Recently, life became extremely busy for me. I would leave the house early in the morning and return late, and find chores waiting for me. I began postponing my devotions. I thought I had a good reason. I was very fatigued in the evenings, that I couldn’t even wake up early enough to read my bible. The self in me thought I was ‘justified’. Before I knew a week had passed. One week turned into two weeks with no bible. The only interaction I had with the bible is when someone posted a verse on social media.
I do not deny the guilt that I would feel. I had just come from reading a book by Martin E. Clark called “Choosing your Career”. The first chapter talks about God’s will. Martin says that it’s wrong to seek God’s unknown will when we are not obeyed His revealed will. Reading His word and obeying what He says is already revealed, and so every Christian should be careful to walk in this will. The thought of what Martin says would bring guilt in me, that I was actually disobeying God.
Then my workload reduced and I went back to having some spare time. My flesh had already gotten comfortable with not reading the word. I struggled to get myself to do my devotions.
You and I know well that when your body isn’t fed then it becomes starved. Starvation could reduce immunity. The same case to your inner man. For every Christian, when you do not read your bible you become vulnerable to sin, you lose touch with your creator and you begin to die inwardly. I experienced vulnerability in fair measure.
I think David was well aware of this when he wrote in Psalm 119:11; “I have hidden your word in my heart that I may not sin against you.” In verse 105 he continues to say, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” As sure as you can be, walking without God’s counsel through His word is walking in darkness. It’s shutting God from your life.
In Hebrews 4:12 its written, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” You will not know how dark your heart is or how evil the attitudes of your heart are until you read the bible. Reading the bible helps expose those sinful motives that are deep within, as you continue to learn God’s standards.
Life can get crazily busy, but it’s no excuse for not reading the bible. It’s important to develop a discipline for studying scripture. Some author (I forget his name) stated, “No bible, no breakfast.” He wouldn’t have breakfast if he hadn’t read his bible. Such is the discipline I desire to have! That I’ll consider it a grievous mistake to spend a whole day without reading God’s word.
Even when am faithfully doing my devotions, there are days I miss. But I have never missed a meal, unless when fasting. That’s why I desire a very strong hunger for God’s word, that no day will end without having read the bible.
Hebrews 12:11 records; “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Surely, sometimes it’s just not pleasing to wake up early and read the bible. But that’s a discipline that will produce a harvest of righteousness for you.
Paul tells us something very important in 1Corinthians 9:24; 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. We are in a race and must beat our unwilling bodies, so that we are not disqualified from the race.
If you are in such a phase as I was in, please beat your body and make it your slave. Look for someone to keep you accountable. Ask for God’s revival through prayer. Develop the discipline of reading the bible!