The importance of the Word for the child of God cannot be overstated. It is the means of cultivating and growing your relationship with God. Undoubtedly, it is the number one reason why people begin to drift spiritually.
For many Christians, there are questions that need to be asked as to why the Word is not a regular, vibrant part of life. I think one of the tragedies in Christianity is the independent Christian – the Christian who goes through life just fine without spending any regular time in the Word and prayer – and their life is no “different” for it. This is akin to the person who has never known anything but McDonalds food and believes that they live a normal, healthy life. They don’t realize what life would be like if they regularly ate healthy, nutrition packed food. For the Christian, there is power and vitality found in regular intake of the Scriptures – a power and vitality that cannot be replicated anywhere else in life.
But this power found in God’s Word is not obtained through one-off, quick fixes, any more than eating a carrot suddenly curses obesity. Like regular, consistent diet and exercise has long term impact on your well being, so does regular consistent time in the Word and prayer. But like many health resolutions that fade away by the middle of January, so can a commitment to be in the Word. When it comes to the Scriptures, don’t be a New Years Resolution casualty! Develop a game plan that will actually work for your time in the Word. Here’s some suggestions:
- Have a plan. Like most things in life, if you fail to plan you plan to fail. Stating a Bible based plan in Genesis with no idea of what you’ll read and for how long probably isn’t going to last very long. Find a plan that is specific, measurable, attainable and realistic and you’ll probably have a much high chance of success.
- Involve your spouse. Going through life together is important, but especially when it comes to your relationship with Christ. There is nothing worse than a marriage where spouses are heading in two different directions spiritually.
- Pick a time and place. You know your schedule – you know what works and what doesn’t. You know if you’re a morning person, night person or neither. So, carefully think through your day and choose a time that works best for you, a time that is free from as many distractions as possible. Relatedly, give yourself time to actually spend time with Christ in the Word. 10 minutes is ok – but 10 minutes of prep for when you’re in battle won’t cut it. It may mean you have to get up earlier, which may mean you have to go to bed earlier…which may mean you’re not watching as much TV. It comes down to priorities.
- Don’t be pridefully solo. Christians and community go hand in hand, and a Christian who allows for some vulnerability in his life allows for greater accountability. Is there anyone in your life that has access to ask you important questions? Who can ask you weekly or even daily questions about your Scripture commitments?
Don’t be a Scripture New Year’s Resolution casualty! Start now with your game-plan that will lead to success.
Scott Foreman is the Executive Pastor at Fellowship Bible Church in Mullica Hill, New Jersey. He has been active in full-time vocational ministry for almost 20 years as a Camp Director, Radio Host, Missionary and now Pastor. You can follow him here at The Ministry Dad, and also on Twitter: @scottdforeman.