to hunt for treasure, not just be spoon fed all our lives.
For those who have delved a little into not just reading, but studying the Scriptures, they have learned that the end of the wealth of God’s Word can never be found. The revelation hidden within that book is endless. For these hungry souls, the beginning of a new year or a new season often presents the challenge of taking a new approach in their studying. Maybe it will be a new version. Maybe it will be an audio one. Maybe there will be new areas of research conducted. Maybe they will focus on just a book, or a set of books. Maybe they will go through a deep study of certain passages. Whatever it is, revamping their study of Scripture is an exciting endeavor, and usually whets their appetite for even more.
No matter where you find yourself on that spectrum of Bible reading, we are all called to hunt for the treasures hidden within God’s Word. We can all grow in our studying, always.
Proverbs 8:11 promises, “Wisdom is more precious than rubies. Nothing you could want is equal to it.” [New Century Version] That’s a pretty strong statement, considering that there are some things I want pretty badly right now. Especially at the beginning of a new year, filled with new vision. But wisdom, God says – the wisdom found in His Word – is greater and worth more. I wonder if we could test that out this year? What if we dove into our Bibles and went after that promise, as if it we really believed it?
Psalm 19:9-10 says, “God’s laws are pure, eternal, just.They are more desirable than gold. They are sweeter than honey dripping from a honeycomb.” [Living Bible]. On a regular day, when I am withholding from nothing, honey isn’t so much of a delicacy for me. But during a time of fasting, when I am refraining from all things artificially sweet and satisfying, honey becomes as liquid gold in my mouth. I crave it. It is pure, and it makes me feel pure. The same is true of God’s Word. When we are indulging in the distractions and daily busyness of life, the Bible doesn’t always seem like a treat for our weary souls. But when we slow down, and hold back, and decide to feast on His Word, it reaches down into the places that other substitutes could never touch.
Proverbs 25:2 says, in the Passion Translation: “God conceals the revelation of His Word in the hiding place of His glory. But the honor of kings is revealed by how they thoroughly search out the deeper meaning of all that God says.” Revelation 1:6 says that God has made us kings and priests unto Himself. This means it is part of our makeup, part of the glory reserved for us, to seek and find the mysteries hidden within God’s Word. He doesn’t hide them to discourage us, or to make it hard for us to understand. It is an invitation to come closer, look deeper, discover the innate joy He has reserved for those who hunger and thirst for Him.
It has become like a treasure hunt for me, and I’m sure for many others who cherish His Word. In some moments or seasons, the treasure is right there, floating on the surface, like a bright Easter egg hidden just within a toddler’s view. Other times, that gold nugget is buried deep and can only be found through an all out commitment to retrieve it at any cost. Either way, the end result is the same: deep joy and satisfaction, and incredible growth in intimacy with God. He loves to tell His secrets to His friends, and when you discover that He considers you a friend, your world will change.
Dear Woman of Breakthrough, take an honest assessment of where you are in your Bible reading and Bible study right now. Then commit to grow in both this year. Prayerfully find a new approach, and go for it! Determine to uncover the hidden treasures waiting for you, because God knew this challenge would come before you in this moment, and He has already prepared your rich reward!
Be blessed as you dive into the place of God’s glory and pull the deep things from His heart. He loves it when His children come, asking Him for spiritual bread!
Warning/disclaimer: Please do note that some treasure hunts are marked for extended journeys, and will require patience and continuous hunger. But don’t worry, those are especially sweet when finally discovered, and they come with all you will need to take that journey!
Let this be the year that you discover the sweet satisfaction of God’s Word – to which nothing on earth can ever compare!