“I fall asleep reading my Bible. I just can’t keep my eyes open.”
Who has said this? Who has actually done this? Yes, me too! Not that many years ago I was wondering how I was ever going to: make time to read the Bible; understand what I was reading; and make reading my Bible a priority every day.
So why do we wait until after we’ve gotten the kids to school, after the dog has been fed, after we’ve been at school/work/taking care of kids all day, played chauffer, made dinner, spent time with loved ones, sat through two little league games, watched television, checked social media, gotten into bed…to finally crack open our Bible? (Only to fall asleep reading it?!)
Life is busy. Life is busy with GOOD things: family, friends, work, school, volunteering, and church activities. Maybe we know in our head that we should be reading our Bible?
We’re human. God made you and I into imperfect beings, but He also loved us so much that He gave us the ability to make choices. I want to encourage you: you can make spending time with God reading your Bible an activity that you enjoy and can’t get enough of!
Tips to keep from falling asleep while reading your Bible (and make reading it your favorite thing):
1. First step: Find a Bible you understand and enjoy reading.
Maybe you are with me so far, but you find the Bible hard to understand? What is with all these “thee’s” and “thou’s” and long lists of names and places that are hard to spell? You want to read it, but it is so frustrating trying to pronounce “Melchizedek.”
There are an estimated 900 versions, translations, or paraphrases of the Bible into the English language. You will find one that you enjoy reading!
Test drive some different versions or translations of the Bible:
- Go online or on your phone app and read some of your favorite verses in different Bible translations or versions.
- Go to a bookstore and pull some different Bibles off the shelf and compare how they read based upon a couple chapters and some of your favorite verses. Look at some of the side by side translations so that you can get a feeling for the different versions (there are 2-in-1 and 4-in-1 Bibles that have between two and four versions, side-by-side, all in one big book.)
- Download a free app on your phone that reads the Word aloud to you- while you drive, do dishes, do laundry, nurse your baby, or in between meetings at work. Were you able to better understand it in the version they read from?
- Ask your pastors and friends which version they enjoy studying from the most.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
2. Second step: Ask God to help you find the time to read your Bible.
The wonderful and amazing thing is this: once you make room for God in your life and make seeking God and reading your Bible a priority, He meets you right where you are. You will find time you didn’t know you had! Soon, you will find it more and more difficult to imagine your life without this new habit. Simply as Him for help.
There are plenty of studies out there that describe certain time periods (usually between 21-40 days) that are the optimal amount of time you must practice an activity daily before it is formed into a habit that will last. The message is this: don’t give up. Just keep at it, cracking open your Bible day after day.
He goes before us and makes a way. He is the Creator of time, so He knows what He is doing in the time management department. Find a time of day that works for you and make this new time, meeting with God over His Word, a new habit in your daily life. After a couple months, you will be looking for more time in your schedule to spend more time with Him.
But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
3. Third Step: Choose to make reading your Bible a priority
Choose wisely. Much of our life is determined by our choices. Little choices we make about how we spend our time every single day result in HUGE consequences for our life, both “good” and “bad” consequences. What can you say no to in your life that will allow you to say yes to more time spent with God?
Start with structure. When the Bible first truly came alive for me was when I was part of a small group of ladies doing a structured Bible study consisting of a study workbook with daily “homework” and weekly meetings where we watched a DVD and discussed our workbook “homework.” Maybe find a group of ladies, in person or online, and do a structured Bible study together?
Don’t make this harder than it needs to be. Sometimes we build up something in our minds to be much more difficult and intimidating than it actually is! Maybe you have built reading your Bible every day into this huge and difficult task? Find a book (or online source) that includes a short devotional reading and corresponding verses or passages from the Bible that go along with it for each day. There are also dozens of one-year Bible reading plans (some available as apps on your phone) that provide a structured way to read through the Bible in one year.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3
4. Step Four: Enjoy the fruits of your time spent with God in His Word
The Bible reminds us of our identity: a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17); God’s child (John 1:12); God’s masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10) and so much more!
The Bible tells us who God is: God is our heavenly Father (Matthew 6:9); God is love (1 John 4:14); God is faithful (1 Thessalonians 5:11); God is our shield (Psalm 3:3) and so much more!
The Bible tells us where we have come from, how to best live life whatever stage we are in now, and where we are going- and it all points to Christ. The peace, joy and freedom found in Jesus is priceless.
While I once was so intimidated to read and try to understand the Bible; now, I crave my time spent with God and my Bible in my lap. Once upon a time, everyone else seemed to have so many verses memorized and they seemed to know so much more than I. Now I understand that there is no comparison between my growth and my walk with Christ and another person’s journey. We are all on our own road, becoming more like Him as He loves us, guides us and grows us onto the path He has set out before us. My time invested reading, studying, meditating on God’s Word makes me a better friend, a better mom, a better employee, and most important: reading my Bible makes me into a better witness and light for Jesus in this dark world. I pray that you will also crave God—enjoying all the time you spend seeking after Him in the Bible.
Kristen Love is a peddler of hope with a heart for the lost, for the broken, and for the bruised. She is a devoted follower of Jesus with a living testimony that God can use even our poor choices and turn them around for His glory. She enjoys adventures around the world exploring and marveling at God’s creation while meeting and loving His people. Kristen is (super) mama to a teenage son who keeps things real. She loves to read and is excited to be back in school studying Ministry. Kristen also has the honor of working full-time as a lawyer, planting seeds and watering them wherever she is able (See 1 Corinthians 3:6-9).