"Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law." Psalm 119:18
How many times do we say to ourselves that we need to read our Bibles more. I think we hear that all the time- from both ourselves and others. Even someone who does read their Bible a lot is known to be said that they need to read their Bible more. The beautiful and unique thing about reading the Bible is that it is alive. The words within are from God Himself, and at any given time, He can make the words leap right off the page and into your heart. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. It's those little things- you've read a passage a hundred times before, but you're only now seeing that one part.
I've found that when I am going to sit down with my Bible, that beginning with this verse helps me so much. It's a key to unlocking the mysteries of the Bible. When I close my eyes and whisper a prayer before I open my Bible, I include the verse above "open my eyes..." and I am never disappointed. There is always something within to capture my attention and speak to my soul.
Sometimes, the things that jump off the page are important to my personal walk with God. Sometimes, the verses that catch my eye are meant for others, and they often get shared here on the blog. And sometimes, I think God causes a verse or two to pop out at me because they make me smile. It still makes me smile to think of some of these that He's shown me over the years. I still think about Eve talking to the serpent like she did it all the time. If a snake started talking to me, I don't think I'd be so casual about it. And speaking of snakes- when Moses threw down his staff for the very first time, and it turned into a snake, he ran from it. Like a little girl, he ran from the staff-turned-to-snake.
"The LORD said, "Throw it on the ground."
Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it." Exodus 4:3
Actually, there is meaning behind him running from the snake, and one of these days I'll talk about it, because it's pretty cool. But this is a perfect example of things in the Bible that you just never notice until your eyes are opened up to the wonders that it beholds.
So many times, we sit down with our Bible like it's a task. We grab it and flip it open, thinking that we better read our Bible because we want to check off today's reading on a checklist. We have another square to check off "done" or we simply feel like we HAVE to read the Bible. We're told in Sunday School class to read it, so we pull up to it like we're about to hoe potatoes.
I have to tell you, I don't read my Bible every single day. For a long while there I was reading my Bible every day with lunch. It was a great time to read my Bible, because the kids usually watch something with lunch, so I could sit at the dining room table alone with my Bible and read while I ate. After a while though, it became a routine. It almost became mindless. I would fix myself lunch, grab a glass of water, and then grab the Bible. I would sit down with it and open it up and start reading. I sat down with no expectations of revelation, no prayer for seeing what is truly written. I just read, because it was lunch time, and this was my Bible reading time. The last time I read with lunch I turned to 2 Chronicles and read about 8 chapters before it occurred to me that I was reading for the sake of reading. I felt like I'd been caught red-handed, really.
To get the most out of reading my Bible, it must be done purposefully. I need to spend my days watching for those quiet moments where I can just grab my Bible and spend a few minutes seeing what God is telling me. Now, for some people, they do need to schedule a time, or it never gets done. I understand that, and God understands that. But for me, I needed to get out of the rut of a routine and just learn to watch for those little moments. A great time for me to read the Bible is actually when baking cookies. You can read a lot of Bible in between batches of cookie baking. (And I have a post tomorrow all about cookie baking- I think you'll enjoy it!)
But the number one key to getting the most out of reading my Bible is to talk to God first. To pray Psalm 119:18 before I crack my Bible open. If I can do that, if I can open up my mind to whatever God wants to show me, then every single time I open my Bible, I will come away with something wonderful. Try it. No matter how much scripture you're intending to read- try asking God to reveal His Word to you before you read. Then start reading. Sometimes, you'll only get to read one verse, sometimes, you'll have to read a whole book before something jumps out at you. It works every single time- God answers the prayers of His children, and He loves to it when we desire to know more of Him through His Word.