Let me be honest, if I only did the things that were a delight, there is a long list of things I would not do. I doubt that I would exercise, cleaning the house, even getting up on the dark and cold mornings might not happen. Just because we do not delight in something doesn’t mean that we don’t do it.
Maybe you are struggling as you do not delight in reading the Bible. You do it and tick the box that you have done it. You want to move from duty to delight. Here are a few ways that will help you do just that.
Don’t believe the lie that says, “If you don’t delight in reading the Bible, then don’t do it.” That is designed to keep you out of the word. Whether we delight in the Word or view it as a duty, we need to be in the Word.
Reading the Word should be part of our Spiritual Goals for each year.
Having the Correct view of the Bible will help you move from duty to delight
The Bible is not just an instruction manual. Think about an instruction manual. You might look at it to see how to put the product together and then you stick it in the junk drawer with other instructions manuals, takeaway menus, and pens that no longer work. You forget about it until there is a problem. Then you go digging to find the instruction manual. You are looking for a solution. Do not read the Bible to solve your problems, it will do that but it so much more. The Bible will also show you problems.
Do you view the Bible as a motivational poster? You know the poster that has a few words that encourage you to keep going. The Bible will motivate you at times but it is more than just a motivation poster. There are verses and passages that encourage but there are also bits that challenge and point out our need.
Do you view the Bible as a storybook? Read a story and maybe a bit inspired. The Bible is a God’s story from the beginning of the world to the end but it is more than a story.
The Bible is God’s Word. It is God’s revelation to us.
Understanding what the Bible says it is will move you from duty to delight
Have you ever gotten up at night and stumbled around. You didn’t know where you were going or what you might run into. You needed a light to help guide you. That is what the Bible is for us. The Bible is a lamp to our feet. It guides our steps so we don’t wander in the darkness running into things. (Psalm 11:105).
The Bible helps us not to sin. Psalm 119:11 says, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (ESV) We need the Bible to help keep us from sin. If we listen to the world, it will sound appealing and draw us away from God’s truth.
Our faith will grow through reading the Bible. As we read, we see how God worked throughout history. We see his power in that the world was created by the words he spoke. We see the promises that he made to Abraham and how he was faithful to keep each of them. In Exodus, we see how he delivered his people from slavery and led to the Promised Land. (Romans 10:17) Your faith will grow through reading the Bible.
We sing a fun kids song in church and there is one line, “The blade of the Spirit can cut to the soul and God will use it make us whole.” (Light and a Hammer by Gareth Loh and Dan Adams)The Word of God is the sword. That sword cuts away what needs to be removed but then the same Word also makes us whole. The Bible is a sword both to defend and to protect. (Ephesians 6:17)
The Word of God is living. It is God’s word to us and so as we read he is speaking to us, showing us truth, revealing himself to us. This is a book that never gets old. We can read it time and time again and see new truths. (Hebrews 4:12)
The Bible is not like other books on your shelf. Understand just what the Bible is and you can begin to move from duty to delight.
Read your Bible differently to move from duty to delight
Here are just a few ideas that might help you to move to delight in the Word.
Have you ever read through the whole Bible? If not, try that to move to delight by spending time reading the whole Bible. If you have read through the whole Bible, read it in a different version or read following a different reading plan. I have found the 90 Day plan a challenge both with the amount of reading but also with what I learn.
Study a book of the Bible that you normally don’t read. After a sermon series in Exodus the other year, that has become one of my favorite books to read. Don’t just read the things that you have read before. Dig into something new.
Do a different type of study. A few years ago I did a Doodle Bible study. I really enjoyed those studies and have read some other books creating my own doodles. A fresh way of studying and reading helped me to delight in God.
Read with a friend and get together to share what you are reading and learning. Listening to what others are seeing and learning can encourage you.
Ask God to help you move from duty to delight
The first step to learning to delight is learning to be honest. Be honest with God. He already knows your heart so be honest with him. Tell him that you are viewing it as a duty and want to learn to delight in Him and His Word. Confess this and ask him to help you delight in reading the Word. Know that he hears our prayers. His desire is that we delight in his word.
Ask God to help you know him. God is the author and as you get to know him more you will grow in delighting in the Word. Pray before reading. Ask God to open your eyes and heart as you read his word. (Psalm 119:18)
Don’t rush through your time in the Word, read and read it again, pause and ponder. Just like you enjoy visiting with a friend and together you chat and linger long over a cup of coffee. Do the same with your time in the Word.
I do get up on the cold, dark morning and clean the house and wash dishes. Some days I delight and enjoy and some days it is a duty.
Keep reading the Word. Just because it is a duty doesn’t mean you stop doing it. I pray that you will delight in the Word.
Tell me in the comments, what helps you to delight in God’s Word.