What does that say about how we Christians view the Word of God?
We need a Bible revival!
How My Devotional Life Dried Up
One year ago, I was suffering from burnout.
My devotional life was one area that had suffered. Sure, I still picked up my Bible every day… but the joy had gone out of my devotions.
The act of doing devotions had become a duty. The Bible’s content had become yet another barometer of Christian performance—instructions on how I should live my Christian life. And I had nothing left to give.
To be honest, I was not only burnt out, I was bored.
I have been acquainted with the Bible since childhood, have read it many times over and still today read it from cover to cover. I have studied it both personally and with the help of great Christian teachers.
But I had lost my passion for God’s Word.
During the course of this year, I have experienced renewal in my devotional life.
How To Fall In Love With The Bible Again
Here are some keys that have helped me recover my love for God’s Word:
1. Realise Something Is Missing
Jesus said ‘ask, seek, knock,’ (Matt 7:7-8) but we will never do any of those things until we become conscious that we have a need.
Until we realise that what we are experiencing in relation to the Bible is less than what it could be, we will never change.
It was only when I realised how dry I was and how dead my devotional life had become that I decided to do something about it. I began to ‘Ask, seek and knock.’
2. Reconsider the Value of the Bible
Recently I read a news item about a real-life ‘slum-dog millionaire’. This man was living in a slum whilst he had access to millions of dollars.
Like this guy, I had been living like a spiritual pauper whilst sitting on a fortune—God’s Word.
As I began my seeking time, I went through Psalm 119, in which David expounds the wonders of God’s Word. One of the verses that stood out to me was, ‘Your word has given me life’ (Ps 119:50).
Being revived by God’s word is a recurring theme in this Psalm, with the Hebrew word, ‘chayah,’ meaning to revive, nourish, restore to life, and give life to, being used 16 times in relation to God’s Word.
When it comes to the Bible, life is a verb! The promise of being revived—or ‘lifed’—through God’s Word kept me on track. There was obviously something in my devotional life I had missed.
3. Relate to the Bible the Way Jesus Does
The next breakthrough in my journey came when I had an idea to take a look at how Jesus responded to the Bible in the Gospels. Perhaps by studying His response to the Bible, I could see what I was missing.
Jesus knew the scriptures intimately and used His knowledge of them to teach others. But more than this—He lived them.
Jesus walked in perfect fulfillment of God’s Word. The Old Testament described every details of His life from birth to death, His character, His purpose and mission and His redeeming work on the cross.
As I considered Jesus’ response to the scriptures, it occurred to me that just as Jesus walked in fulfillment of God’s Word, so should I.
The Bible explains my origins, my value, my redemption, my call, and my destiny. The Bible is the story of me. And it’s your story, too.
I have known the scripture as a place of instruction, upbuilding, protection and power to live the Christian life. I have understood the Bible as the story of Jesus, the story of redemption, the story of Israel and the church.
But this simple revelation—that the Bible is the story of me—is the one that helped bring me back to life.
4. Reconnect Creatively With God’s Word
When my children were small and had been sick, they sometimes lost their appetite for food.
I would give them smaller portions of tasty food that would tempt them to eat, and help strengthen their appetites.
It is important, when we have lost our appetite for God’s Word, to provide ourselves with fresh inspiration, and new tools or methods to help us study.
Here is one tool that can be used for Bible study and journaling:
The SOAP journaling method
SOAP is an acronym:
To use this journaling style, read your portion of scripture—it may be a daily reading or a passage or book in the Bible you are currently studying
S = Choose a verse that has particularly spoken to you and write it in your journal
O = Note down your observation—what God is saying to you personally through the verse
A = Record how you can put what God is saying into practice in your life
P = Now write a brief prayer in response to what God has spoken to you
Over the next few days I will be using the SOAP method in my own journal and write my observations in the comments section of this post.
© Helen Calder Enliven Publishing