This post is by Lindsey Bell.
There has been one question that God has put on my heart over and over again as I have opened my Bible recently. That question is,
“Why are you doing this?”
Now, that might sound like a somewhat odd question for someone who is opening her Bible to read God’s Word, and to be fair, it is kind of odd. It seems like the answer would be obvious. Of course, I’m reading my Bible to hear from God and grow in my walk with Him.
But hear me out, because it’s not nearly as obvious as you might think.
For years, my Bible reading has been something I have checked off a list. I’m an avid list-maker. So years ago, when I became a Christian and started doing “Christian activities” like praying and reading my Bible, it just made sense to me to use lists in these tasks as well.
To start, lists were incredibly helpful in my walk with the Lord! They created accountability. They gave me a plan. They guided me so I wasn’t overwhelmed. Lists were a tool God used in my early days as a believer to draw me nearer to himself. (Lists clearly weren’t the problem! The problem was with my heart.)
Unfortunately, as the years passed, it became easy for me to make my Bible reading ONLY about checking off the list.
My time with God in the Word and in prayer - somewhere along the way - had changed from something I got to do to something I had to do.
I don’t know about you, but when I feel like I have to do something, it loses some of its appeal. It definitely doesn’t feel like sitting down with a good friend over a cup of coffee and talking about our day.
It feels rushed. It feels forced. It feels unnatural.
Bible reading became less about fellowship with the Father and more about getting it done quickly. It became less about worship and more about work.
Today, no matter what you are reading in your Bible, I want to ask you the same question God has been asking me: “Why are you doing this?” Why are you sitting down to read your Bible this morning?
Are you reading your Bible because you feel like you have to?
Are you reading it so you can check it off your list and feel good about what you have completed?
Are you reading it because that’s what “good Christians” do?
If that’s why you’re doing it, I would encourage you to stop. Put the list away. Take a moment and ask God to show you himself. Ask him to change your heart so you’re in it for the right reasons.
The purpose of your time with God should never be about getting something done. It should always be about relationship. It should be about spending time with the God who cannot wait to spend time with you.
Lindsey Bell is the author of Unbeaten and Searching for Sanity. She’s passionate about her two silly boys, her husband Keith, books of all kinds, and delicious dark chocolate. Her desire is to inspire and encourage other believers through honest dialogue about faith, family, and learning to love the life she’s been given. As a woman who has lost four babies to miscarriage, Lindsey loves helping others find God in the midst of heartache. Find Lindsey online at www.lindseymbell.com.
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