Monday, October 13, 2014

Digging Deep: A Heavenly Habit

We've discovered you can finish the whole Bible in a year reading just 12.5 minutes per day. And let's stretch it to 15 minutes just to account for different reading speeds, distractions, etc.

So in 15 minutes a day you can read God's Word broadly. You can cover every chapter, every verse, and gain a richer understanding of how Jesus' story of redemption is woven into every word from Genesis to Revelation.

Where will you find this 15 minutes?

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This is where priorities come into play. This is where you must pray to the Spirit to reveal those 15 minutes to you and train your heart and mind to treat those 15 minutes as sacred. The Spirit must convict you to treasure and protect 15 minutes out of every day.

It shouldn't be hard. 15 minutes is a measly 1% of your day. But, sadly, it is hard. Satan does not want us to read God's Word, so he will create every distraction under the sun to prevent us from doing so. In our flesh, we are so weak that the comforts of our bed, the lure of the TV, the temptation of social media, the desire to eat, the call of the to-do list... all those things easily overcome our plan to read God's Word for 15 minutes daily.

That's why every plan and goal to read the Bible must begin with prayer. We are weak; He is strong. With Christ's Spirit in us, we can easily read for 15 minutes per day. With the Holy Spirit guiding us, we can push aside distractions, deny temptations, and make a habit of reading the Word every single day.

From a practical perspective, what does this look like? As I mentioned before, mornings are usually the best time to be filled with God's Word. Start with a minute and find a spot. Try to read the Bible in the same place every day. It helps your brain click into "Bible study mode." It can also be helpful if you have young children, because you can teach them "When mom is in the office/by the fireplace/in her big white chair with her Bible, you aren't allowed to talk to her unless there is an emergency." As you train your mind to protect the sacred 15 minutes, you can train your children to protect that time as well.

Additionally, you have to set up boundaries for yourself. The Gospel is not about rules; it's about freedom in Christ, but we are weak, and sometimes guidelines help us keep our flesh in check. For example, I have a "rule" for myself that I'm not allowed to look at social media before I have my quiet time. I wake up, brush my teeth, head out to the kitchen where I make Micah's lunch and my coffee, and then I plop down on the couch with my Bible, notebook, and latte. Sometimes I mess up and something on my phone lures me to take a peek before I'm done reading my Bible, but for the most part I follow my rule well. I don't want to stand before God's throne someday and admit that Instagram was more desirable to me than His Word.

What about you? In Christ, you are free to live without "rules" regarding your time and priorities, but in Christ, you are also free to choose the worthy thing. You are strong enough to choose the Bible over TV, to choose prayer over the to do list. You are free to make guidelines for yourself in order to give yourself 15 minutes a day in God's Word and you are strong enough to follow your guidelines because the Spirit of Christ dwells in you.

Because when your life is drawing to a close, do you think you'll look back fondly on your Instagram feed? Do you think you'll reminisce about a funny tweet or a suspenseful TV show? Do you think you'll pride yourself on how many baskets of laundry you folded? No. You won't. When your life is drawing to a close, you will want to dwell on the promises of God. You will meditate on what you know of His character and you will long to know Him face to face. You will thank him for the relationships He started for you in this life and you will be eager to continue those relationships in the life to come.

Do something for 15 minutes today that will matter for all of eternity.

1 comment:

Christina Schergen said...

Sooooooo good. I make it a point to spend time in gods presence daily whether that is reading the bible or worship...bc I watch tv daily and look at Pinterest daily and do many other meaningless thing...surely I can carve out some time for god.