Knowing the Bible and having God transform your life through what you read are two entirely different things. It’s easy to think, “Well, if I just read the Bible, then I will be a better believer.” That may or may not happen. How you grow depends a lot upon how you read and what you do with your reading. If you are reading and not growing, perhaps you are committing some of the following mistakes:
1) Not praying when you read. Always pray before you read.
The Psalmist cried out to God,
Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes;
and I will keep it to the end.
Give me understanding, that I may keep your law
and observe it with my whole heart. (Psalm 119:33-34)
If you read the rest of this Psalm you will quickly see that the Psalmist was very familiar with God’s Word, and yet he invited the Lord to teach him and prayed for understanding so that he would be faithful to God’s law. Never neglect coupling your reading with prayer. Pray and the Holy Spirit will guide you to great understanding.
2) Not applying God’s Word. When we apply God’s Word it can transform our lives.
Applying God’s word can also bring about amazing security for facing life’s storms. Jesus said,
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” ( Matt. 7:24-27)
Applying God’s Word not only deepens your understanding of the Word, but it also equips you to stand strong against adversity.
3) Not reading regularly.
Think of God’s Word as food for your soul. Imagine if you only ate food ever few days or just whenever the urge struck you. Physically, you would be very unfit. In a similar way, you need to spiritually feed yourself regularly and with a certain degree of intention, if you are going to be spiritually healthy.
4) Reading or talking about the Bible rather than actually reading the Bible.
I can’t tell you how many times I have met people who will regularly attend a Sunday school class or Bible study and yet never actually read the Bible during their daily life. That behavior is like going to a seminar on fitness each week but never exercising. You are not going to grow if you don’t regularly get into and reflect upon God’s Word for yourself.
5) Ignoring context.
You can make the Bible say just about anything you want if you ignore enough context. Sometimes people cherry pick a verse to support a position. This practice is known as proof-texting and can lead to faulty understanding and faulty teaching. To rightly understand scripture you need to understand the context which can take on many forms, such as, historical context, literary context, or the immediate context of the text surrounding the passage you are reading.
6) Never meditating on the Word.
Sometimes we have to sit with a passage for a length of time in order to understand it or for it to become a part of who we are. When the Bible mentions meditating on God’s Word, the Old Testament word comes from the word use to describe a cow ruminating. In other words, meditating means to chew on something over and over again until it is well digested. Meditating on the Word is one way we internalize the Word so that it may nourish us spiritually.
FREE Step-by-Step Resource makes daily bible reading and study easy
Correcting even just one of the above mistakes can make the difference between knowing about God’s Word or being transformed by it. If you would like more step-by-step help to make understanding and applying the Bible easier, then download my free Bible Reading Bundle.
What’s in the Bible Reading Bundle
The One Year Bible Reading Tool Kit – A collection of 13 proven daily bible reading schedules to help you know exactly what to read everyday. Plus, the easy-to-follow tips I’ve used to successful read the Bible everyday for over thirty years. Never miss a day again with these prevent tips.
SOAP Bible Journaling Cheat Sheet – A step-by-step guide for quickly and easily gathering insights from your reading and applying them to your daily life. Literally, just fill-in the blanks and learn. The SOAP Bible Journaling Technique has been used by thousands of people to take their faith to the next level.