The day I broke up with Bible studies

We met at Einstein’s bagels, a girlfriend and I.  We sat in the thick aroma of coffee beans and cinnamon and she laid it all on the table.

Book after book after uncompleted book.  My friend thumbed through each one – showing me the 12 pages she completed of this book and the third she’d read of the other.  Each book mocking her good intentions and making her feel like a half-hearted Christian. A failure.

Do you have a similar stack of books?   Are you like my friend {and like me}, do you gobble up books at the Christian book store, imagining the iron-sharpening effect the contents could have on your life, only to leave the book half-read on your night stand?

I have a stack of three right now, all of them waiting on the night I don’t fall asleep before I read a few more pages.

My friend and I met because she had questions on how I study the Bible.  I chuckle even as I type that because I don’t feel I am the one to ask.  Oh dear.  But nevertheless, we met.  And it is helpful to hear what other people do during their quiet times.

After pulling out a few Amazon orders worth of unfinished Bible study books, I motioned towards them and said, “You need to break up with these.”

The half-read books were causing her guilt and defeat.  And I believe she wasn’t motivated to finish them because they weren’t resonating with where she was THAT DAY.  Maybe she was reading a book on HOPE.  But that day she didn’t need HOPE.  She needed COURAGE.  See what I mean?

Jesus has a fresh Word for us TODAY.  TODAY people.  Right now.

Now, let me clarify, God can speak through books. Beth Moore has spoken more Truth through her creativity and Holy Spirit infused writing than I can begin to count.  I cry when I see her  walk onto a conference stage because her teaching has been SO impactful.

But it wasn’t Beth Moore who changed me… or even what she had to write.  What changed me was me bringing my pain or need or questions before the Lord and Him meeting my need through her gift of writing.

My friend then pulled out two different Bibles and a journal. {Now she’s speaking my  language.}

To grow in the faith, you don’t need supplements.  Books and Bible study guides are extremely helpful, but in Christ, you are EQUIPPED with everything you need to grow.  Really.  Look at how Paul instructs the Corinthians…

In every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge so that you are not lacking any spiritual gift.  1 Corinthians 1:5

In. Every. Way.  You are not just given knowledge, but you are ENRICHED in it.

Enriched (ploutizō) – to make rich with spiritual riches.  Richly furnished.

I remember going to a friend’s house a few years ago, and every detail of her home was touched by the hand of a hired interior designer:  to-the-ceiling-art,  quality fabric,  tassels, Benjamin Moore paint.  Her couches were over-sized and high-end.  Her curtains puddling the floor.  Her counters sleek granite.  Her home was richly furnished.

I came home and plopped atop my red, plaid Rooms To Go couch and looked with defeat at my piece-milled home.  Discouraged that I had little eye for interior design and even if I did, I didn’t have the funds to change a stitch.  If you’ve been with me long enough, then you know what happened to my  home.  God makes all things new.  Even couches.

But spiritually, I feel we are invited into other’s lives and wish our spiritual house looked like theirs.  We’ve gotta stop all that.   God says He has given us everything we need for life and godliness.  Upon accepting Jesus as your Savior, he made a deposit in you, A Holy Helper, The Counselor, A Spiritual Interior Designer (if you will) — THE HOLY SPIRIT.  Your spiritual house is enriched in knowledge.  And He will teach YOU all things.  Reveal to YOU all Truth.  Illuminate Scripture to YOU.  Just you, Him, your Bible.  Maybe a pen and paper.

The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my Name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.  John 14:26

Today enter into your quiet time, not to read a book, but to FELLOWSHIP with a Living God.  And this fellowship happens through His LIVING WORD.  The Bible isn’t just a book.  God IS His Word.  He will speak to YOU today through it – a fresh word.  Let Him speak into your pain. Let Him encourage you in marriage.  Allow Him entrance into your shame.  Ask Him for business wisdom. Parenting wisdom. Financial advice.  It is all there.

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Don’t break up with your Bible Study books forever, but maybe just today.  Press into the Bible.  Open to the concordance, if you don’t know where to begin.

Enjoy His presence.  View your quiet time not as something “good to do” or even worse, something you “should do” but as a divine privilege.  For today, in this moment, you have the privilege to Fellowship with the Father.

Wow.

Prayer: Lord, give me a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of you.  May the eyes of my heart be enlightened, that I would know what is the hope to which I am called (Ephesians 1:17) Show me where I might be going wrong in my spiritual growth.  Put a fire in me today, Lord.  Let me hunger and thirst for You and Your Word in a fresh way.  In Jesus Name… Amen.

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6 thoughts on “The day I broke up with Bible studies

  1. Oh, Becky, I needed this today! For some unknown reason, I’ve felt like I needed a study to keep me on track since becoming a mother. The last few weeks I’ve been drifting from study to study, but nothing’s stuck. Thank you for reminding me that I CAN study just scripture!

  2. Thank you, Becky, as always. You’ve enlightened me once again with “Jesus Loving Heart”! Quiet Time- the divine privilege. How true that is.:)

  3. At a retreat I once heard a speaker say “you don’t have to finish every book you start.” Those words were so freeing to me. I only finish the ones that are good for me at that time.

I means so much to hear from you!

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