First off, Happy New Year!!!
It's a blessing to have made it to 2023. In my last article, I told you all that I didn't know how long I'd be away since I just gave birth to my son a little over two weeks ago (he's stolen my heart ... hope my husband understands).
However, God has His ways of speaking to us, and there's one specific way in which God tells me to write for "Write On! Wednesday" ... and He did that one thing more than once since I gave birth. So, I knew God was saying to me, "Get back to it! Write. Write for me."
And since it is my pleasure, let's get to it! First article for 2023 begins now ...
Have you ever needed to read your Bible, but you just didn't feel like reading it? Or maybe you start to read it, but you get distracted by other things or become crazy sleepy all of a sudden?
Why is this a thing? Many of us have no problem praying to God. We aren't likely to get drowsy while asking Him for our heart's desires, but when it's time to hear from Him through the Word, it can become difficult. Again, why is that?
I'd dare say it's spiritual warfare. You may say that it's not that serious. That it's simply us not wanting to read because there's more entertaining things to do. Oh, but dear reader, may I invite you to think about it from a different perspective. Lend me your time and I think you'll start to be more intentional about reading the Word, regardless of how you may feel about reading it.
Above anything, we need to understand the importance of the Word. John 1 tells us "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Verse 14 goes on to tell us that the Word became flesh. Thus, Jesus Christ was the Word manifested in human form.
But Christ no longer dwells amongst us in human form. We don't have that once-in-a lifetime experience that the followers of His day had. Yet, since He is the Word, reading the Word is the next best thing as walking with Him as the disciples did.
They were able to learn of His character and His ways by walking and talking with Him in person. We are able to learn of His character and ways by digesting the Word. When we drink in the Word, we drink in Him. For it is written in Matthew 4:4 "Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."
How are you living without eating? To deny yourself the Word of God is to deny yourself the very important nourishment needed to make it in this world as a believer. Furthermore, how can you pray to a God you don't know much about? We only learn of God by reading the Word. It's not wise to pray to a God whose nature you don't understand.
Psalms 37:4 tells us to delight ourselves in the Lord and He will give us the desires of our heart. But how can we delight in something that we are ignorant of? I can't say that I enjoy pistachio ice cream if I never tasted it. We need to know God to delight in Him. And since He is the Word, we need to know the Word.
But that flesh... our flesh just doesn't want to cooperate sometimes. Seems as if it's fighting against our need to read, right? Yes, that's exactly what's happening and exactly why I said it is spiritual warfare.
Romans 8:7 states, "the mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so." Since the Word is God, how minds are naturally hostile towards the Word. Our flesh tries to reject the Word because the Word feeds the spirit, not the flesh.
It's almost as if the flesh knows if you feed yourself the Word, it'll slowly but surely die. When we feed ourselves the Word, we are feeding our spirit and starving the flesh, and I reckon that ol' flesh doesn't like that.
So, our minds war against us when we try to learn of God. It gets distracted. We get sleepy. Almost any and everything can stand in the way of our reading because the flesh is naturally an enemy to God. Sometimes the other enemy of God, Satan, doesn't have to do much to keep us away from God. We allow our flesh to do it with zero to no interference from him.
And isn't that mighty convenient for him? Without the Word, we are helpless in any defense against Satan. When Satan tempted Christ in the wilderness, Christ's defense was what was written a.k.a the Word of God. Every time Satan tried to trick Him, He responded with "it is written". Christ used scriptures, and only scriptures, to fight Satan.
That makes sense being that Ephesians 6:17 tells us that the word of God is the sword of the Spirit in our spiritual warfare against the schemes of the devil. In other words, we have no weapon to fight Satan when we are ignorant of the word of God. But what makes matters worse is that Satan will take our sword and use it against us.
Satan quoted Psalms 91 against Christ in the wilderness. How many believers has Satan beheaded with their own sword simply because they refuse to read the Word? Without the Word, we don't know of God's ways, we are malnourished from our daily bread, and we are ill-prepared to fight, let alone win, any spiritual attacks thrown at us.
It's so much bigger than a feeling. Yes, you may not feel like reading, but that's not an excuse to avoid reading. We may not feel like going to work, but we go, don't we? We may not feel like cooking or cleaning, but we do, don't we?
So, I'll put it as plainly as I can and excuse me if it comes off as rude. Forget your feelings! It's not about how you feel. It's about what's necessary. Reading and studying the Word is as necessary to our spiritual survival as food is to our physical need.
So, the next time you say to yourself, "I don't feel like reading my Bible" understand what's at stake. Understand that your flesh is waring against the spirit and know that Satan delights in our 'feelings' of not wanting to draw closer to God.
We are called to deny ourselves so that we can walk closer to God. Get in the habit of turning down your flesh in any capacity for the sake of God. There's nothing that can separate us from the love of God per Romans 8:38. So, let's do our best to not let things, even if it's our feelings, separate us from knowing and learning of God.
That's all folks! Be blessed! If it is the plan of God, my plan is to continue to write to you weekly, (even if I have to type and hold my baby at the same time as I am doing now 😊)
Anyway, thanks for your time and Lord's will, I'll see you next week.
Quin Arrington's literary collection includes two non-fictional works as well as one fictional work. Books are available at www.amazon.com/author/quinarrington