When God first started drawing me into a deeper relationship with Him as a teenager, I was super-green to Bible study. I knew all about the Bible, the characters, and their stories, but I hadn’t spent much time reading the actual pages of Scripture on my own. When I did begin to open God’s Word on my own, it came as quite a shock to realize I was unable to simply read the Bible, leave it with an understanding of what I read, and an action point to follow up with.
So I reverted to devotionals. The Daily Bread was my first attempts at regular time with God, and He used those little paperback booklets to continue the stirring inside of me for more of Him. Yet after several weeks, I wanted more. I had a deep desire to connect with God without a go-between. No longer was I satisfied by the crumbs of God’s Word that were swept from the table of someone else’s dining experience. I wanted to know how to cut into the steak for myself!
You may also want to move past the 5 minute devotional. You’re hungry for God’s Word! You want more, but you’re afraid to try. I’ve been there, and it is a frustrating place to be. Starving, with nothing but crumbs to eat.
In the almost 2 decades of discipleship relationships I’ve been in with women, there are several common lies that come to the surface. When women feel unable (or are unwilling) to move past devotional reading, at least one of the following falsehoods are at play. I’ve been the victim of believing all three.
Lie #1: I can’t understand the Bible without someone telling me what to think about it. Yes, there is background to consider and an over-arching story to understand, but you and I do not need a seminary degree to hear from God in His Word.
Reality: God’s Word is living and active! God’s Spirit lives inside of us! God’s Word is meant to be our every day, every moment nourishment. It’s God’s will for us to dig deeply into the Bible. God is faithful to make a way for us to understand what is says. He always has for me.
Resources: There are many incredible (and FREE) online tools for Bible study. I've created an ever-growing list of websites, videos, and other tools at our fingertips on my Bible Study Resources Page. Check it out.
Lie #2: I don’t have time for Bible study. Frankly? This is boloney. And I’ve bought into this lie, again and again.
Reality: We make time for what we truly want to do. Life is busy, yes. But a lack of time cannot be an excuse. If we can keep up with the latest episode of Downton Abbey (SO good!) and scroll mindlessly through Facebook and Instagram feeds for an hour, we can find time to study our Bible. (Oftentimes, the true culprit is not busyness, but perfectionism.)
Resources: Because I feel so strongly about women being in the Word for themselves (without it taking an hour a day), I’ve created many Bible studies with today’s busy woman in mind. Hear me clearly: even if you only have 5 minutes a day, you can study God’s Word in a meaningful way.
Lie #3: I don’t need more than a devotional. This may be the most dangerous lie of all.
Reality: Devotionals have their time and place. A jar of baby food will bring nourishment and a full belly to a baby; that same jar will not keep up with a teenager’s rate of growth and appetite. The natural result of a healthy Christian is growth. And with growth stems a hunger for more and more of what nourishes it. Only God’s Word brings satisfaction to the ravenous soul.
This I know: God uses devotionals. I’ve published many a devotional-based blog post and have contributed to said devotionals. They can be a great way to start us off on our walk with God, or get us through the crazy seasons of life. However, we must not settle there! Ladies, let’s take ownership of our spiritual growth and allow our souls to be nourished with the abundance of God’s Word.
Know that I am praying for you as you read these Words, that you will remember there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus! If all you can do is a devotional, enjoy it, and when you are ready for more, be willing to step out in confidence that God will provide all you need to enjoy His Word for yourself..
Questions to consider:
Over the past year, how much of my time with God has been spent in a devotional? What keeps me from studying my Bible? Which of these lies am I believing, and what resources will I look into today, to change the course of my spiritual growth?
What are your thoughts on these lies? Have you bought in to them? Would you add any other falsehoods women tend to believe?
Grace-clinger. Truth-speaker. Pastor's wife. Mommy of 3. As a Bible study writer, retreat speaker, and local women's ministry leader, Katie is passionate about equipping others to walk intimately with God for a lifetime. Katie currently serves as the Social Media Specialist and Community Manager for Flourish.me, a ministry of the North American Mission Board to ministry wives. Learn more about Katie on her website KatieOrr.me.
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