Before I get into it, let me just say that I am definitely not opposed to studying the Bible. God’s precious Word should be studied and examined so that we can know Him and follow in His ways. He is worthy of our diligence, and we can learn the way to live.
But I had to take a break from Bible study methods.
I lean more towards type A than type B, C, or D. (If those even exist!? I only hear about type A!) I fear I am the worst kind of high-maintenance: the one who thinks she’s low-maintenance when in fact she is high.
There are some things that I am very flexible and laid back about, but there are other things that must be done in just the right way or it drives me bonkers.For the past two nights, my husband has put my son in mis-matching winter pajamas. The top has Blaze from Cars and the bottom has Spiderman. This is not a huge deal, but it is a minor annoyance that I would like fixed.
Because, by disposition, I am prone to over-achieve, I have found that using particular Bible study methods can fall into the same category as memorizing the periodical table, if I am not careful.
So I have, for the most part, ceased all forms of Bible study “methods”. I love the Bible, and there are seasons when I will read the it as study, but mostly now I just read the Bible to hear from the Lord. What is the Holy Spirit saying to me today? What can I know of God and His ways in these passages?
Every year, I read through The One Year Bible. It used to freak me out if I missed a day, but I have chosen to let that go. If missing a day will completely throw you off, then I suggest you print out your own checklist to read the Bible in a year and mark it as you go. That way, if you miss a day, you won’t get left behind and the dates won’t throw you off.
I like using The One Year Bible because I know that I am getting the full text of the Scriptures. Without it, I think I would be prone to stay on the books that I like the most.
Sometimes, I feel the Holy Spirit nudge me to dwell on a specific book for awhile, so I take a break from the One Year and just read and re-read the passages and/or books that He is highlighting.
Using Bible study methods had become a way of checking off one of my religious duties for the day. For me, they can easily become dry, just another form of study, if my focus is on the study. I think it is very helpful to know how to study the Bible and to have worked through some of the methods out there, but we have to be careful to not let the study get in the way of us connecting with God. They are meant to be tools to lead us to Him.
Bible study can bring us closer to God. I have learnt much about Him, and He has showed me many things through various methods, but I am now more careful than in the past that I do not let my time with Him just become about the study that I am doing.
The Holy Spirit wrote the Bible. He is the author, and when we read it, we can know Him. We are not reading the Bible for the Bible itself. The Bible does not have any value apart from God. Maybe that sounds sacrilegious. My Bible is my most precious possession, but my point is that the Bible is meant to be a map that directs us to Jesus. If we are not reading it to know Him, to meet with Him, then it really is just a religious duty. The same as if we were still sacrificing lambs or turtle doves in the Old Testament.
The Bible can make you wise. It can teach you about history. It can entertain you with lots of incredible stories. But none of these are the main point of the Bible.
Through the Bible, we can encounter God. GOD! The Creator of the Universe! The Being who put all systems into place.
Bible study can be helpful. Bible memorization can be helpful. Journaling and highlighting and analyzing the Bible can be helpful. Nothing is wrong with any of these practices.
But let us keep in mind that the focus of each is to draw us closer to the Lord. HE is the beautiful One, worthy of being known.
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