We spoke about the importance of having the truth as a foundation for our lives. Absolute, unchanging truth makes a solid foundation that helps us stand firm in all the different circumstances throws at us. We also spoke about how the Bible contains that very truth that we need. Now, this is not a new thing to many if not all Christians, but many still find it hard to commit to a habit of diving into God's word.
I went through a season of maybe 7-8 years where my Bible reading habit was nearly non-existent, not a great thing for an aspiring pastor at that time I must admit. But I found it hard to engage with the Bible. It all felt so dull, and I felt like I was getting nothing NEW out of it. So how did that all change? Firstly I believe that the Holy Spirit did a work in me to help me really see the importance of the word of God for me. There were moments when people were asking why I did certain things or believed certain things, and I found that a lot of what I did or said was due to how I always lived, but not much deeper than that. I was really convicted when I saw others that had Biblical reasons for why they did what they did, and I committed myself to learning more to build my foundation up.
One of the key tools that really got me going with the word was journalling. I would read a chapter of the Bible, and think about it, then start writing. This system was really powerful for me for a few reasons:
1. It caused me to slow down. I wanted to write something down every time I read the Bible, and to be able to write something valuable down, I needed to slow down to REALLY read... instead of just skim reading, which I did a lot!
2. It caused me to search for meaning. Meaning helps us engage and remember things better. Skim reading only gave me surface level meaning, which was boring to engage with. The deeper I dove into the word, the deeper the engagement and meaning I received, the more it excited me. I would then be motivated to keep going the next time! Key to this point is learning to ask "why" of the word. Allow God to bring understanding and revelation to those questions.
3. It caused me to find practical applications for my life. As part of my journalling practice, I wanted to find foundational truths I could base my life on. This application helped bring the word of God home to my life. It wasn't a distant truth, but practical wisdom for my life.
There are many journalling systems out there. For me, I found just a blank page worked best for me. I would write my questions that popped up as I read the Bible, and ask God to help me find understanding. What journalling system have you found that works best for you?