When we find ourselves just barely hanging on by a thread, we tend to reach for our phones to distract us. But we have a reliable rescue rope dangling directly above us.
That rope is the Word of God, a powerful light source during our moments of darkness. But for the Word to shine its light into the dark parts of our lives, we have to engage with it. We must first recognize that when we complain about not having 15 minutes in a day to sit down in a quiet spot, crack open our Bible and read the blessed Word, we are telling ourselves a bald-faced lie. It’s time to shut off our phones and open our Bibles.
Read God’s Word
It’s easy to read the Bible every day. Think of it: You either own a copy of the book or you can access it for free online. Over 100 translations of the Bible are now in print, which means we can read God’s Word in a language that resonates most with us.
The irony, of course, is that what makes it easy to read the Bible every day is also what makes it hard. We tend to devalue what we have in abundance, and other stuff is constantly competing for our time. My advice to you and me is to systematize your reading so that it’s part of your usual routine. Find a spot, pick a time and open the Bible — it doesn’t have to be more complicated than that.
Like me, you probably can look back on your life and see seasons when you intentionally stayed in God’s Word. You read the Scriptures with such devotion that they quite literally shaped your thoughts. I’m inviting you to return to that love, to return to the priority you once held.
Meditate on God’s Word
Read God’s Word, and then meditate on what you’ve read. Through the years, I’ve made it my practice to meditate on the Scriptures to memorize them because once you write them on your mind and your heart, you can call them up at a moment’s notice, no flipping of pages or swiping of screens required.
So sit with God’s Word. Ponder and meditate on it. Turn it over in your mind time and again. I believe this is what it means to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.
The Psalms are a great place to start meditating on God’s Word. As the great Charles Spurgeon once said in a lecture to his seminary students, “Intermeddle with all knowledge, but above all things meditate day and night in the law of the Lord.”
Pray over God’s Word
After you read and meditate on God’s Word, the most beneficial next step to take is to speak his Word right back to Him in prayer. I often turn my daily walks into a prayer walk, using the Scriptures I just encountered to fuel my dialogue with God.
Just as you’d likely take immense pleasure in hearing one of your children read aloud a heartfelt letter you’d written to them, I imagine God delights in each time you or I recount for him the parts of His Word that are proving most meaningful to us.
Proclaim God’s Word
Finally, proclaim the Word of God. His Word is too good to keep to ourselves. As we point people to the truth, we stimulate spiritual growth for them and ourselves.
The psalmist wrote, “Revive me, O Lord, according to your Word” (Psalm 119:107), which reminds us that revival indeed comes by way of God’s Word. I have seen addicts set free. I have seen prisoners receive forgiveness. I have seen the man in the mirror – myself – suffering from severe insomnia, listlessness, hopelessness, and depression find his stride again, all from absorbing the Word of the Lord.
When we speak out the truth that we have internalized, lives can’t help but be changed.
As you prioritize engagement with the Scriptures, you will realize new completeness to your life, which is God’s Word having its way in you.
Dr. Jack Graham is the pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, one of the largest and fastest-growing churches in America. He is the author of the acclaimed Unseen, and his PowerPoint Ministries broadcasts are available in 92 countries and are heard daily in more than 740 cities. Follow him @jackngraham.