I see two problems with the practice of spending time with God in Scripture and in prayer. First, we simply don’t make it a priority. A priority refers to that one thing that takes precedence over all other things. I fear we have simply not made reading, memorizing, and meditating on Scripture our priority. Second, we have not gotten the most out of the time we do spend.
What can we do to get the most out of the time we spend in Scripture? I have five goals I want to reach as I spend time with God in Scripture.
First, I want to meet God in the Scripture. God is the author and subject of Scripture. He must be the goal of all our reading, memorizing, and meditation. When I read the Scripture, I make it a practice to ask God to reveal Himself to me. I also ask that He might help me understand what I am reading.
Second, I want to know who God is and what matters to Him. Interestingly, that is also what I want in prayer. I want to meet God and understand who He is. Scripture reveals God and shows us what He wants from our allegiance.
Third, I want to spend enough time in meditation to understand what the scripture passage means and particularly what it means to my own experience and life.
For example, this morning I meditated on Romans 12:1–2. In my meditation, I asked myself several questions. Am I presenting my body to God as an acceptable and living sacrifice? An acceptable sacrifice in the Old Testament was one perfect and without blemish. Does my life reflect that kind of sacrifice? What do I need to do so that my body is an acceptable sacrifice to God? Asking these questions helps me to see how the Scripture relates to me personally.
Fourth, I want to make changes in my life based on Scripture. This is what Paul meant when to told us not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed into what God wants us to be. As Robert Burns wrote “the world is too much with us.” We are always judging ourselves by others rather than by God.
Fifth, I want Scripture to permeate my life. I want to make sure the Holy Spirit can use Scripture to gently call me to conform to His will. God uses Scripture to bring meaningful and lasting change to our lives.
We cannot be conformed to Christ until we deliberately spend time in God’s Word letting God’s Spirit show us what He wants to do within us.
I pray you will make reading, memorizing, and meditating on Scripture a priority. I also pray you will yield your life to God as you open His Word.
I write each day about Christian Living and Pastoral Leadership. If you would like to receive my free daily look at life and Scripture, you can subscribe at www.waylonbailey.com.