Too Busy to Read the Bible?
Martin Luther once said, “I have so much to do today that I should spend the first three hours in prayer.” That was the right perspective.
With demanding jobs, busy lives and full social schedules, regular spiritual disciplines are easy to neglect.
But I am more convinced than ever of the importance of regular, committed Bible intake and prayer.
- The world-flesh-devil conspire to derail us from spiritual disciplines. This world (plus unseen spiritual influences (Eph 6:12), plus our wayward hearts (Jer 17:9)) is not neutral toward your having a regular quiet time. Busyness interferes. Satan distracts. Our hearts wander. Be warned of this.
- The Lord, on the other hand, will give us busy schedules and heavy obstacles to a regular quiet time in order (a) to test us—where do our loyalties really lie? (b) to humble us—showing our weakness and inability to thrive without him and his appointed instrument, the Bible. (c) to convict us—showing that often we’re relying on our own strength and not the Lord’s.
- Bible reading is not just a discipline—it is the way we commune with God. Deut 32:47: “They are not just idle words for you—they are your life.” Over time, here is where we find our deepest joy.
- As a pastor I’ve seen this countless times: If you are not a committed Bible reader then you will not grow spiritually, you will not thrive in ministry, and you will not know joy in the Lord. Rather, you will starve. Matt 4:4: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
- Over time, without regular Scriptural intake, you will not be able to withstand the pressures of life in a fallen world. Rom 12:2: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.”
We all need to be reminded of the importance of communing with God in the Word, and then lingering in his presence in prayer and praise and confession and intercession.
George Mueller was busier than you or I. During the 1800’s, Mueller founded orphanages, cared for 10,024 orphans, established evangelical institutions, distributed countless books and tracts, and pastored a church for 66 years. Toward the end of his life, Mueller wrote, “We should read regularly through the Scriptures, consecutively, and not pick out here and there a chapter. If we do, we remain spiritual dwarfs. I tell you so affectionately. For the first four years after my conversion I made no progress, because I neglected the Bible. But when I regularly read on through the whole with reference to my own heart and soul, I directly made progress. Then my peace and joy continued more and more. Now I have been doing this for 47 years…Thus my peace and joy have increased more and more.”
May we all go and do likewise.