“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:10-11 (NIV)
It’s no secret that as Christians we need to be in the Word on a regular basis. Filling our heads and hearts with Him is the surest way to put on the full armor of God, which we so desperately need in this life. We know this, or we should know this, but we don’t always live out that belief. Our actions don’t always reflect that inner conviction (I thought about making an exercise analogy here, but I think you get what I’m saying), but what can we do about it?
You can beat yourself up for not being a better Christian, or you can recognize where your deficits lie, and be proactive about it. I go through phases where I read my Bible every day, but then I go through phases where I can’t remember the last time I picked it up. I love His Word but I lack consistency. For this reason I have things in place to reel me in when I wander off. I attend a weekly women’s study group that includes homework. I belong to an online group where we read Proverbs daily and post our reflections on what God is teaching us. I keep a prayer journal where I write what I’m currently reading and what I think God is saying to me, in addition to my prayers and praises. When I’m in my kitchen I often listen to Bible teaching through various apps on my smart phone. I also have index cards with prayers and verses taped inside my bathroom cabinet, so I can read while I floss. These things help to keep me on the path that I truly want to be on. I have also been praying lately about when I should have my daily quiet time with the Lord, because I cannot always control the schedule in my house. I seem to be in a season where it changes from one day to the next. (This season is known as “parenthood.”) Just today I had planned to sit down with my Bible after my first two kids were out the door and the third was quietly eating his breakfast. But one kid overslept and missed the bus, and another kid was antagonizing the third kid who was not-so-quietly eating his breakfast. So clearly I needed to adjust my plans. Flexibility is necessary.
Pray and ask God to fill you with a desire for His Word and for ways to help you stay in the Scripture daily. You can make excuses about how busy you are, how many kids you have, how close it is to Thanksgiving/Christmas/Festivus and/or the baby is teething. But you and I both know that we always make time for the things we truly want to do.
This isn’t to make you feel guilty; the point is that you cannot leave something this important up to chance or convenience or your mom brain that leaves the coffee cup on top of the car. If we want to stand strong during adversity, then our roots need to be deep enough to keep us upright. Several years ago my family went through some traumatic events that happened in a two week span. I got through that time by reminding myself that God is faithful, that He has us in the palm of His hand, and that His love endures. I need to know His truth so I can repeat it back to myself when things look bleak.
Proverbs 15:14 says, “The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.” Are you seeking knowledge of Him? Or are you distracted with other things? There is no shortage of ways to waste time, especially on the internet. Just yesterday I was on Pinterest, debating if I was emotionally prepared for overalls and flannel shirts to make a comeback. (Why is this happening?!) But this verse is a great reminder to be in the Word daily and not waste our time on junk. It is for our benefit to treasure His Word and fill up the wells of our hearts with hope and wisdom that we can draw on in the hard times.