Friday, August 7, 2015

What keeps you from reading the Bible?

Over the past week, I've thought a lot about goals.

I love setting goals.

I love making lists.
I thrive on organizing my life by making plans.

However, I have realized that not all goals I set actually come to fruition.


On April 19, I said I wanted to write on certain topics I've been learning about.  So far, I have only written on 3 of the 5 I initially set out to write.  On January 1, I made a list of goals for 2015.  One of those goals was to write a blog post every Monday and Tuesday and then also blog post of pictures on Wednesdays.  While I thought about blogging every week, I definitely haven't posted nearly as often as my initial goal.


Those two goals are "incomplete" in my mind.  Instead of seeing what progress I have made, I focus on the 'failure' of meeting the goal.  And this partial reality combined with my black and white personality, tends to lead to complete disregard of the original goal or plan.


Better to do nothing then do something half-way, right?

I'm not sure.

I had another goal for 2015 of reading the Bible in a year chronologically.  But soon after making that goal, I took a side-step and focused more deeply on the book of Hebrews for a while.  So I'm not going as fast, or in the order I initially planned, but I'm going further into God's Word...and that doesn't seem like a bad change of plans.


And yet, I often struggle to maintain a steady dose of God's Word in my life.  It's this goal, I have been thinking the most about recently.


What keeps me from reading the Bible?

I can become too legalistic in my approach to God's Word.  If I think I have to have a certain set of colored pencils, or a certain type of notebook, or a specific reading plan in order to read His word... I have made engaging with the Lord an academic-only process and am not looking for internal change, but just something to check off a list.


I also find myself listening to the Enemy convince me that my way is flawed.  If I think that my style or method of reading God's word isn't complete or isn't sufficient and I give up, then I have allowed the Enemy to steal grace, and have accepted the lie that I need to 'be better' or 'do more' before coming to God's Word.


But I need to remember, there is grace for me as I come to the Word of God.


I need to remember that our life is indeed shorter than I realize, but our days are longer than I have strength for.  Very likely, I won't have a perfectly filled journal or nicely categorized blog posts on every single Bible verse I read.  Very likely I will need God's Word in my life regardless of how organized I am in my approach of it.  Very likely, I will not always follow through on my Bible-reading goals.


But, the One who made me desires me to come to Him regardless of what goals from yesterday were left incomplete.  He wants to speak to me, and He has given me a massive book to read with all of His words in it.  How can I let my perfectionism keep me from listening?


For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. - Hebrews 4:12

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