As part of my goals for this year I’ve decided to get more intentional about my life and the things I do. One of the big things I wanted to change was to become more intentional about daily Bible study.
I used to spend hours in God’s Word, soaking up everything I could and writing pages and pages of journal notes about my experience. And oh, how I long for those days! But at this point in my life it is hard to find that kind of time. I’ve gone for far too long with little to no Bible study because I’m waiting for the “perfect” time of the day to do it. I’ve tried getting up at that mythical hour before the rest of my family gets up. It’s pretty much impossible right now. My daughter is a rise-with-the-dawn kind of child while my son is generally up for a time in the 4 – 5 am hours. That just makes for a cranky mama. And nobody likes a cranky mama.
So while I would love to have my quiet time consistently before the kids get up, that usually doesn’t happen. And that’s ok. I’m telling you now that there is no perfect time for Bible study. You don’t have to do it first thing in the morning. You don’t have to spend an hour a day on it. You don’t have to wait until you have that perfectly quiet and uninterrupted time.
Because how often does that actually work out, right?
The main thing is to have a yearning and a desire for Bible study and time talking to Jesus. To set aside what time you can to learn more about Him and to grow closer to Him.
So here are a few practical tips for taking time for Bible study and getting more out of your quiet time with God. Some of them may work for you and some of them may not. Keep trying until you find something that works for you.
- Set aside a specific time each day for it. If twenty minutes is all the time you have today, use it. And remember, it doesn’t have to be first thing in the morning. Utilize the baby’s nap time (cleaning can wait 20 minutes) or another block of time you have. Just go into the day knowing that at a certain time you have to stop what you’re doing and get into the Word.
- It doesn’t have to happen all at one time. Only have 10 minutes right now? That’s ok. Read some now and come back to it when you have another 10 – 15 minutes.
- Keep your Bible open in a conspicuous place. Every time you walk by throughout the day, stop to read for a moment. Meditate on what you read between times.
- Try listening to the Bible instead of reading it. There are several apps and websites to go to where you can listen to the Bible. Pop in your ear buds and listen while you wash dishes, fold clothes, take a bath… whenever.
- Use sticky notes for Scripture memorization. Are you trying to learn a particular verse or passage? Write it down on several sticky notes and post them around the house. No, it’s not chapters of reading at a time. But on those days when that’s all you can do, at least you have had some meditation on God’s Word. And don’t forget to switch out your sticky notes every week or so.
- Wake up 30 minutes early. Yeah, I know it won’t always work. But (in my case) my day seems to go better if I’ve started it off in the presence of God. And if you do get interrupted? At least you tried. And maybe it’ll be easier to get back to it during the day if you start it off that way.
- Have accountability. Join a Bible study (online, with a church or elsewhere). Call an accountability partner each day to discuss what you’ve read. I know I’m way more apt to do something if someone is counting on me.
While I was writing this a question came to me. What if you don’t have that yearning for daily Bible study anymore? What happens when you’ve been gone for so long you’ve forgotten what daily fellowship with God feels like?
Friend, I’ve been there. And I’m not going to lie and tell you an easy answer. It’s something you’ll have to deal with yourself. But making the time and the effort to talk and listen to Jesus daily is a step in the right direction. It’s a habit like any other — the more you cultivate it the easier it is to do.