I’ve heard that more than 80 per cent of Christians do not read the Bible. I know that even I, an ordained minister, am tempted to not be disciplined in this area. There have been times when days, weeks and yes even months have gone by that I would not read my Bible. The excuses are countless, but they boil down to two main ones, both of them false – the Bible is boring and too difficult to understand. As I have confessed my faults to others, I have discovered that they too share in my struggle.
In my challenge to change my attitude towards the Bible, I find myself considering two concepts. The first is whether God would chose to speak to us in such obscure language that only scholars could understand it. And secondly, is whether the contents of the Bible are indeed not interesting or exciting. I found neither concept is true. God has spoken to us in simple terms for all to understand, although there are parts of the Bible that seem harder to comprehend at first. The Bible is full of impacting and life changing stories and concepts that certainly are not boring. As I sought to discover the answers, the secret was revealed to me when I realized that reading and studying are two different things. Reading is something we do for pleasure, in a leisurely and casual way for the purpose of entertainment. We should really study the Bible, not just read it. But studying suggests serious labour and diligent work. My problem lies in the fact that I failed in my duty to study God’s word not so much because it is dull and boring, but because it is work. My problem was laziness and a lack of motivation.
It is Satan’s strategy to stop us from reading and studying the Bible. Satan hates every word of it and he will spread the feeling that to study this ancient book is a burdensome and boring task. The Bible comes from God. He is the ultimate author. It is His word and it comes from Him. The Bible allows us to become acquainted with God, to discover what He values and to discern His will. It trains and equips us with faith, wisdom and revelation.
The secret to joy is found in obedience to God, but how can we be obedient if we do not know what it is we are to obey? Therefore true joy cannot be fully discovered if we remain ignorant of God’s word. Knowledge of the Bible does not guarantee that we will do what it says, but at least we will know what we are supposed to be doing in our quest for human fulfillment. The issue of faith is not so much whether we believe in God, but whether we believe the words of the God in whom we believe. Reading God’s word is a powerful tool. In living a life of victory, reading the Bible is not an option. If we are not fulfilling our duty we need to ask God to forgive us and begin the daily discipline of studying the Bible. Ask Holy Spirit to enlighten His Word and make it real to you.