Do you ever struggle to study God’s Word? I know I do! Psalm 119 offers some help (and hope!) for us!
I would love to tell you that I wake up every day ready to study God’s Word. I wish I could tell you that I do so consistently.
The truth is that sometimes I get out of the routine and other times I find myself lacking zeal for God’s word.
I hate to admit it, but I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t the case.
I wonder if you, also, struggle to study God’s word sometimes. Maybe you are so busy that you find it difficult to make time for Bible study, or maybe you are going through a period in your life when, for whatever reason, you aren’t as faithful (or as passionate) when it comes to searching Scriptures and filling your heart with truth.
Perhaps you’re a new mom who’s gotten no sleep, and the only five minutes you’ll find today will be filled with the only rest you’ll have this week.
I get it.
I really do.
Still, if I’m being honest (and I strive to be honest here), I have to tell you that, at times like these, my biggest fear is that Jesus would say to me the same thing he said to the church in Laodicea in Revelation 3:15-16: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am going to spit you out of my mouth.”
Can you even imagine hearing those words from him? I don’t want to, do you? I honestly shudder at the thought.
So, how can my temperature get turned up? What can I do to move from complacency to conviction?
How can interest in God’s word be ignited within us?
Practice Discipline to Study God’s Word
First, I truly do believe that discipline is a deciding factor. Sometimes we simply have to push through and be faithful, seeking God and studying his word whether we feel like it or not, believing that God is faithful to be found when we seek him.
Pray for Fresh Perspective
Second (which should probably be first), pray. Ask God to help you. Psalm 119 highlights so many beautiful aspects of God’s word, but I think it also shows us different ways we can pray as we approach studying it.
Psalm 119:18 says, “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.”
What an excellent example of a prayer that asks God to awaken our hearts to hear him! When we see beautiful things in his word, we are much more likely to read it. If we expect to find treasures, we are much more likely to search for them.
Like the Psalmist, we can ask for new perspective, for fresh eyes and open hearts.
Ask for Understanding
Even if we read the word, it’s difficult to obey something we don’t understand. In fact, 1 Corinthians 2:14 reminds us, “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”
If we need help understanding the word, we can ask the one who has given us his Spirit to help, just like the Psalmist did in Psalm 119:34: “Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart.”
When we seek God and study God’s word, we need to do with the mindset of people who are prepared to change, to adapt, according to what the Word says. We need to obey, but sometimes we wonder how to do so.
The Psalmist knew exactly how that felt, I think.
Psalm 119:35 said, “Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.”
The desire to do right was there, what he needed was the direction.
I am right there with him sometimes.
Fortunately, James 1:2 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
Now, that’s a promise I can cling to!
What about you? How do you stay committed to the study of God’s word and to spending time with him? What tips or suggestions would you make to someone who is struggling in this area? Leave a comment and let us know!
Also, be sure to join us for Encouraging Word Wednesday this week!