I opened my Living Bible like a child opens a present, eager to enjoy what was inside. I was enjoying an oasis after a hard semester push of college teaching. The quiet of my parent’s house was the perfect overture I needed.
On this day, I had no agenda. I only wanted God’s Word to speak to me. I turned the pages until my eye caught a chapter title, an underlined verse, or some other word or phrase. That’s when I saw it.
Know what his Word says and means. 2 Timothy 2:15, TLB
Suddenly I realized what was lacking in my pursuit to know God’s Way. I needed God’s Word to be my map, my compass, my process and my destination. I realized it was my responsibility to know what God’s Word said and meant. I couldn’t let it fall to chance.
In that small verse was also the fear that I could be missing something important because I didn’t know what God’s Word said and meant. I could easily substitute my own best thoughts and fill some directional void in my life the wrong way.
It was that day I began a new pilgrimage. A pilgrimage has a destination in mind. The destination defines the journey. I wanted knowing God to be my destination, not for the knowledge; but for the heart-shaping imprinting I needed.
In that small room off the kitchen where my family met for meals, shared their days, teased and loved on each other, I found a holy calling . . . to God’s Word. I can’t explain it any other way. That was the day I refused to delegate my spiritual formation to anyone other than God and His Spirit revealed through His Word.
I wish I could tell you that I became consistent in my time in God’s Word. But what I can tell is that I have not lost my persistence. The hunger I found on that day has never left. I want to know what God’s Word says and means. I want God’s Word to fuel my maturity. I want God’s Word to shape my heart.
On that day God’s Word stopped being a guilt-driven, ought-to-do-more activity and became a true hunger.
Don’t misunderstand. I love Bible studies where others have searched and studied and prayed and share their results. But they are not a substitute for my own study. While I am not trying to set some gold standard for everybody, I am pointing you to find your own hunger. When hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness as revealed in His Word drives your pursuit of any Bible study or worship, something amazing happens. It is personal, unique, and heart-shaping.
Remember this: it’s not how much time you spend, it’s about spending some time. It can be 5 minutes, 15, or 50. Keep your Bible open in some special place. Let its openness draw you and I predict what will happen. Five minutes will turn to ten on some days. On others it will turn to more. This is about feeding a hunger, not meeting a goal.
What ideas help nurture a hunger for God’s Word? Leave a comment. We can learn from each other.