No spiritual discipline is more important than spending time in God’s Word. There is simply no substitute. Unfortunately, many of us have more Bibles in our homes than some churches in third-world countries. But some rarely read them. The first part of Bible intake we will discuss is the hearing of God’s Word.
The easiest way to intake the Bible is the hearing of God’s Word. Why would I say hearing? If you don’t discipline yourself to hear God’s Word regularly, then you will fall into the trap of only hearing it when you feel like it, then not at all. The hearing of God’s Word means attending a Bible-believing church unless health reasons prevent you from doing so. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hear the Word and keep it.” (Luke 11:28) But, merely hearing it is not the point. Keeping it is the point. Romans 10:17 says that we grow in faith by hearing the word of Christ. Paul instructed Timothy, give attention to the public reading of scripture, to exhortation and teaching.” Reading God’s Word to other people is a privilege. So, if you have the opportunity, read it with reverence and the power that it possesses.
As we come to hear the Word read and preached, we must sanctify God’s name, we must immerse our entire being with what we are about to hear. We are about to hear the consecrated Word of God. 1 Thessalonians 2:13, tells us, “For this reason, we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.”
We must prepare ourselves spiritually to hear God’s Word. When you walk into most evangelical churches before a service, you might feel like you are at a Wildcat’s basketball game just before the tip-off. To feel the Holy Spirit speak to us through the Word, we must come before the throne with reverence and anticipation of what God is going to say to us. When your phone rings and it’s someone who you have not spoken to in a long time, you are in great anticipation of what news you will hear from them. You’re full of joy and excitement. We should feel even greater joy and anticipation as we come to hear God’s word.
Lastly, hearing the Word is not a passive discipline, it must be cultivated deep within our soul with the expectation that God is going to commune with us. We must develop a boundless hunger for it. “But sow the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.” Listen, God will speak, and hearing God speak to your heart is amazing.
Eddie Turner has a master’s degree in Christian ministry and bachelor of science degree in religion/Christian counseling. He is retired and a member of Norwood Heights Baptist Church in Palestine.