Your secret name, that is what God calls you but is waiting to reveal to you when you are ready, Revelation 2:17
“To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone, a new name is written, which no one knows except him who receives it.”
A habit of Bible study is one of the most significant pieces of the puzzle to have in place to receive this white stone with your new name, and study begins from reading.
You are on your way.
The path is simple, but the whole world system is against this new name being delivered, so it will not be easy.
Distractions, the day’s essential matters, doubts that anything is being accomplished, and many more mind games and willpower energies are going to have to be overcome which is why,
When you fall in love with reading scripture, it then is like wanting to be with a person you love being around, you make time for it, and you stick to those commitments because you want to instead of because you have to.
Two Largest Goals or Bible Reading Ambitions to Avoid
When you start reading the Bible, the most substantial goal or ambition you want to avoid at all costs is, reading the Bible in a year, or reading complete books in a day or week to do what you feel is right to do because of another “man’s” opinion.
Many fall for this bicep “compare yourselves to others” games when it comes to spirituality because it is a less visible snare than when this occurs in the arts, weightlifting, or bikini body comparisons that are more glaringly obvious to avoid.
I fell prey to this consistent trap of humankind for years, and it continually held me back.
I would learn about where one of my idols, mentors, or anyone else I place on a pedestal is, feeling shame when I learn how far off my current habits and practices are compared to theirs.
“they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” 2 Corinthians 10:12.
What we can learn either by asking them or digging into is that three, ten, or thirty years ago, they were at the same place that you are today.
The only comparison or aim that matters is,
- how well did I grow in wisdom this week compared to my last week?
- Or, How well did I stick to the times that I dedicated to reading this week compared to last week?
Comparing your this year vs. your last year, continuing to make headway in directing your time and doing the things you want to do.
Not comparing your current “stage” or “level” against what you think others want for you or sometimes what others (especially spouses that try to play God) even demand.
The Ultimate Goal – A Spiritual Life
A spiritual life is a life of interaction with a personal God.
Conversing with God on a consistent and soon, continual basis.
There are many ways God speaks to you.
One of the most straightforward ways to hear God speak is to read His words, words that men and women of history have experienced, and penned down on paper for those coming later to hear and understand.
“lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.” Deuteronomy 11:18
God’s word in your heart and soul, so deep in your personality, they are as evident to you as signs on your hand and ornaments worn on your forehead.
This is character, habits deep within, and the most straightforward way to form and stick to practice is to fall in love with the discipline that results in the automatic habit.
Not simply obtaining knowledge or notches of accomplishment because you have read the whole Bible through, but to consistently grow in wisdom and begin hearing God speak to your life from his word.
Here are three growth stages of falling in love with reading the Bible, so it is never a chore, never a burden too heavy to bear, never a have to and is always a want to.
How to Start Reading the Bible
1. Read a chapter or book of the Bible all the way through.
Topical studies and popcorn reading plans have their place.
When you read a book of the Bible in its entirety, you see it from beginning to end; you work through the book in most cases how the author intended it to be read.
Before there were headings above the chapters, before there were numbered verses or chapter numbers, they were simply words written on an ancient form of paper for others to read.
Most New Testament and some Old Testament books of the Bible can be read in one sitting.
If it is a longer book, read one or more chapters at each time you read and work through the book in more than one sitting, just like any other book.
Then reread it.
You aren’t trying to win any competition of how many books in however fast,
Your aim in reading the Bible is to begin to work on the stinking thinking embedded in our personalities and, over time, wash it out with God’s pure thoughts instead.
Do this initial few readings of the chapter or book from the same translation.
I will usually do this initial reading phase from The Message translation; it has become one of my favs in getting my thoughts, experience, and feelings into the writings.
2. Read the same passage from other translations,
A few other translations I enjoy reading are the TLB, NASB, AMP, ESV, and the HCSB.
Most of us have not dedicated ourselves to learning another language, let alone the original biblical languages.
When you read multiple translations you are, flushing out the interpretations of that original message from other thoughtful men and women of the past who have endeavored to learn and interpret these original languages.
When you read from multiple translations, you are getting to see a complete picture of this life book that you will never be able to outgrow, and these dots will connect more and more as you engage in step three.
Having this foundation of a complete picture of a book in the Bible’s aim or understanding sections of the book’s purpose before meditating is helpful.
3. Get more from a passage by meditating.
A good definition of meditation is a written or spoken discourse expressing considered thoughts on a subject.
This definition is an excellent place to start from but,
- Meditating on scripture is connecting with and nurturing your soul.
I learned this by accident when I was in the tanks from depression and was engaging with what I later learned were the spiritual disciplines to try to resurrect the dead life I was experiencing.
A simple way to begin meditating as you read the Bible is to:
- Read until a verse, passage, sentence, or sometimes only a word or two pops out to you
- Then meditate, wrestle with, journal or write about that passage to go deeper
- Asking questions and searching for how this truth impacts your marriage, heart, business, or other specific circumstance it is addressing.
Many impactful small transformations occur every day that, over time, renew your mind to the mind from above.
Your character becomes transformed by embodying the character of Christ instead of a human trying to expand and protect your kingdom.
These Contemplations Empower Understanding
Understanding is one of the three parts of beginning to memorize scripture as discussed in this clip,
By applying the truth, you are reading about yourself, others and the world around you as you read the Bible, wisdom, and understanding are a natural fruit that blossoms from this simple but powerful exercise.
An Encouragement to Dance and Wrestle
Often these meditating moments involve engaging with and focusing on something that you do not want to face, or that you feel that you are unable to bear at this moment.
I can’t encourage you to wrestle with and embrace these rifts, especially when you feel the potential shift is against your ingrained personality.
The truth is, if you were not ready for it, you would not be able to see it.
God knows how weak and frail we are, and most beautifully and dangerously possible at the same time, slowly reveals to you the next layer of this abundant way for you to walk in.
When you engage, wrestle, and dance with these thoughts and emotions,
You will experience more and more that you are in the hands of a loving Father that cares for your wholeness and abundant life than you currently believe.