There was a time in my life when I thought it downright horrific if someone said they just couldn’t get into the Bible.
Or that they found it -gasp- boring.
What?! Not LOVE the Word?! How can you not enjoy reading God’s Word?
I am being straight up truthful when I say for most of my life I’ve adored my time in God’s Word. And no, I’m neither super spiritual nor a goody-two-shoes. It’s just something I’ve always looked forward to with great anticipation. I’ve always been needy and desperate, lol.
But recently I noticed that somewhere along the way, life changed. I changed.
Noise, busyness, responsibilities, distractions, all sorts of things seemed to creep in and slowly, ever so slowly, my love for the Word got muted.
Not silenced or eliminated, just muted.
And for the first time ever, I began to understand how someone could actually rush through their time in the Word so they could get on to other things.
I’m ashamed to even say that.
Even though I’ve maintained a daily time with the Lord, there is certainly a difference between doing it as a to-do and doing it as a delight.
I’ve spent the last several weeks “remembering” what it was like to be desperately passionate for God and His word and repenting that I’ve forgotten so much of my previous passion and dependency. I’ve been learning much from the church in Revelation 2, you know the one that forgot her First Love. Ouch!
How subtly it happens and how “normal” we think a life of busyness and constant noise is.
We dash around from thing to thing and call it “life.” God’s Word (and God Himself) is just one of the things we dash around.
No, no, no! I’m not content with that! I don’t want to accept that for a second!
I’ve been taking more time just to sit with the Lord and let Him remind me what it is like to experience the love of God, and the sweetness of fellowship with Him.
This week I was reading in Ezra and this verse landed firmly in my heart:
“The gracious hand of the Lord was upon Ezra. This was because Ezra had determined to study and obey the law of the Lord and to teach those decrees and regulations to the people of Israel.” (Ezra 7)
Ezra DETERMINED what he was going to do and how he was going to live. He made a choice… and this really is what we all must do. In fact, we all DO make choices every single day, whether we realize it or not, either for cultivating our hunger for God or our love for other things.
As I’ve prayed and sought the Lord over the past two months, He has graciously been speaking, drawing my heart back to Him, rekindling my passion, and showing me ways I can be growing in faith. Here are five ways I’m cultivating an over-riding, “got-to-have-more, can’t-get-enough-of-it” love for God’s Word once again.
5 Ways to Cultivate a Love for God’s Word
Decide What’s Really Important
The funny thing about priorities is that our legit values are tied to what we actually DO, not what we say. #truthbomb We can say one thing is important but live a completely different reality. Sadly, it’s possible to deceive even ourselves over what matters most.
Ezra’s example is helpful for me because he DETERMINED what was important. He decided how he was going to spend his time and his life.
You and I can too. So decide right now what’s really important in life. Write it down (that’s important too!)
If you’re having trouble, ask yourself, “What do I really want others to say about me?” That you’re great on Instagram? That you’re an amazing people connector? Or that, wow, you exudes Jesus and are filled with the fullness of God?
Think about it. Then write it down.
Make a “No” List
Okay, reality check. You can’t just squeeze more of God into your already packed lifestyle. In order to be FULL of God, you have to be emptied of something else. It isn’t enough to say we are going to devote more time to the Word and prayer… we have to actually give something else the boot in order to have more time to devote. Make sense?
So make a “no” list. What things do you need to cull from your life and schedule so that you can prioritize what’s really important and spend time getting closer to God? What are the little foxes that are destroying your time and intimacy with God?
Ask God to Awaken Godly Desire
Wouldn’t it be sweet if we woke up each day spiritually on fire and in tune with the Spirit of God? I mean, that would be fantastic!! Some days I wake up that way.
But most days I don’t (good for you if you do!)
Most days I wake up in the flesh, with my spiritual senses dulled to the things of God. I’m starting from scratch each day!
I need God to awaken me afresh to His beauty and fill me anew with His Spirit each morning.
Here’s the thing, my friend: we don’t have to conjure up godly desires on our own! The Spirit within us desires the things of God and anytime we find our own hearts straying, all we need to do is ask His Spirit to rekindle our hearts and allow us to taste and see His goodness once again.
If you have lost your tastebuds for the things of the Lord, ASK and you shall receive! Don’t wait for your flesh to desire the things of God; it can’t. Ask the Lord for it and He will grant you both the will and the way.
Have a Plan
We’ve talked thus far about priorities and passion. Now it’s time to get practical. Passion without a plan is like a river without an embankment… it floods all over the place and is more of a liability than a blessing.
Having a plan for how to be closer to God, and getting into God’s Word, is KEY to getting the most from the time you have. You want to plan your time BEFORE you sit down to meet with God or spend time in His word.
Think about getting in your car to go to work each day. You know where you’re going before you get in. Now imagine if you had to figure it out as you went… every. single. day. That’d be a nightmare! After a while, you may start putting off going to work because it required so much effort getting there!
Well, without a Bible study plan, you’re like that person who gets in the car and knows they need to go somewhere but has no idea how to get there.
Talk about frustrating!
Waaaay back in the 11th grade, my mom did something truly precious for me. She bought me my first One Year Daily Bible. And you know what? By the middle of my Senior year, I’d read through the Bible for the very first time.
That’s because I had a plan.
I’ve learned this is absolutely VITAL in getting to where I need to go spiritually. Without a Bible study or reading plan, I’m not sure where to start and my time inevitably ends up being wasted. Plus, my mind wanders and gets distracted. Ahem.
Knowing how much I thhr-rive on structure, I created the Love the Word Bible Study Binder with ready made reading plans, printables, and a built in Bible study method (the PROSPER method). This is a system designed to provide guidance and organization for your Bible time.
Also, it’s beautiful. So I want to open it each day :)
My Love the Word Bible Study Binder is customizable and includes 66 gorgeous pages to organize Bible notes, sermons, and provide structure to my time in God’s Word.
One of my favorites are the monthly and category dividers which provide a place to track what I’ve studied and keep everything in one place. yaasss!
And since we are kindred spirits (hey, you’re reading this!), here’s a SECRET coupon… for your eyes only…to get $10 off the Binder if you’d like! BIBUD5
Which leads me to the final tip…
Engage with God’s Word
To cultivate a love for Scripture, we need to ACT on it. Life transformation happens when we not only take God’s Word in, but live it out.
In order to do that, Scripture must be relevant and applicable to our everyday lives. We can’t just read over a passage and call it a day; we must mine it, apply it and conform the shape of our lives to it.
I’ve found having a proven Bible study method, such as PROSPER, helps me dig into the Word. I also use this highlighting system as I read to identify gems I’d otherwise overlook and keep a journal to record my takeaways in.
Psst… I’ve included the PROSPER method, the color coding system I use, and journal sheets in the Love the Word Bible Study Binder. Of course.
So how about you? Are you desperate for God and His Word? Or do you need to cultivate your love of Christ… and remember your First Love?
Either way, I hope these tips help you as they are me. Let’s be like Ezra and devote ourselves to loving and obeying God’s Word.