One of the biggest scams Satan has running is the lie that reading the Bible is a chore.
The world, the flesh and the devil himself muster their collective energies to deceive us into orienting on God’s word as some mere duty, rather than receiving it as the delight it is. We’re prone to take one of the single greatest gifts available to us and treat it as a life-sucking obligation rather than a life-giving opportunity.
We live in a day in which the very voice of God himself in the Scriptures is more readily available than ever before—in printed copies, in a rich plethora of translations and study Bibles, and in countless applications on computers we carry and smartphones we can tuck into our pockets. Yet we’re so prone to ignore and neglect his voice, and treat ourselves to just about anything else in its place.
One of the most important actions we can take on any given day is to fight through the fog, against Satan’s great deception, and get our souls within earshot of God’s word. Cultivating the daily habit of enjoying “time alone with God” in the Scriptures feeds our souls and gives us our bearings for the rough and tumble of everyday life, whatever your vocation and slate of family, church and community responsibilities.
How to Grow a Habit
But what goes into developing a solid, reliable habit? What steps can we take, apart from raw willpower, to foster the instinct and enflame the desire to hear from God daily in his inspired Book? Don’t fool yourself that there’s any virtue in making Bible time as unpleasant as possible. Mere duty will not suffice for long-term motivation or biblical obedience.
In seeking to set aside time to open the Bible and hear God speak, we cannot be content with just checking boxes and crossing the first item off the day’s to-do list. Rather, we can take little steps, that go a long way, to make our time in God’s word be among the most anticipated and delight-filled moments of each day.
I’ve found it revolutionary over the years to recognize and own daily “time alone with God” as an opportunity to treat myself. God’s offer to us to hear his voice is not a call to austerity, but the invitation of Isaiah 55:1, “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters.”
Consider what small supplemental steps you can take to cultivate eagerness and receptiveness to God’s word—to develop the mentality that a regular season of Bible intake and prayer is a joy to anticipate, a genuine chance to treat yourself in the best of senses.