Life gets busy. Sometimes it feels like you are trying to juggle a hundred things at once, and your time is stretched thin between school, sports, extracurricular activities, and friends. In the craziness of life it is easy to find yourself putting your most important friend of all, on hold. When you find yourself maxed out and overwhelmed by everything life throws your way, it is essential to spend time diving into the Bible and talking to God. Nobody knows you better than the one who created you, so there is nobody better to spend time talking to and building a relationship with. God wants to have a relationship with you. He wants you to trust him with all your heart, but you can’t build a relationship with someone you never spend time with. You can’t expect to become best friends with a classmate at school if you never spend time with that person, and in the same way, you can’t expect to feel close to God and trust him with all your heart if you never read his words or talk to him through prayer. When you read your bible you get closer to God and build a relationship, Matthew 4:4 says “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (NIV). Jesus said that listening to what God has to say to us is just as much of a necessity in our lives as food (something everybody knows you can’t survive without), so you can’t truly live without God speaking into your life. To live by God’s words, you have to spend time reading from the bible to know what he is saying to you.
You might be thinking “I don’t even know where to start with the Bible '' and that’s okay, everybody was where you are at some point in life. Pro athletes don’t just wake up one day being amazing at a sport. It takes time practicing daily just like building a strong relationship with God means spending time every day reading his word. Don’t feel like you have to start out by reading your bible for three hours a day. It isn’t about how long you spend reading your Bible, the point is that you are taking time to deliberately be with God studying his word. Start by setting reasonable goals for yourself every day. Maybe in the beginning you have a goal to read one chapter from your Bible everyday. Then, after awhile you find yourself looking forward to the time you spend studying the Bible everyday so your goal changes to two chapters a day. Not everybody's goal will be the same, but the important thing is that you are taking time to listen to what God has to say to you each and every day of your life. I find that Consistency is definitely important in my life when it comes to studying the Bible. When you set a specific time aside everyday just to read from God’s word it helps to make sure you don’t find yourself laying in bed every night realizing you forgot to spend time with God during the craziness of the day. This can look different for everyone, maybe you're a morning person so everyday at 7:00 a.m. you set an alarm on your phone and start your day by reading your Bible, or maybe every night after dinner you decide to go straight to your room and make this your special time with God. No matter the time you pick to read your Bible everyday, getting into a routine is really helpful in making sure you are staying on track and not going a day without listening and talking to God. When you get into a steady routine of spending time with God daily you’ll find that if you have an off day where you can’t read your Bible at the same time as always, you will miss that time you and God spend together. Daily devotionals are also a great way to start digging into God’s word. If you start with a 365 day devotional it is easy to make sure you are staying on track because it is laid out with a reading about something new for every day. Personally, I find it encourages me to not get behind or skip spending time with God for the day (you don’t want to be in the month of March reading your devotional for the day and it’s labeled February because you skipped spending time with God).
Consistently spending time with God and listening to him speak to you through his word helps you build a relationship with him (which is a relationship you definitely don’t want to miss out on). Once you have a strong relationship with God where you trust him with all your heart, amazing things can happen in your life. Throughout the Bible there are so many incredible, true stories about people who trusted God with their lives and were able to accomplish great things. Think about the story of Noah’s Ark, God told Noah he was going to flood the Earth and that Noah needed to build an ark big enough for his family and two of every animal. This would be an enormous and overwhelming task, but Noah trusted God so much that he was able to build the ark and did just as God had commanded, saving his family and two of every animal (If you have never read the story for yourself, read Genesis chapters 6-9!) . Another story where someone was able to accomplish something amazing because of their trust in God is the story of David and Goliath. The entire Israelite army was afraid to stand up against Goliath, a Philistine champion, who was very intimidating at over nine feet tall, yet David alone stood up against Goliath with just a sling and a stone. With God by his side, David was able to take down a giant that an entire army was too afraid to face (If you have never read the story of David and Goliath, read 1 Samuel chapter 17!). So, what giant in your life can you conquer when you have built a strong relationship and trust in God? This week, start by studying God’s word and just spending time with him to build a relationship because you don’t want to miss what he is trying to tell you in life!