When you’re tired of being tired, and your flesh is fighting you every step of the way, how do you retrace your steps back to the path you were once on? The simplest answer? You can’t…
For the past 9 or so years I’ve struggled with staying faithful in God’s Word. When I started high school I went through a change – Not that “special” puberty change, but a heart change. In between the first part and the second part of my Freshman year I quietly gave my life to the Lord. I’m sure it happened slowly, but when I think back to when I took responsibility for my relationship with the Lord and stopped piggy-backing on my parents faith, it seemed like an overnight transition. It wasn’t. But that’s just how I remember it.I stopped swearing. Almost instantly, actually. My skirts got a little longer, my shirts a little higher, my attitude a little softer, and then, just like that, I was dubbed “Sister Christian”.
I started reading my Bible here and there. I would do a few studies, mostly things that were easily lined out and quick to resolve. I’d attend youth group and help out at my church. My faith grew into something that was just that: mine.
Fast forward through a year at an intense Bible College, falling in love and getting married, moving far away from my family, and finding out I’m pregnant — I’m here, now, in this place where I stopped reading my Bible some weeks ago. It’s happened before – most average, luke-warm Christians go through periods where they stop reading God’s Word for a little while. It starts out just missing a day or two due to a busy schedule. Then as they miss more days, more precious moments inside the Word that keeps them strong and faithful, their lives start to bend. They stretch away from the Narrow Road that kept them safe and secure in God’s Will. The further from the path they stray, the more “habits” are picked up, and the resolve to get back on the Straight and Narrow dies away.
When you’re tired of being tired, and your flesh is fighting you every step of the way, how do you retrace your steps back to the path you were once on? The simplest answer? You can’t. There’s no way to go back the way you came and get to where you were. You’re only option is to move forward and adjust your path from in front of you. God doesn’t help you move backwards, and I think this is part of my personal problem. I’d very much like to go back and be who I was when I was in God’s Word every day, but with each step of life we change a little bit, and you can’t get rid of that. The only option is to get back into God’s Word and use what you’ve learned to lead you onward to the Straight and Narrow. Your walk with God is a one-way path. You can only move forward. Where you choose to move forward, whether toward God or away, is your choice. But you can never go back.
Well, since onward and forward is the only option, then Onward! and Forward! I say. Is it ironic to put a Bible verse in a post about how I’m struggling to be in my Bible? I think no:
⊗ Eph. 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” ⊗
If you, like me a so many other Christians, are struggling to be in God’s Word every day, remember that there’s a reason it’s difficult. There’s a reason it’s hard! The ruler of this world, the Devil, does not want you to have peace, affirmation, joy, or anything that would reflect positively on following God and being a Christian. All of these things are given to us by God from His Word. With all of this, it just seems right to give some tips on staying faithful and getting back into reading your Bible. These are charges that I’ll be giving to myself, so if you’d like to adopt some of them feel free — I’m not preaching to anyone buy myself here:
Read your Bible everyday. Even if it’s just one chapter, one verse, one Psalm + Proverbs duo. The habitual practice of opening up the Word of God will become ingrained into your day, regardless of how busy it is.
Tell someone when you are going to read your Bible. This accountability will help more than you know. Even if it’s just a casual passerby at the office. i.e. “Hey Jane, how’re you this morning?” — “Oh I’m doing great! Going to work through a few charts and then read my Bible!” — It’s a simple way to keep yourself accountable.
If you find that you absolutely, cannot get into your Bible, there’s a bigger problem than being luke-warm. Talk to your Pastor, his wife, or a leader in your church. Even if you don’t really know why you have such an aversion. Meeting with someone who’s spiritually more mature than you are can help you identify the things that are keeping you spiritually stunted. (Note: when seeking advice pertaining to your spiritual needs, make sure you’re getting it from someone more “seasoned” than you are. God gives us “elders” to help us grow, because these people have already been where we are now. This person doesn’t necessarily have to be older than you are, but they should be spiritaully wiser, and more advanced in their walk with the Lord.)