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Good Intentions

Bible hands

It’s 6:30 a.m. and my alarm is going off. I look at the clock, hit snooze and turn over in bed. How did I get here AGAIN? How did I miss another opportunity in the morning to spend time with God, reading his word? Maybe I am alone in all of this, but I’m guessing I’m not. I’m guessing you are like me, you have good intentions each day and each week to do better, but in the end you come up short.

So I posed this question to myself: Why is it so hard to spend time with God and study what should be my “daily bread”?

There are a lot of answers that I could come up with, but deep inside I know it’s because I am too dependent on myself. I think I can do it on my own. Proverbs 14:12 reminds me that's not true: “There is a way that seems right to man, but its end is the way to death.”

I’m not trying to make you feel bad for the lack of time you spend communing with God through prayer and his word, because I am confessing my own struggles in this area. Instead my hope is to encourage all of us to stop “hitting the snooze button” when it comes to studying the Bible.

Step 1: Know Yourself.

What do I mean? Know whether you are a morning person or a night owl. Know whether you like studying the Bible in a group or one on one. Know the intimate details of how God made you. For example, I am a morning person, so it would make sense for me to try and set up a time in the morning to study the Bible. I also know I LOVE studying in groups. It helps hold me accountable and encourages me as I hear what God has shown the other ladies in my Bible study group. Being involved in a Bible study to me is like having a personal trainer to help me work out—if the decision is left up to me I wouldn’t work out, but knowing that there is a personal trainer waiting for me and expecting me to show up holds me accountable. Think about yourself. What things do you know about yourself that will help set you up for success in getting into God’s word?

Step 2: Activate Your Plan

Once you have thought about what works for your personality, put your plan into action. If you are a morning person, set your alarm and get up! If you are a night owl, stop whatever you are doing at night a little earlier so you have time before you go to bed. If you want a Bible study, look for one you can join or ask some friends at church if they will start studying a book of the Bible with you. Look for ways to go from thinking about what works for you to actually doing it!

Step 3: Be Expectant

God is one who wants to have a relationship with us. He doesn’t sit on the sidelines of our lives and watch as we strive to do his will and his work. He is active in our daily lives and if we listen and are expectant to hear his voice, we will! It is so invigorating to hear from God during my prayer time and my time in his word. It creates a deep relationship between God and I, and I begin to value and trust him more as I spend more time with him.

Don’t forget that in all these things we have the help of the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us. Jesus says in John 16 that it is better that he leaves because the Helper (Holy Spirit) will come. Some days, it is easy and then other days it is hard and it takes us “making” ourselves even when we don’t feel like it. We have the help of the Spirit and there is no greater joy in life than to have a relationship with God and hear from him. Be encouraged today and take some time to be with God.

Editor's Note: If you want to meet some like-minded women in the church with whom you can study the Bible, don't miss the women's fellowship night this Monday, June 6, from 7-9 p.m.