In my experience, sometimes it’s that I don’t feel like I’ve got the time. It doesn’t always feel like the most critical part of my day. Another reason is that it can be a little intimidating. If you believe there is something holy about God’s Word, then it sometimes doesn’t feel the same as picking up any book. It’s confusing too. Parts of this book, at face value, don’t seem to make sense. Sometimes it’s hard to see what’s actually holy about this book.
But there’s a good reason to spend time with the Word. Here’s something about reading the Word from a series of books called The Secrets of Heaven:
“Everyone receives enlightenment and instruction from the Word, according to their affection for truth and degree of desire for it, and according to their ability to receive it. Those who are in that way enlightened, understand the Word according to it’s inner truths.”
This book is meant to be a source of light. “Enlightenment” isn’t something abstract; it’s your ability to see the truth shining from the depths of the book. So those who are enlightened understand the Word according to its inner truth. Enlightened people establish guidelines for themselves from the Word to which they then relate the literal sense of the Word.
There are basic truths in the Word which are pretty obvious. If you start with these as guidelines to understand the rest, you’re in good shape. And as you come to understand what God is saying to you, you gather more and more of these truths.
When you are reading the Word and trying to understand what God is saying, here are three question to use: “What?”, “So what?”, and “Now what?”.
Let’s use an example from the Bible:
“A certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.’ And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.’” (Luke 10:38-42)
What happened in the story? First, Martha invited Jesus in, and then got mad at her sister for not helping while her sister was just listening.
How is this relevant? Everything in the Word is meant to have some connection to your life. Sometimes the answer to this question doesn’t come easily. But the more often you ask the question, the easier it gets to answer. Maybe your answer is that the Lord wants you to take a break from worrying and to spend some time listening to Him.
This is the most important question in some ways. Now that I know this, what am I going to do differently? How can I use this to improve myself or to serve somebody else? The answer has to do with how you live and what you’ve learned.
Three questions: that’s as complex a study method as you need. Take it as a meditative approach. Now if you’d like to take another approach, you want to get more complex, more detailed, that’s fine. But don’t let that be why you don’t do it. Keep it simple.
We’re meant to enjoy reading the Word. Yes, there are hard parts, there are difficult parts, there are complicated parts. But really, we’re meant to be enlightened, not weighed down. God wants to lift you up.
If, as you take on this challenge, you’re not feeling lifted up, adjust the challenge. Think of it as a light exercise program. The best exercise program is the one that you actually do. Modify whatever you’re doing so that you do it. Challenge yourself a little bit, but make it a realistic challenge.
Read God’s Word. Make a habit of it. Live it. Once it becomes a habit it’s so much easier. That’s the path to enlightenment.