I have been having such a difficult time getting back into the routine of reading my Bible everyday. It really has made me stop to ask myself when did I even stop and how did this happen over time?
As I was processing how this daily routine ended I remembered back when I was apart of a small group about studying the Bible. I went to the group because I wanted to enrich my Bible Study time and I thought this group would help do that. But the more I studied the material on how to study the Bible I actually doubted my routine even more because this material actually made some critical remarks about the way I had been studying the Bible for several years. The remarks were along the lines that it just wasn’t really studying the Bible, and it simply wasn’t good enough.
I felt kind of taken back by the remarks of the material we were studying, but I figured maybe the person that had written the material knew what they were talking about, and I went ahead and tried to study the Bible with the method outlined in the material. That was the beginning of the end for me, it was too much and too overwhelming.
I don’t put the blame on the book.
Actually, I blame myself because I doubted myself and the way Holy Spirit spoken to me through my Bible Study time with Him.
Am I an expert in studying the Bible? No. But I know what works for me when it comes to connecting with God through His Word, and unfortunately for me I allowed someone else’s experience and opinion cause me to doubt myself and my personal relationship with the Lord.
I do this a lot.
Doubt has been such a stumbling block in my life lately, and I am glad to have this practical experience to shine a light on this sin that I have allowed to creep into every area of my life.
As I look back on the past year I have realized that a lot of the decisions I have made, and the setbacks I have experienced, were based out of this season of doubt that I had.
But even in this journey, while pruning some things I really didn’t want to give up I have actually pruned some very destructive thought patterns and false perceptions that I’ve had about God and my purpose on this earth.
You see, whether or not we doubt and prune out of those doubts, or we are sowing and reaping a harvest, God can use them both. Even though I have struggled with doubt over the past year, I am not struggling with the feelings of regret.
Regret isn’t here because a lesson has been learned.
Even though there is a part in my heart that regrets slowly drifting away from reading the Word, I feel I have not drifted away from God. In fact, I feel I have learned a lot about myself and my relationship with Him.
I am beyond thankful for the lessons learned, and I am gradually getting back into the routine of studying God’s Word and praying every day, even though it’s difficult and I still have to move past some doubts. I actually went back to studying the Bible the way I did before there was criticism and doubt, and it’s with a different heart than before thanks to the criticism and the doubt.
My heart feels blessed for being in the Word, and humbled that I even get to read God’s Word.
I have found freedom in knowing that God is often a mystery to me, and that’s OK.
I have also found discernment and caution in my heart towards anyone that claims to have mastered the art of studying the Bible, or even the content and the intent of God’s heart when He wrote it.
I think you can only know Jesus if you are pursuing Jesus, and He is most definitely a mystery to be solved and unraveled every day.
Just today I read a section in 1 Chronicles and Holy Spirit revealed one thing out of that entire reading to me, and I could sense in my heart that He was saying this one thing was enough.
It’s amazing the confidence you gain from walking through a season where you realize the frailty and the flaws of the human spirit. I think the biggest breakthrough I gained through all of this was being able to identify old insecurities and sin, and not allowing the fears and insecurities of other people draw me back to a lifestyle of pride & fear that I had been delivered from.
In the past pride had been such a huge stumbling block in my walk with Christ, it was where I gained my confidence, not only in myself but also my relationship with God. God is still revealing to me the pride that often hides itself in my heart, but now I can recognize the traps and the thought patterns that can lead me down the blinding light of pride.
Pride looks like light, but it’s really darkness. It looks like it’s the right thing to do and yet Jesus never did those “right” things, and we are to follow His lead.
So yes, I stopped reading my Bible for a season because for some reason I was trying to live up to someone else’s (whom I had never met) expectations of what it looked like to read and study God’s Word. Unfortunately I guess I let my pride of wanting to be good at studying the Bible, but instead I just needed humility in developing my relationship with God.
It is amazing how fear, pride, and doubt are all connected. When Jesus says you can only serve one master when it comes to money , I think we can apply that principle to everything. We can’t have faith, hope, and love while also living a life of pride, fear, and doubt. The enemy is so cunning, and yet we always have a choice to make.
What we believe, how we live, and the choices we make truly do matter.
So today I am going to study God’s Word the way that works for me, and I am going to have faith that it is enough. If God can speak to me and teach me a lesson in my pride, fear, and doubt then He most definitely can speak to me while I am reading my Bible in faith.
Our faith begins with what we know and believe about God. Our faith will carry us how far we are willing to let it take us. Faith is a choice and we need to begin by choosing to believe in Jesus and His power to move mountains, heal the sick, and save us from all our sins through His sacrifice on the cross.
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