Through seasons of my life, I lose track of reading the Word. I either get too busy with life or get caught up reading other things that I unintentionally neglect scripture. It is in these seasons that I begin to see myself change; responding in frustration, bickering about meaningless things, and passively letting the dishes pile up. I begin to get so frustrated at myself thinking, “Why do I feel so lethargic and lazy!” Then God so graciously reminds me that I have been neglecting His Word and prayer. [Cue hovering lightbulb over my head.] It is almost comical how I routinely forget how important prayer and reading God’s Word is for my personal growth and maturity. Have you ever found yourself in this situation? Have you ever wondered why living in this world can be so difficult to navigate wholesomely? It is because when we are saved by Christ we are given the Holy Spirit to help guide us in righteousness. The problem is, this world is not holy – but God is. He knew that we would need things to help ground us in our faith like Christian community, marriage to other believers, prayer, and the Word of God. The famous pastor, John Piper, wrote,
“The ultimate goal of reading the Bible is that God’s infinite worth and beauty would be exalted in the everlasting, white-hot worship of the blood-bought bride of Christ from every people, language, tribe, and nation.”John Piper, Pastor (Reading The Bible Supernaturally)
Nothing apart from the saving grace of Jesus Christ can break our chains to sin and nothing but the reading/hearing of God’s word and prayer can renew our minds to Christ. Ultimately it is the reading of God’s word that reorients our minds and bodies towards God in all aspects of life which comes to culmination in worship of the Savior. When the Holy Spirit reminds me that I have been neglecting the Word of God, my response to get into the Word is always excitement and joy that I have found the issue! Diving into the Word again (even for a small period of unintentional distance) always feels like my soul has found its’ resting place. I am more calm, discerning, disciplined, loving, selfless, and prayerful. This is all because of the Holy Spirit and the power of reading the Word of God.
I implore you, as a believer, do not forsake reading God’s word, even if it seems like it is unfruitful. Habitually reading the word of God is never a waste of time! One of my favorite authors, Jefferson Bethke, once talked about how a disciplined routine of reading the Word, in the midst of hardship and silence from God, is actually our highest calling. Reading the Word and praying, even when we hear nothing back, is our highest call to being faithful to God. It is God’s intent that we be transformed into Christ’s image (2 Corinthians 3:18) by digesting the word routinely and letting it dictate how we think and live (2 Timothy 3:16; Colossians 3:16-17).
“And we thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.”1 Thessalonians 2:13
For the purpose of spiritual maturity, growing in faith, endurance as believers, worship to God, and sanctification as Christ’s bride – read the Word of God.