Habits of Grace
by Meagan Howard
"The goal in reading the Bible is to see God as so supremely valuable that other things assume their way lower place. Your idolatries fall away, and your obedience becomes driven by what is beautiful." -John Piper
Habit: a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.
The habit of studying the Word of God isn’t always an easy one for me. With a house full of rowdy boys, “quiet times” are few and far between. Carving out even a little time can be a daunting task on most days. I’m learning that I have to be intentional with making it a priority and being ok with it not looking a certain way in this season of life. (As I’m typing this, little fingers are trying their best to get in a tap or two on the keys :).) To be honest, one of the main things that keep me from spending time in the Word is that it makes me uncomfortable before it makes me comfortable. In the intro to the Sermon on her Mount study, Jen Wilkin says, “There is no true knowledge of self apart from the knowledge of God. The knowledge of God leads to true knowledge of self, which leads to repentance and transformation.”
One of my favorite Jen Wilkin quotes is, “The heart can’t love what the mind doesn’t know.” We all know that in order to get to know someone, we have to spend time with them. Ask questions. Listen. The Bible is God’s declared intent to make Himself known to us. The focus must be on God Himself. It isn’t about us, but our obedience to Him (Psalm 19:7).
All of those things take time. Time that we would all say we are short on these days. So many activities pull us in different directions every day. Many times when we read our Bibles, we may not feel like we understand what we are reading or how it applies to our lives. Wilkin encourages us to “allow yourself to feel lost, to dwell in the ‘I don’t know’.” Bible study is for the day-to-day of our lives, but it is also for the long haul. She says, “Faithful study of God’s Word is a means for filling our spiritual storerooms with truth, so that in our hour of need we can bring forth both the old and the new as a source of rich provision.” (Isaiah 40:8, Matthew 24:35)
I encourage you to embrace this study with an eagerness to dive deeper in the Word and grow in your knowledge of Jesus. Don’t give up when you don’t get it done. Come to the study and listen to the video and enjoy the community of other women. My prayer is that, in the next nine weeks, we would intentionally develop the habit of delighting in His Word so much so that it will be hard to give it up.
For more encouragement on spending time in the Word, take some time and listen to this talk by Paige Benton Brown from the Gospel Coalition Conference a few years ago. So good!