“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.” (Joshua 1.8)
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living it according to Your word… Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119.11
The truth of God’s Word must be internalized for us to be effective in our ministry and live the spiritual life. It cannot be separated from our body and soul, not something confined in pages between two covers. We need it to be hidden in the deepest part of us, to have Scripture be our gut-conviction. The words must go beyond the pages into every corner of our minds, our heart of hearts, the seat of our emotions, our entire will.
There is no command in the Bible to read your Bible every day. But it does say to know, live, obey, and mediate on God’s Word every day. So, do whatever you need to do to get there. Maybe that is to read your Bible every day, getting up early in the morning as many Christians I know do. If a set time doesn’t work for you, determine read it consistently throughout the day or week, as Ed Stetzer does. Listen to it on CD in your car, read it online, do what you must to hear God’s Word, internalize it, and apply it in humble obedience to the God who gave it to you.
I was recently thinking on how few Christians read the Bible, or even Christian books, for any serious length of time or do much diligent study. I’m been thinking this because it’s been difficult for me to have the discipline I need to do serious study. I feel like I have Attention Deficit Disorder, my mind constantly wandering around even while I’m reading. I’m using my laptop to write a paper, yet get distracted with a blog, news headline, or facebook blip in a second. I naturally go that way.
It occurred to me that our culture actually teaches us to be ADD. Quick sound bites, typing twitter characters in 150 characters or less and facebook in a little more, short articles, world news in 60 seconds, short headlines, text messages with ridiculous abbreviations… Everything is so fast and condensed. The internet itself allows you to satisfy the slightest question, idea, or desire in a matter of seconds. I saw a book from an English professor at Emery called The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future. I’m inclined to believe him.
Our culture is built against going too deep, understanding anything to any profound level, or spending a good length of time on something truly important. How much has living in this environment affected us? In one generation this happened. I still talk to people who went to college without computers or internet and I’m shocked at how they ever did it – revealing my dependence! Have so many humans ever had this much instant gratification? The world is changing before our eyes. I hope we have the sense to stop long enough to ask who we are, what are we doing, is it purposeful, or even meaningful?