I’m sitting here in my recliner, “Christmastime Is Here” in my earbuds, the tree alight in front of me. It’s been a long and busy day, and I’m feeling pretty productive, because I’ve checked nearly everything off my to-do list. As our family gets back into the swing of things after covid, these normal, unexciting days feel like a gift.
I have to confess that I don’t really want to write this post right now. I’m tired and relaxed and would be perfectly content to just sit here staring into space and daydreaming. At the same time there’s been this undercurrent of sadness running through me all day, especially when I sit still. There’s nothing really wrong. Some days are just like that. So maybe what I really want to do is read a book and ignore the responsibilities and the feelings.
Instead I’m going to write about waiting.
Yesterday I talked about how waiting for God means putting ourselves where God is likely to show up. I don’t want anyone to think I don’t believe in the omnipresence of God. But I think all of us understand this idea that there are some places where we’re more likely to find evidence of His presence than others. When I talk about putting ourselves in places where God is, that’s what I mean. Here’s the thing. I’m super foolish, and I’m fairly sure I’m not the only one. I ask God to reveal Himself and His will to me, but then I spend my time on social media, listening to audiobooks, and doing my own thing. And all the time God has given me this amazing resource where I can find more of Him and who He made me to be.
That resource is Scripture.
So today I’m going a bit off script from what I’ve been doing to just remind you of how very important daily, consistent time in the Word is. Folks, there is no substitute for an open Bible and an open heart. None. No devotional book, no Christian podcast, no inspirational radio station can fill the role in our lives that the simple, perfect Word of God is meant to fill. This used to be such a huge struggle for me, and I admit that it has gotten a million times easier as my kids have gotten older. But I would suggest that time in the Bible should be your number one priority each day. Even just a few moments– a few verses– faithfully every day will over time make a huge difference in your life.
I’ve talked about what I do in my personal devotional time in past blog entries, but I’d like to briefly talk about a couple disciplines that I really feel have given me a much deeper knowledge of the Bible and a closer relationship with God. These are the places where God most consistently shows up for me with comfort, conviction, encouragement, and inspiration.
First, years ago I started copying the book of Psalms. When that was done, I wrote out Ruth and then Esther. Before I really knew what had happened, I had decided I was going to transcribe the entire Bible. I finished it a couple months ago. It’s not in order, and it’s spread throughout years of journals in between prayers, sermon notes, and the occasional poem. But what a blessing it has been to me to look at every single word of Scripture and let it pass through my pen and my mind. So many things I had never noticed really stood out when I wasn’t just scanning verses so I could say I had read the chapter. I am finishing out 2020 by re-transcribing Romans, and in the new year I will start copying from a different translation.
Second, praising through the Psalms is a beautiful habit I got into years ago. I’m not sure where the idea originated but I’m sure it wasn’t with me. Basically, I just start in Psalm 1 and write out prayers of adoration based on what each Psalm says. It takes me about six months to go through the whole book, so I’ve gone through it many times, and the pages of my Bible are filled with reminders of what God has taught me. I cannot say how many times God has met me in the Psalms with exactly what I needed in that moment. This is a discipline I highly recommend. It has been life-changing for me and really been the thing that turned my walk with God into an intimate relationship with Him.
Waiting is hard, but it’s so worth it, because as we wait for Him by spending time in His Word He reveals Himself to us in ways we never could have imagined. Friend, someday we are all going to stand before God, and I pray that for all of us we will find before us the face of a beloved Father and Friend.
It will be said on that day,
“Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.
This is the Lord; we have waited for him;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
Keep waiting faithfully. Open your Bible and wait before God and expect great things.
Father, help us to make the time to faithfully read and study Your Word. Show us Yourself in the pages of Scripture, and help us to be transformed by what we see there. You are our salvation, our hope, and the joy of our lives. Keep us faithful before You. Amen.
Is the Bible a daily part of your life? What could you do to be more faithful in this area?