For most Christians, one of the biggest frustrations is their lack of developing a healthy ingestion of the Word of God in their daily life. They often fall into guilt, feeling like they should read the Bible more, but struggle to have a consistent pattern. Others can develop very rigid and religious routine that have no heart connection. Regardless of the struggle, we must realize that our enemy does everything he can to keep us distracted, busy and overwhelmed–anything to keep us from settling in and taking in the Word of God.
Developing Healthy Habits
Cultivating a mindset of the Word of God in our lives really all comes down to the habits that we develop. God’s Word needs to become a daily habit. Like eating our meals, we need to see the imperative value of processing the vital nutrients of God’s Word. These habits must be guarded and kept fresh.
In the book of Joshua, we see how creating a habit for God’s Word can be cultivated through lifestyle habits.
Joshua 1:8 NKJV This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
A habit is a usual way of behaving; something that a person does often in a regular and repeated way.
Keys in Habits Becoming Ingrained:
Here are some things we can observed from Joshua’s exhortation about keeping a habit of experiencing God’s Word in our lives.
1. We can often break bad habits by creating new ones.
We often focus on our bad habits and seek to break them. Yet the key question is, what habit are you going to fill those bad habits with? We can often turn the corner on our bad habits by firmly starting new healthy ones.
2. Habits need to be practiced daily. (you shall meditate on it day and night)
To keep the Word of God as our habit, it must be mediated on day and night and all in-between. The Word needs to become the lens by which we see our day and how we process our relationship with God. This cultivates an atmosphere in our lives where we are setup for growth.
3. Talk about what you are learning. (shall not depart from your mouth)
It is important that what we practiced with our habits be shared with others. This reinforces what we are taking in, so that we do not forget and lose it.
4. Your ways will become prosperous.
In the original language, “prosperous” means “to break out, to push forward, come [mightily], go over, be good, be profitable, prosper, make progress, succeed.”
5. You will have success.
This word used for success has so many powerful meanings. Look at the power of what God’s Word as a deep habit in your heart will bring. Strong’s concordance tells us that success here means, “to have good success, teach, ( have, make to) understand (- ing), wisdom, ( be, behave self, consider, make) wise (- ly), guide wittingly, to be prudent, be circumspect, wisely understand, prosper, to be prudent, be circumspect, have insight to give attention to, consider, ponder, be prudent to have insight, have comprehension insight, comprehension to cause to consider, give insight, teach the teachers, the wise to act circumspectly, act prudently, act wisely to prosper, have success to cause to prosper.”
15 Everyday Habits for Taking In God’s Word:
The following are 15 very practical ways that you can take in God’s Word, develop a habit of experiencing the Word of God and keep it in your heart.
1. Read Sections of the Bible
This is where you develop a strategy to read and study a certain section of the Bible. For example, the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) or the Pentateuch/Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy).
2. Read a Theme or Word Search
You may want to take a journey through the Bible and study a certain theme, such as holiness, love or forgiveness. You can start by finding all the mentions of a certain word and take in the context of meaning.
3. Read the Entire Bible through.
This takes some long-term investment and realization ahead of time. The goal here is to gain an overview of the Scriptures to help gain a grid of how God reveals Himself and the way He thinks. You have to remember, there will be books and sections that are harder to process through, simply because they have a lot of genealogies and names that at first can seem confusing. Just keep in mind, everything was written for a reason.
4. Write Down What You Learn.
Every believer should should have some way of writing down what God shows them at all times. Whether it is an electronic device or a notepad by your side, find ways to immediately write down everything that you learn.
5. Read the Word Out Loud.
Reading anything out loud helps to reinforce what we are taking in. God created our words to increase the power of what we are learning. If you struggle with sudden fatigue coming upon you while reading the Bible, then stand up and read the Scriptures out loud. This will awaken your body more and possibly drive away any spiritual interference that may be coming at you. It is also beneficial to read the Word of God publicly, where you take opportunities to share insights, exhortations or even just simply read the Word and let it speak for itself.
