Diving Deep Into The Word
Over the last few months I have been missing in action on my blog. I would love to say that it was because of some great understanding, travel, or a crisis, maybe not a crisis, but you get the picture. Instead I am sorry to say that it has just been life. A crazy chunk of time.
I found myself in a new job, planning and directing a new event, and life, well, was life!
Boundaries have never been a thing for me. I have always just said what I felt, and let the chips fall where they might. Yet, I found myself in this stretch of time causing myself some pain by not allowing room for the things that I desperately needed, and that was God.
Sure, I read the Word, prayed, went to church, but it was all feeling rather rhythmic or ritual if you will. I needed to spice up my relationship with God.
I feel like this must be what it is like to be married for many, many, many years. You fall into a routine. You know the movements of each other and you are no longer surprised by much.
Well, I wanted to be surprised again. I wanted the joy of my first salvation. I longed for the anticipation when opening my Bible. The question of what will God share with me today needed to be in my head instead of the normal get in and get out.
That’s when God challenged me to a bit of a duel. Only our swords were the Word… so it was a Sword fight if you will. The challenge was simple, find as many promises as I could in the hour that I had often blocked out in my schedule for God.
So I did.
Not only did I spend the next hour, but that hour turned into two hours which turned into almost a whole day of searching out promises. It was by far the most fulfilling time in the Word I have had in a very long time.
All of a sudden the joy was back, the anticipation was there and the mystery of the hunt was in the mix. God had captured my creative mind, my winner take all mentality, and had brought it to a personal level.
Over the last few weeks I have shared my story with a few, I even talked about learning to dig in at The Thirtyone Gathering, and people have asked me how I study the Bible, what I use to help, and how I find myself in what book. After sharing with others I decided that I would share it on here as a study help, but also a challenge to all of us to dig a bit deeper. To dig into the words and promises in the Word as if we were in a battle for our life, because we are. We are battling darkness with light, and the light wins in the end but that doesn’t mean you will be left standing, unless you know how to defend yourself.
These tools and tips are to help you to learn how to defend yourself. To understand what it looks like to dig deeper than the surface, to look at the roots. For you to find yourself up to your ears in the truths, the promises, the love and grace of God who is determined for us to win, not sometimes, but ever time we go to battle!
What follows is not an exclusive list, but rather some diving boards for you to jump on and dive in from. And if you have a different way, a helpful way, or anything else please share it with me. My heart is to learn, to grow, and to become a badass Sword fighter!!
Still, I am learning,
DIGGING IN – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
- First things first: OPEN YOUR BIBLE
- Nothing will happen unless you open your bible. It’s true.
- Don’t attack!
- You are digging in, so set yourself up to be there for a bit of time! Throw your phone on DO NOT DISTURB, turn on your music and dig in.
There are a bunch of different ways to dig in, so here are a few:
- Get a book to help you in your study
- Pick a book of the bible and start reading
- Pick a single word and google it for all the verses you can find, write them all down and then dig in to find them
- Use a commentary as you read – commentary is a book by someone who has read the book you are looking at studying and will highlight, pull out points, and show you main parts of the passages
- Blue Letter Bible: this is an app that holds a whole library of knowledge. You can look up the original text of a passage and find out the hidden meanings. Download it on your device, or check it out online by clicking here
- Change your point of view
- The bible is not a story about you as much as it is a story about God. Make sure you are getting the right perspective. Think on what God is saying in the passage, who God is showing Himself to be, and how does that affect you, how should you live because of this perspective?
Set a realistic goal
- Go to a place – coffee shop, beach, kitchen table
- Be intentional this is something I am still learning – stay accountable to the time you set up even go so far as to set a reminder in your phone
- Time is important – don’t just let yourself have 30 minutes, but set yourself up with a good amount of time where you can really dive into what God is saying
- Avoid Social Media!! We all want to share our revelation, but wait until you time is done and then share.
You are what you feed yourself
- If you feed yourself anxiety, more anxiety will come. If you feed yourself peace, more peace will come
- You are what you eat – fast food: is lacking and will not sustain you in the long run, and remember we are doing this to better defend ourselves. Don’t be a wimp!!
- Digest the right things – because the thoughts you think totally effect your health and can make or break you
Find people to surround yourself with
- People can help you in your walk with God
- They can challenge you, encourage you, but they can also hinder your growth. Be sure you surround yourself with people who make you the best you there can be
- Get a journal that is solely for study
- Open your bible
- Get some highlighters: I use 6 different colors – not always do I use them in this format, sometimes I just use whatever color sparks my interest.
- Green: main idea of the passage
- Purple: Repeated theme/idea/ imagery
- Pink: Key transitions (therefore, but) what is it therefore
- Yellow: Strong verbs and action words
- Blue: Powerful descriptions of God
- Orange: Problems or descriptions of people
- Or you can just make it look pretty by using what ever color hits you in the moment
- Keep notes about what God is saying in the moment
- When you are taking notes in your bible make sure that whatever color you choose to highlight the section with you circle the notes with as well. This helps you to connect what note goes with which highlighting.
- Note what the verse is saying to you
- Make it your own
- Have fun!
Discovery is a process. Try not to move so quickly through the process that you miss the journey.
And remember there is no perfect way to study, just get in there and dig in!!
* My bible is from Paul’s Leather Co. it is amazing. It is definitely the gift that keeps on giving!!
* The mug is from Thirtyone Collective and can be picked up here
* The highlighters I use are Sharpie and can be picked up at your neighborhood Target