I’ve thought all week about what to talk about in this post, and the more I thought about it, I realized that I just needed to share what it is that I’m actually wrestling with this week.
Earlier this week, Brittany talked about the importance of the Word of God when it comes to connecting your intellect with your emotions… the head and the heart. I read it and said, “Amen!” more than once, but I’m battling the underlying principle of that post right now.
I’m struggling to spend time in the Word at all.
I know that it sounds ridiculous, and it feels a little shameful to admit, but it’s the truth. I decided to follow Jesus at a really young age, and if there’s anything I know, it’s that the Word of God is essential to spiritual vitality. The basics of walking with Jesus are reading His Word and spending time in prayer and in community, they are all foundational. There aren’t any shortcuts. So why is it so hard for me to do these very things at times? As a follower of Jesus I’ve walked through rich seasons of studying the Bible, and seasons where it’s just downright difficult. Right now, I’m in the latter. And I have been for longer than I care to admit.
I’ve been all over the place in the last 8 months of life: from personal grief in losing a pregnancy last fall, to deep grief in the death of a close friend, to Cody and I moving in with a friend to help in the transition after that death, to new routines and totally different schedules… “normal” has more often than not, felt like a moving target.
While all of these things have contributed to making it hard to find a rhythm of being in God’s Word, I know that at the core, they’re really just excuses. We all choose what to spend time on, and we spend time on the things we value. So if I’m not spending time in God’s Word, plain and simple, I’m just not valuing Him.
This morning, while scrolling through Instagram, I came across this quote from John Piper in a post:
“If you don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things and there is no room for the great God. God did not create you for this. There is an appetite for God. And it can be awakened.”
Ouch. Way to cut right to the quick, JP.
But it’s true! In this season where my taste for God’s Word has waned, it’s because I have stuffed myself with things of the world. Netflix. Social media. Books. Hanging out with friends. A busy schedule. None of these things are inherently bad, but none of these things will satisfy my soul like seeing Jesus in the Word. None of them have power to discern the thoughts and intentions of my heart.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
None of those things brings life the way the Word does.
And I know all of these things.
I believe that being in the Word is the best way to spend my time. So what’s my disconnect? Why, after so many years of following Jesus, is this still a struggle?
I think it just boils down to a daily choice. And our appetite for the Word is like a muscle… if we work it out, it gets stronger. If we ignore it, it gets weaker. My love for time in the Word, and ultimately for the Lord, is dependent on my daily choosing to invest in it. In daily working it out. In daily feeding the part of my soul that will continue to cry out for more instead of starving it for so long that it doesn’t even whimper.
And it’s okay to start small again. I think that’s one of the lies I’ve wrestled with in these last few weeks… when you’ve tasted the sweetness of a big chunk of time in the Word and you know it’s benefits, but you’re struggling to be there at all, it’s easy to believe that nothing less than an hour will suffice. And that just feels overwhelming.
Think back to the muscle analogy with me for a minute though. Just because you’ve been able to lift 150 pounds at some point in your life, doesn’t mean that you should start with 150 pounds your first week back in the gym after a substantial hiatus! It’s okay to start small again. To work your muscles out a little bit at a time, adding weight when you can. Knowing the more time you spend at the gym, the faster it will come.
So, I’m starting small this week. Because I have to start somewhere and I need the Word. I know it will bring life.
“My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word.” Psalm 119:25
I want to say with the psalmist:
“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:103
I’m starting small with one of my favorite apps: She Reads Truth. If you’ve never heard of it, or tried it out before, join me! I started the James study today and I’m confident that God will use it to help build up my appetite.
Will you join me? Will you choose God’s Word with me today? And then again tomorrow? And then again on the next day? Sisters, let’s stop nibbling at the table of the world in order to make room for a great God.