True confession #1: I’m not a reader.
True confession #2: I’m 30 years old, and I’ve never read the Bible cover to cover.
True confession #3: I didn’t want to read the Bible because I didn’t understand it.
I started to read the Bible more times than I can count, but I never seemed to make it past Genesis. As soon as the exciting parts of the Old Testament faded, so did my interest. Plus, I felt like I was reading Mandarin Chinese half the time. It was hard, confusing, and not always that enjoyable. So, I gave up.
Every. Single. Time.
Until recently . . .
I had no desire to read the Bible, but I DID desire to know and love God more.
I was tired of pretending to be a picture-perfect Christian when deep down I wasn’t even sure I knew who God was. I was basing my beliefs entirely on what people had told me about Him and that realization terrified me. How was I going to guide my children to have a genuine relationship with Christ if I wasn’t even sure of the relationship I had with Him?
One night my family and I were on our way home from a friend’s house. My brother had called and we were discussing life and happened to stumble upon the topic of faith. I voiced my concerns with him and he encouraged me to open my Bible. I was so tired of people telling me that.
I replied to him with annoyance, “I don’t want to! I have tried to read it, and I just don’t understand it. It’s not for me.” He paused for a moment, then what he said to me next finally struck a chord in my soul.
“It doesn’t matter what you want or don’t want, it matters what God wants. God wants us to pursue Him out of love through obedience and in order to do that we have to read His Word as it is intended.”
(Gulp.) There it was. My heart didn’t know God enough, my heart didn’t love God enough because my mind had been shutting Him and His Word out.
I was pursuing Him out of obligation instead of loving obedience.
So, that night I decided to, once again, open that dusty old book on my nightstand. But, this time it was different. Everything changed because I opened my Bible with a burning desire to know my Creator. I opened it thirsting to experience what my true Christian friends and family were talking about. I opened it out of love and obedience instead of obligation. I opened it with determination and, most importantly, I opened it with God’s help.
It took me 30 years and a little soul searching to finally wake up and realize that what I was searching for was right in front of me. My life and relationship with Christ have been completely transformed. I feel like I am learning who He truly is and I am hearing what He needs me to hear.
God has revealed Himself to me in ways I never knew possible. As a result, I can say that I am, without a doubt, a true Christian and disciple of Christ because I choose to be. I am confident in my relationship with Him, and I sincerely love Him with my entire mind, body, and soul.
Is it still hard sometimes? Yes. The enemy pulls every tactic he can to try and distract me. When that happens, I pray Father, please give me the desire to read Your word.
Is it still confusing at times? Absolutely.
But again, I just pray Father, help me understand what I’m reading. There are so many “easy to read” versions, apps, and videos that have helped me along in this journey. I have found what works for me and I’m running with it.
Does it take patience, persistence, and self-discipline that I sometimes lack? For sure! But, God can help with that too Father, please help me stay focused on You and Your Word. Please reveal to me what You need me to hear when You need me to hear it.
Am I done yet? Nope. And the truth is, I never will be. God’s Word is complex and no one except God Himself has it mastered. There are days I read several chapters and days I only read a few verses. And I’m OK with that. I’m going at the pace that works for God and me. I’m taking the time I need to research and truly understand what I’m reading.
God gave us this precious book to learn more about life and learn more about Him. Every single time we open His Word we are spending time with our Creator. The One who loves us more than anyone ever could. The One who is capable of completely transforming our hearts and entire outlook on life. The One.