This year, I have made it my aim to slowly, carefully, mindfully, and prayerfully read through, pray through, journal through, listen through, and think through (meditate) the Bible. And to do so every time I read it. I take in each work and chew on it and savor it.
This thinking through the Bible practice has changed everything for me. (Yes. I am using the word "everything" intentionally.)
I had no idea how much slowing down and thinking things through would change my relationship with the Bible.
Reading with purpose, doing my best to pray every step along the way, and journaling all about it, has brought the Bible more alive than it has ever been to me. I am understanding a whole lot more. I am hearing God more.
And because of all this, reading the Bible has become absolutely delightful for me.
I cannot even begin to tell you how much (more) I am getting out of the Bible and how much more I am understanding the Word of God.
Then again, slowing down means I am giving God time to talk to me. I am not reading so quickly and trying to grasp it so much myself that I miss what God is saying to me through the verse. I am stopping constantly to listen to God.
And something interesting has happened.
I have not needed to consult study Bible footnotes, commentaries, dictionaries, etc. since I have allowed God to speak to me and have given Him time to do so.
Now you need to understand how much I LOVE my Bible resources. For decades, I have been positively obsessed with them. I get so much out of them.
But, not anymore. Getting one on one with God has been far more enlightening and life-changing than any Bible resource has ever offered me. (Gulp! I cannot believe I just wrote those last two sentences.)
Since I have slowed down I am listening far more.
There have been more changes in my life because of this thinking things through and listening practice. I am no longer reading fiction because it's not as exciting, or as transforming, as reading the Bible.
Moreover, I have really been wanting to do a Bible study book for a long time and had several reasons to start on it, as I read through the Bible. I started it and thought it was a fantastic study. But, there was a problem. My mind kept going back to what I read in the Bible the last month, and I wanted to read the next chapter. I was so focused with wanting to read my Bible that studying it lost its appeal. So I stopped studying the Bible, too (with using Bible study books and material by some amazing authors).
I guess you could say that slowly reading through the Bible and taking time to listen to the Lord has changed me, the way I read and study the Bible, and my life in general. I am not the same person. I cannot be with everything God and I have been doing together as we journey through the Word.
Why don't you give it a try? Slowly read, pray, and journal through the Bible as you take time to listen to the Lord every step of the way.
I guarantee it will bless your socks off.