Life is busy! It can be challenging to nurture your faith when life is busy or when Bible reading feels like a chore (it’s not! stick with it!). We asked Dr. Lawson Murray, a Bible reading expert to share some practical tips to help when you need a bit of extra help to meet with God through His Word.
Have you ever re-read a Bible passage multiple times? Recently, I had read a Bible verse 4 times, and couldn’t focus. It was a period where reading the Bible was hard, sometimes it even felt like a chore, and I needed to be extra intentional about making it a priority. I was struggling to meet God through His Word. It was a busy season at work and my two kids home for summer break with no routine didn’t help!
Many of us experience these challenges – you are not alone! Don’t give up though.
My friend and colleague, Dr. Lawson Murray, shared a few tips for when we’re just struggling to meet God through His Word. Those days when our expectations of hearing God speaking through the Scriptures are at an all-time low but we still want to nurture our faith.
7 tips to help nurture your faith
Here are his seven tips to help you get through these times.
1) Mix it up.
When was the last time you switched up Bible translations? There are more than 800 English versions to choose from! Check out our blog post on translations for some tips!
2) Connect with others.
Personal Bible reading and reflection must be balanced with communal reading and reflection. Why? Because two are better than one. When one falls down, the other can help pick them up (cf. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10). Check out our post with tips on reading the Bible with others.
3) Open up.
Be careful not to tame the Word or reduce it to the scale of your own ideas. Before reading, ask God to unlock your mind to His transforming power (cf. Romans 12:2). Check out our blog post on reading the Bible with imagination!
4) Use a reading guide
Be alert to the insights that come from others. Yes, the Holy Spirit is the Teacher and instructs us directly from the Word, but He also works through human teachers to unpack the meaning of a text, challenge our prejudices and expose our blind spots.
There’s a tendency to read the Bible almost exclusively to find out what to do. We should rather read it to find out who we are and whom we ought to be. Interact with the Bible like you would with a mirror. Look into it and ask, “Who am I? Whom do You want me to be?”
6) Slow Down.
We’re more likely to encounter God when we slow down (or linger longer). Most of us live with the tyranny of the urgent, but not God! To meet on His turf, we must “be still” (cf. Psalm 46:10), which in context means “Enough! Stop trying to have control over things!”
7) Live it.
God’s Word has a claim on our lives – a purpose. We should be living epistles. The litmus test of Bible reading is whether or not we’ve acted on what we’ve discovered. Bible reading must translate into a response. Imitate Jesus (cf. Philippians 2:1-11). Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God (cf. Micah 6:8)
Bible reading must translate into a response.
Don’t feel guilty for struggling with your time in the Word. Ask God for help and be persistent. You’ve got this!