The Bible Read. Simply.
I always over-estimate my abilities.
Like when Steve and I figured we would be able to kayak seven miles instead of three.
Or when we hiked 23 miles in two days the first time I had ever seen mountains.
Like when I thought I could completely cut out sugar from my diet for, well, forever.
Or when I ran on about three hours of sleep each night for Isaiah’s first three months of life.
Can you guess how many New Year’s Resolutions I have kept in the past?
Need. I. say. more?
This year, I’ve chosen a word to base my year on versus half-hearted attempting another over-exaggerated resolution. (My word is obedience. More on that some other time.) As this New Year kicks off, I feel refreshed in my spirit and eager to establish obedience. I desire obedience to saturate many areas; including the basic eat healthier, lose the baby weight, exercise routinely, enjoy life more, etc. However, my most desired routine change for this year is to be reading and studying the Bible daily.
When February rolls around, I always end up feeling defeated.
Whenever I establish a new daily goal (especially during this New Year’s time), I always succeed… for the first week or so. Then, I have a day where I slip up, don’t make the time, don’t feel like it, or whatever and I immediately quit. Once I break the routine for a day, it is just plain ole’ over for me.
Ugh. Do I have any comradery in this?
So, for this goal of mine to be OBEDIENT to God and to read His Word daily, I’ve been searching for that perfect Bible reading plan. There are numerous good ones out there that are structured amazingly well (there's even many already at my fingertips in devotionals,the back of every Bible I own, and in the YouVersion Bible app.)
The problem is, I’m just not really a structured person (So if you are, I do VERY MUCH encourage a Bible reading plan for you- I subscribed to the YouVersion Chronological Bible app on my phone so that I can encourage myself to scroll through the Bible first versus social media. But that's another story). Sometimes structure scares me. I practically get heart palpitations when I glance at the Bible reading plans and all the little check boxes next to the readings for the day… Genesis 1-2. Psalms 1. Mathew 1-2. Intimidation extreme. To-do list mentality. Not what I want my daily time reading God’s love letter to be.
Another hurdle I need to overcome to be obedient in reading the Bible daily is this: I enjoy diving deep into a small passage of scripture and studying it versus simply reading the Bible. I like to be digging into the meaning of words, the cultural contexts, following rabbit-trails of in-text scripture references, and really digging into the word to learn all that I can about God. However, that type of reading and studying takes time and more intentionality than I often am able to muster every day. I need to cultivate a love for simply reading the Bible. I know there is value in reading the Bible from a bird's eye view and getting the whole narrative picture.
This year, in 2018, I’m just going to do it. Starting at Genesis 1:1 and reading straight on through to Revelation 22:21. That’s the plan. I’m going to read the Bible every day, for as much as I can, for as long as the Lord keeps my heart in attention, and for as much time my six-month old gives me.
God desires us to read His Word and to know Him deeply, but, He gives us grace upon grace to do it.
So I’m going to read the Bible this year. As simple as that. Who knows? It will probably be more freeing and I might just read it through twice this year instead of once.
I encourage you- whether you would thrive on a reading plan- or, if you're like me and maybe wouldn't- Just simply read the Bible this year.
"All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." -2 Timothy 3:16-17
P.S. about the 'ability' thing, yes, yes, I know: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13---- I'm believing this one with all my heart as I lean on the Holy Spirit's power at work in me. God will most certainly prod, nudge, and implore me into actually reading the Bible. Because, boy oh boy, do I sometimes have no interest to at all!