Read Scripture Blog: Week 13

I had heard an interesting tip for reading the Bible a few weeks ago that I wanted to share with you. It may not be a suggestion that will work for everyone, but I wanted to throw it out there to see if it might be helpful for you!
 
The idea is simple, but I think it has some Biblically grounded principles within it that have made me reflect on when and how I read the Bible. The tip was this – to eat your spiritual food before you take in your natural food. Simply put, do your readings before you eat. I thought the idea was intriguing because it essentially becomes a type of short-term fasting.
 
The intentional abstinence from food creates the mentality of a fast, and so a dedication to that fast creates an urgency to meet with God – the purpose that all fasts are meant to perform. This abstinence from our physical, natural food also demonstrates a control over our own body and desires that is reflective of true service to God. Idolatry is rooted in the lack of self control, and so practicing self-control enables us to take the focus off ourselves and place it intentionally on the one who deserves our full attention.
 
The idea definitely has a lot of merit to me, so I wanted to share it with you. Now I realize right off the bat that it may not be the best for everyone, since people may read at different times. If you read late at night and practice this type of ‘fasting’ then you might never eat again! I also recognize personally that, because I don’t eat breakfast on a regular basis, my reading in the mornings. While technically abiding by this idea, isn’t truly accomplishing anything because effectively, nothing has changed.
 
But I thought by sharing this idea with you that some of you may want to try it! I think this tip is most effective when you may have a desire to read but seem to not find the time, or if you wanted to be more focused on what God wants to say to you in your readings. If you read in the mornings, at lunch time, or in the afternoon, think about intentionally delaying your meal for the sake of spending that time with God in your reading.
 
It’s also a worthwhile endeavor to ask yourself if you would be willing to take on an intentional ‘fast’ like this one, because it serves as a ‘gut check’. If the immediate heart-response is “No”, then asking yourself, “Why?”, can be a helpful evaluation. There may be selfish motives or a “slavery to the belly that might need to be addressed. This is one of the reasons that regular fasting is meant to be a part of our everyday lives as followers of Christ.
 
Whatever you decide to do between you and God, I pray that, at the very least, this tip might challenge you to think about your reading in a different way. I think that it can change the way we think about when, how or even where we read the Bible, and that assessment can be helpful to our spiritual growth in the Lord. But see what you think!