I have a confession to make… reading the Bible is not my favorite thing to do.
It’s hard. And I mean that in several different contexts.
It’s hard, because watching Netflix on the couch is more appealing.
It’s hard, because 10 extra minutes of sleep is sometimes too tempting.
It’s hard, because well… sometimes the Bible just doesn’t seem to make sense to us.
It’s hard to connect that King James Version language, those Old Testament rituals, and Jesus’ parables to our life here in 2017… with our iPhones, and self starting cars, and microwavable everything.
So what do we do?
K.I.S.S… Keep it simple, silly. (Yes, silly… what’d you expect from a kindergarten teacher like myself?)
So, sticking with our theme… here are 4 simple ways to strengthen your spiritual walk.
1. Find the right Bible for you.
This is so very important! Bibles are not one size fits all, which is why there are so many different versions. (I googled it to find you an exact number, but I quit counting at 20, so… there’s that.)
If you’re like me and need a Bible that’s a little less “churchy” and a little more “peopley,” there are plenty of options to choose from. I personally use the English Standard Version (ESV), but I also like the Message, NLT, and NIV versions.
I bought my Bible off Amazon. It’s the Crossway Single Column Journaling Bible (ESV).
2. Use a devotional or study guide with your Bible reading.
This one is a complete game changer. There is no sense in any of us suffering through reading the Bible when there are plenty of resources out there for us.
I don’t know about y’all, but if there’s someone out there who can help me find meaning in something that made me just scratch my head in confusion, I am ready to listen and learn.
There are tons of free options and apps, as well as great books!
If you’re a techie (also, free) kind of person, here are a few apps/email subscriptions that I personally recommend.
- Proverbs 31 Ministries – This women’s ministry is amazing! They have daily devotions written by a variety of ladies. You can either follow them on Facebook or sign up to receive the devotions every morning in your email. You can sign up here.
- The First 5 app – This app is a product of Proverbs 31 ministries and is similar to their daily emails. The difference is, they take a book of the Bible at a time, break it into lessons, and offer teachings and devotions. This is a GREAT tool for someone who wants to read their way through the Bible. If you sign up, you can join in on the current study, or pick one out of the archives to do.
- Waking Faith by Steven Furtick – These daily devotionals can also be sent straight to your inbox every morning. Steven Furtick is the pastor at Elevation Church. His morning devotions often vary between a few written paragraphs, video clips from sermons, and other media types. This particular devotional is great for everyone – men, women, adults, teenagers.
- YouVersion Bible app – Not only does this app allow you to view different versions of the Bible and search for certain books/verses, they also offer FREE reading plans!
3. Get out your pen.
Get out your pen. Yes, it’s worth repeating.
(Micron Pigment Ink Pens are my favorite, because they don’t bleed!)
Why? Because we’re human. With about a million things on our plates. It’s way too easy to forget what you read. So…
Underline key words. Draw brackets around important verses. Take notes in the margins. Draw pictures. (Hence my need for a journaling Bible.)
OR if you just cant bring yourself to write in your Bible, take notes in a journal or notebook…
But for the love of fun colorful pens… do yourself a favor and USE ONE!
4. Find an accountability partner or group.
I can’t stress this enough. When I have someone to help me, read with me, pray with me, answer my questions, and just do life with on a spiritual level, life is so much better!
Those people, whether it’s your Sunday school class, small group, or just a friend who shares your love for Jesus… They are a precious and vital part of your spiritual walk.
If you’re like me, you’re way more likely to read that chapter in the book of John if you’re expected to talk about it over coffee with a friend. If you haven’t found an accountability partner or group in your area, get connected at a local church or schedule Facetime/Skype dates with a long distance friend.
Naturally I saved the most important for last. How can you worship a God you never talk to?
I know, I know… It cannot be that easy.
But it is.
Now, I am from the south where prayer is not a dirty word, but even some of us who grew up in the Bible belt “don’t know how to pray.” Or at least we feel that way.
But can I tell you something I have learned? Prayers don’t have to be eloquent and full of churchy language. In fact, my prayers are often more like a conversation with a friend.
A couple of things that have helped my prayer life the most:
- Praying out loud – YES, it was so awkward at first, but try it anyway.
- Finding somewhere with few distractions – my faves are the shower and the car (which is also where my favorite worship jam sessions take place)
- Writing prayers down – this goes along with my reasoning for praying out loud – it helps keep your thoughts organized. It’s hard to start thinking about what’s for dinner if you’re actually speaking or writing.(Why yes, I just admitted to getting distracted if I just pray inside my head… #Christianconfessions)
Well, there you have it guys. My K.I.S.S spiritual walk strategies.
What are YOUR routines and strategies that help keep you on track? Feel free to share them in the comments!
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