The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10
Most of my adult life I have had the desire to know God’s Word but have struggled to actually spend time in the Word. Not only did I want to know God’s Word but I wanted to feel close to Him. Even with my best efforts to be disciplined and read His Word daily, even a few verses or a Psalm, didn’t seem to work for me. “How do others do it? Maybe I need a system or a plan? Seems like a lot of work just to say you read your Bible every day! There’s got to be a way to help me stay on track!” I thought.
About 10 years ago I began using One Year Bible (NIV) in place of the random study method or the hard core Genesis to Revelations approach. I thought if I could just start with reading the New Testament and the Psalms then that would be a good start. If I missed a day or three I would skip them and stay on the date. This seemed to work for me but I still struggled to retain what I had read. The One Year Bible definitely helped me become more disciplined but I knew there had to be more. I thought maybe if I journalled then I would get more out of what I was reading. But I never knew what to write. I also heard that the most affective christian leaders spend 90 minutes each day in the Word and in prayer! “How could they possibly do that unless they are in fulltime ministry and have lots more time than I have”, I thought.
Then one day I was introduced to a new way of thinking about spending time in God’s Word and in prayer. Jesus got away and spent time alone with His heavenly Father. He would go up to the mountain top and seek the presence and intimacy of the Lord. I was challenged to do the same.
So for the past 7 years I have been using the following discipline of seeking the Lord and I would encourage you to do the same:
- Get up an hour earlier in the morning.
- Pray and ask the Lord for a new revelation for today.
- Read the One Year Bible passages for the day.
- In your journal write down the day of the week on the left, the date on the right, and the passages you are reading in the middle.
- Search the passages for: the Message, the Promise(s), the Command(s), the Warning(s) and the Application.
- Write out the scripture verses that apply to these headings as they come alive to you.
- Add any personal comments and thoughts you feel impressed to write down.
To help you stay motivated, commit to completing your discipline before you eat the next meal. So if you get up too late then just skip breakfast and use that time. If you don`t have time for that then use your coffee time or your lunch break. Use your stomach to help you stay motivated. Don`t worry about doing a full hour and reading all the passages. It`s the routine and the discipline that is important. Soon you will find that you can`t live without it. Getting up earlier will start to get easier. In fact you will discover that the Lord will begin to wake you up just before your alarm goes off. He is ready and waiting for you to join Him. He wants to spend time with you and give you the confidence to make it through the day. He has special promises and instructions for you that you need to know before you begin your day. Wouldn`t you like to know what they are?
Since I began this journey my heart has changed. Yours will be changed too!