"When I study the Bible, I prepare myself to talk to others. When I read the Bible, God talks to me"
It all began right after Haley got out of school at the beginning of June. A group of ladies from the church decided to start a challenge to read the entire Bible in 90 days. I was invited by one of the ladies to join them and join a private Facebook page where we would hold each other accountable. What I didn't know at the time it this was really an invitation from God, an invitation to grow much deeper in my love and relationship with Him.
When I agreed to join them, mainly I was thinking this will be really good for me and I NEED to do this. I understood that it was going to be hard, but I was willing to "push through". I've started to read the Bible in a year on several occasions, but I never stuck with it. For some reason, a shorter but more intense commitment sounded less intimidating. I am a slight bit competitive, so having to be accountable on Facebook really helped me stay committed at the beginning of the read.
I quickly realized that this is going to basically take all of my free time. As a mom of young kids, especially during the summer, I don't have a ton of free time. I became aware that the fun Christian fiction books that I usually enjoy reading would not be happening this summer either, my time would be spent on a much more fulfilling read.
I tell you all of this because I want you to see my mind set going into this and I hope you can see the progression that I made on this journey.
As I started reading the Bible in Genesis, I was very comfortable with what I was reading. I've spent time in Genesis, but as I looked ahead I felt a little dread about Leviticus and Numbers. I kept thinking if I can just "get through" those two books then I can do this.
Wouldn't you know that it was right there in Leviticus and Numbers that God started to speak to me and change me. I started really "feeling something" as I opened my Bible. I couldn't wait to spend time in the word each day. I believe that I was feeling God's presence as I was reading each day. It was hard for me to explain, it was a feeling of peace. Probably one of the strangest things was it didn't even matter what I was reading, His presence was always felt.
As I was working my way through the Bible, I had so many revelations:
- I just felt more joyful
- I became a better and more patient mom
- I began praying in a way that I had never prayed before, praying much more earnestly and praying to the Spirit to work through and speak through me
- I also prayed for my kids and husband in a new way
- If the Bible was a movie it would be X rated, if you don't know what I'm talking about then you haven't spent enough time in the Bible
- I realized that I had put God in a box, He is so much more that I had ever realized
- After reading and understanding the Old Covenant Law, I was just that much more thankful for Jesus
- I began seeing people more through Jesus's eyes and I slowed down and spoke to people that I wouldn't normally speak to and in general cared more for people
- I became much more bold in my worship
- God will redeem the time that you spend with Him and my housework just became less burdensome
As excited as I am to tell you how this experience changed me, I am having such a hard time putting it into words. I don't know if you have ever experienced a spiritual high? I did about two years ago after a wonderful weekend at a women's retreat. I came home on such a high, but the feeling quickly faded and I so wanted to get back there. In fact, I often remembered that feeling and pondered how I could "get back there". This summer I not only got back to "that place" but I walked in it all summer. I believe one of the biggest lessons that I learned was how to "feed myself". I can't wait for Sunday church or a Wednesday ladies Bible study to get fed, I must make the commitment to spend time with God daily.
I'm so human and despite all of these lessons, after I finished the 90 day Bible read, my time in the word dramatically dipped. Along with it, that spiritual high, the amazing prayer time and the patience with my kids. Fortunately I went to a wonderful women's conference at my church and there God showed me again what He had already showed me this summer. I must spend time with Him daily to be at my best. What can I say, I'm a slow learner! Perhaps, I'm not the only one, after all, God does repeat Himself a lot in the Bible.
If you want to go on a life changing journey, you might consider looking at the Bible Gateway reading plans. They have several options for reading the Bible. I found that having "the reading plan" really helped me stay accountable along with the group of ladies that were doing it with me. I can promise you one thing, your time will not be wasted and you will be changed.
It is the same with my word. I send it out and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.