Getting past boredom in reading the Bible
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.”
– Amy Grant – Thy Word
Take up a good novel, and you can hardly put it down. Although sleep is attacking the eyes, the sheer thrill and anticipation of what’s on the next page sees the valiant fight of the eyes to get one more page in.
However, when it comes on to the Bible, it is a struggle to read through two chapters, as by the time you are finished with one, your mind is already straying, and it is all you can do to concentrate.
Many Christians have this issue with reading the Bible, and for answers on how to make this personal hobby come alive, Family & Religion reached out to the Rev Carlene Bryan of Dominion in Christ International Ministries Church, who agrees that there is a great difference between reading a novel and reading the Bible.
“It is like the difference between watching a set of events unfold and being involved in the set of events as they unfold. Reading the novel is like watching the events. The reader is not a participant but can live vicariously through another person’s experiences,” pointed out Bryan.
She said that the Bible is a supernatural book that requires one’s deliberate attention and interaction. She described it as being directly involved in a series of events as the protagonist.
“The Word of God is full of power and can transform a vile sinner into a godly man or woman. The living Word of Almighty God is the only power strong enough to discipline your flesh. The way for the Word to truly change a life is for believers to read it, get it into their heart, and let its power alter their circumstances,” she said, adding that it is what the devil is afraid of.
“He is afraid of a man who knows his authority in Christ! He is afraid of a woman who knows who she is in Christ! He is afraid of a believer who knows how to skilfully use the Sword of the Spirit,” she said, urging believers to press forward and make reading the Bible a staple.
Bryan said that because of the value associated with Bible reading, the power to transform a believer’s life, she opines that the devil will never sit idly by and let this happen without a fight.
It is for this reason, she said that he sends his minions to bring thoughts to get our minds to wander while we are reading the Word or bring on a sudden feeling of fatigue or tiredness.
“Out of the blue, there is the thought that these are just words on a page, and really, ‘What can they do?’ This is all a means to distract us from the main thing. We were translated out of the kingdom of darkness (Colossians 1:13), so Satan is fighting to get us back. So, believers, do not be discouraged! It is spiritual warfare, but if you stay the course, you are destined to win!” Bryan encouraged.
She said that everything boils down to expectations and that if Bible reading is viewed as food to nourish the spirit, then believers will want to ensure that their spirits stay healthy.
Bryan said that most times when the Bible is read, we try to read as much of it as possible in one sitting. However, she suggests otherwise. Her advice is to read it slowly and to determine in advance that it doesn’t matter how much you read but how deeply you do so.
“Set your heart not on gaining information but on getting revelation. Begin by choosing a chapter of scripture, and find a quiet place away from distractions. Then, on purpose, and by faith, come humbly before the Lord. Be convinced of the fact that He is there with you and in you. Read it as your daily spiritual nutrition,” were the words of advice from her.
In concluding, Bryan prescribed reading slowly and carefully, word by word, and phrase by phrase. She stressed that the scriptures should be searched for meaning as one would search for gold.
“Resist the temptation to rush ahead and read other chapters. Instead, turn inward and become aware of your heart’s response to what you are reading. As you do, you will become aware of the quickening of the Holy Spirit upon some words or phrases. It will seem as though God is touching you through them,” she said.