Do you struggle with making a habit of reading the Bible on a daily basis? Maybe you desire to and have tried on several occasions, but the only thing that stays consistent are the distractions that fight for your attention and ultimately lead you away from your time in the Word. This is a struggle for many people, because let’s face it, ultimately we are fighting a spiritual battle and the Tempter takes pleasure in leading us away from the Word. But God is greater and can help us overcome the battle. I would like to share with you 5 tips that I have learned that have helped me develop a habit of being in the Word daily.
- Set a specific time. Setting a specific time of day is very valuable for building a habit in studying your Bible. If there is no specific time, you are more likely to forget about it or dismiss doing it in your brain. Find out what time of day you are most available and concentrated. It may be in the evening or in the morning, for myself I have found that doing it first thing when I wake up is the time that works best for me. Whatever time it is, commit yourself to being in the Word at that time. This will help create consistency which is essential for building habits.
- Remove all distractions. Whether it is your phone, people, the room you are in, Tv, whatever it is that will distract, remove yourself from it. Distractions really are a fight between your flesh and the spirit. And even though your spirit might be very willing to keep your focus on studying, your flesh is strong and will always lean towards dividing your focus away from the Word causing you to gain less time from it. Sometimes it is very helpful to have a specific place to assign yourself to for your study time, a place where you already know is quiet and where you can specifically leave all things that cause you to be distracted behind. In Luke 5:16, it talks about Jesus removing Himself to go and be with His Father, saying, “He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” Jesus would go to the wilderness, where nothing was, so He could be alone with His Father.
- Have a reading plan. Instead of opening your Bible and picking a random passage to read each day, it is very beneficial to know ahead of time what you are going to read. To do this, find a Bible reading plan or pick a book of the Bible to read through. There are several reading plans you can find online to help you in this endeavor. Also, it may be wise to read through a shorter book of the Bible before trying to tackle a bigger book. Many of the epistles in the New Testament are a good starting point for this. Having a reading plan will help you be efficient with your time and also give you a better understanding of the context for what you read.
- Keep a journal. I have found that keeping a journal during my study in the Bible has been very motivating in keeping myself accountable with my time in the Word. Keeping track of the days, writing down what I am learning and what passages of Scripture I am reading, all help me to know what God is teaching me and then motivates me to keep pursuing more treasures from His Word. Having a journal can also be helpful if you have questions with what you are reading. Write them down and you can ask someone about it and study it out with different resources later on.
- Pray. No matter how structured you become in studying the Bible, it is God who ultimately gives blessing upon your time in the Word. The main purpose of reading and studying the Bible should not be to gain more knowledge about God, but to know God. God desires to have a personal relationship with each one of us and He has revealed Himself to us through His Word. May our desire be like David’s in Psalm 42:2, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?” Before opening your Bible and reading, pray that God would teach you, grow you, and draw you closer to Him through your time in the Word.
Dear reader, there is nothing more important than your relationship with the Lord. Even though it may be a struggle to prioritize or commit to, in the end it is worth it. When we rely on the Lord’s grace and strength, we will see victory in overcoming these spiritual battles. Never lose heart and never stop pursuing the One who loves you and has given Himself for you!
Written by NBB Alumna: Bekah Leary