How does anyone achieve anything great? One word: Discipline. If you want to achieve anything in this world it is going to require discipline and hard work. I am sure you have been told this countless times but it still remains true. You want good marks? Discipline yourself to take great notes and to study daily. You want to succeed at work? Discipline yourself to show up on time, know your job well, and work hard. You want to mature spiritually? Discipline yourself to ...
Obviously our spiritual walks start by accepting an invitation we did not earn and we certainly don't deserve. Jesus invited us into an all encompassing relationship with him that will change us from the inside out. Although we have done nothing to achieve this relationship, there are steps we need to take to grow and mature in this relationship. The first step is to learn.
Learning is an important step in everything. Whether it is education, driving, parenting, work, your spiritual walk, you need to learn to progress. For Christians that includes the disciplines involving the Bible. The entire revelation Yahweh has given us concerning himself is found in the Scriptures so it is vital that we know and understand them. The instruction given to Joshua still holds true for every Christian today:
"Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." (Joshua 1:8)
It is great to talk about it but it won't happen by itself. We need to develop reading, meditating, memorizing and studying the Word. That's right, reading it occasionally is not going to help. That's like showing up for class or work once in a while and thinking you are going to understand everything. The only way to know and understand the Word is to be in the Word "day and night".
Like any discipline, it may be difficult to get going, especially the memorizing part, but once it is going you will discover how much it changes you, and you will long for it. Because of the Spirit using what we learn to form us, there is power in the Word of God. Without it you cannot, I say it again, cannot, develop spiritually. Just remember:
"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me." (John 14:21a)
In our relationship with Jesus, doing is a must. If we do not do then the learning has no value.
So sit down and work out a plan. Decide what you are reading and when. Decide a time to meditate on the Word (yes, it is different from reading and studying). Work out your plan for memorization. There are some excellent apps for your phone. Get involved with a group study and enjoy discussing what you are learning. You need this. Please, trust me on this, you need to do this to see the changes you long for.
Be a disciplined Christian; open your Bible and start today.