6. Whisper the Word Out Loud.
Don’t ask me why, but there is something special about the quiet solitude with God, where you learn to mutter and whisper His Word out loud. This becomes a very precious habit of treasuring each word and taking it to heart.
7. Hand Write a Scripture.
This involves taking a Scripture and writing it down word for word. In our modern culture of typing everything, we can lose the power that comes when we write things out by hand. Studies show that writing something out by hand will actually help your brain retain the information better.
8. Study Passages Through Word Study.
This can be one of the greatest ways to receive revelation from God’s Word; by simply studying what each word means and discover the context of what was being communicated. This is a lifelong journey, because the Word of God is endless rich with revelation after revelation.
9. Memorize the Word.
In the old days, we sang songs, where the lyrics were directly from Scripture. Even though some of them were pretty corny to sing, they imbedded the Scriptures to memory, where they can forever be accessed in our long term memory. It is important to memorize what is in the Word and allow it to take deep root. The Holy Spirit works in conjunction with the Word. So the more we have hidden in our hearts, the more the Holy Spirit has to work with to speak and lead us into all truth.
One way to help yourself memorize the Word is to record yourself reading through a passage of Scripture. Play it back over and over again. You can even get fancy and play some background music while you record it.
10. Personalize the Word.
As you read a certain area of Scripture, put yourself into the context. Allow yourself to consider how you would feel in the person’s shoes. Consider how God may be at work in a similar way in your life. Take the life lessons and be aware that the same God that worked with those people is alive and able to meet you today.
11. Pray the Word.
This is an excellent tool to help enhance your prayer life with God. We often do not know what to pray or even how to pray, but when we come with our hearts before God, we cannot go wrong praying the Scriptures. Doing this keeps our prayer focused and direct. When you pray the Word, you are always praying the will and heart of God. It can be an excellent spring board to allow your prayers to go further into other areas that are on your heart.
12. Teach or Preach the Word.
Personally I know that one of the best ways I retain what I gain from God’s Word is to teach it. You don’t have to be a teacher who stands in front of audiences to do this. Begin with your family. That is where I start with everything I learn. I first share it with my wife and allow her to be blessed. I then allow the precepts God is teaching me to have a work in our home. Then it can flow into our relationships and ministry. As you share with others, God’s Word becomes more deeply reinforced in your own life.
As a word of caution, don’t teach the Word like you have arrived, and don’t teach precepts in the Word that you are not seeking to apply in your own life. The best way to teach is to take the bread of the Word that you are getting in your own walk and share it with others.
13. Listen to the Word.
It can be a tremendous blessing to sit back and listen to the Word of God being spoken, through some form of audio Bible format. One in particular that I love is the “Word of Promise” Bible. It gives an audio version of the New King James Bible, spoken by tremendous voices. Included is some dramatic music and sound effects that enhance the experience. Personally, I have found that previous audio Bibles have a “cheesy” factor with the background music and added drama. This one comes across with excellence. I have even found myself stopping the playback, as the reading presentation was so powerful, the passage was hitting me in a fresh way.
14. Display the Word.
Take passages that are key for your life and post them all over. This doesn’t have to be fancy, but it doesn’t hurt to do it with excellence. As God key verses in your mirror, around your house and in your car. This something God taught Israel to do, so they would always be reminded of His ways. We as human being can easily forget and leak what God has done and what He is capable of.
One tip on this. Every now and then refresh these. Put new ones up or present them in new ways, because over time, your brain becomes used to the verses and key thoughts that you put up as background decoration. Keep it fresh so that the Word never becomes cliche in your home.
15. Do What the Word Says
There is nothing better than being a person who hears the Word, marinates on it and applies it. Nothing will make God’s Word more hard wired in you as being a daily doer of the Word. Don’t just hear it and memorize it so you can impress people. Do what it says and let the Holy Spirit produce great fruit in your life!
Question: Which habit will be helpful to you in making God’s Word a daily experience in your life?