Tried reading the Bible. Didn’t work.

So I made this commitment to start reading the Bible every day, and I gotta be honest and say it didn’t work.  None of the changes I was expecting in my life happened.

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Isn’t that how we sometimes see reading the Bible?  Do this, read a certain number of chapters every day, or follow this reading plan, and the things you want changed in your life will change.  You’ll crave sweets less, you’ll be less tempted by sin, etc.  It’s a chore that we engage in for the purpose of producing change in our lives.

And even if we read the Bible for the proper purpose of building a relationship with God, well damnit that’s taking too long also!  I mean goodness sakes I’ve been at this for DAYS ON END and I’m still not hearing from God, not getting the guidance I was expecting, no still small voice.

Now that’s our expectation of God.  But is this even a realistic expectation for other human beings?  “Hey I tell you what, I talked to this lady on the phone like four times this week and still no marriage proposal.  What gives?”  We don’t think that way about other people.  But we kinda do think that way about God.

If anything, we need to be MORE patient with God.  Right?  Look at how patient God is with us.  He tends to take his time doing things.  Before Christ was born, it was hundreds of years of silence from God without a single prophet.  That’s a lot of time!  But it’s not to God.  So the seven months of daily prayer and scripture it will take us to even begin to see some type of relationship starting to form might be exactly what God wants.  Because he knows how long it takes us to get the crap cleared out of our heads in order to be in a position to build genuine fellowship with him.  God knows what he’s doing.

So I wrote this post partially to be tongue-in-cheek but there was an ounce of reality in it.  I seriously did get irritated at God for not seeing the signs of a developing relationship after literally a few days of genuinely trying to build one.  And I though, “Well God must be saying, ‘I’ve been waiting 43 years for you, ya screwball!'”  But I’m not sure God uses harsh vulgarities like “screwball.”

Anyway, my point is this.  You and I are simply not going to see a robust meaningful relationship spring forth after spending 8 minutes reading scripture and praying three whole days in a row.  But we need to stick with it.  Continue, even when it feels like we’re just sitting there reading a book, or praying to the bed sheets.  God has been patient with us for all the years we’ve been alive without spending this time with him.  It’s only fair for us to be patient with God, especially since the only reason we’re being made to wait is that God sees the perfect timing coming up some day in our future.  We can trust him on that.

JDV

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3 thoughts on “Tried reading the Bible. Didn’t work.

  1. Keep at it, ponder the different scenes in the gospels,, pray about it like, “Ok God, Why did you get so mad in the temple and call everyone thieves, and overturn the tables. What message were you trying to convey? Were you mad because people were distracted by all the pretty products for sale- never making it into the temple? Was the smell of Tasties and treats distracting the people from listening to the speakers? Were the thieves and venders using foul language in the presence of God’s temple? etc…
    What is it I can learn from this? You want my focus. You want me to keep coming and you wanted me to know the importance you place on your churches…”

    Then you’ve begun not just to read, but to pray. I consider reading a springboard to prayer, conversation with God. How much better does it get than that???

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  2. Nanci Haigler Flynn says:

    Even more to the point, as important as it is to educate the mind of our brain with the Word of God, it is altogether essential that we read the Word with the mind of our heart in order to live in and learn to sustain the love relationship our Heavenly Father is determined to have with us.

    It is in the meditations of our heart that we communicate with Almighty God, in and through the Holy Spirit as we study his Word. That is precisely why it is so important that we allow the unconditional love of God to break the fears and guilt and pride and control freakery and all the other sin in our hearts, as well as our minds.

    That way, we can bring those broken pieces to our Father, express our sorrow to him, accept his forgiveness, and let him begin putting together the person he created us to be in the beginning and sacrificed his son to redeem.

    Not that it took most of several decades for me to catch on to most of that, of course!! :O B|

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