This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to meditate on it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do. Joshua 1:8 CSB
We need to listen to God when reading our Bibles. How do we do that? Read on and I will show you how…
For the sake of time, there are a few assumptions I am going to make. First, I am assuming that you have found a version of the Bible that you can really connect with. There is no sense struggling along with a version you can’t understand. Secondly, I am also assuming that you are reading your Bible prayerfully. You are really not going to get very far unless you are connected with the Author of the Book. Thirdly, I am also making the assumption that you have some sort of journal (electronic or paper) where you record your interactions with the Lord. All three of these things are vital to what I am about to share with you.
As you prayerfully begin to read your Bible, read until something catches your eye. It could be a word, a sentence, or an entire verse. When this happens, people often say that something “leaped off the page at them.” When that happens, you need to stop right there. You have just discovered the passage where God is seeking to speak to you.
This is where we really need to listen closely. Read the passage again and again, seeking to drink in its contents. The Scriptures call this process meditation. Meditating on the Word of God is simply the process of listening closely to what God is saying to us through His Book. This was what the Lord was asking Joshua to do in the verse quoted above. He didn’t want him to simply read the text, He also wanted Joshua to hear what the text was saying to him. You want to continue this meditation process until it becomes clear what the Lord is trying to communicate to you.
Once you have grasped what the Lord is saying to you, you need to record it in your journal. It’s been my experience too many times that what I don’t record I don’t remember. Put the date, the passage reference, and what the Lord has shown you. Now you can reflect on it more throughout your day, possibly even recording additional insights. You also have something you can share with others, especially if you are ever called on to provide a devotional. Now you will have plenty to share right at your fingertips.
At this point, someone may ask the question, “How does this go along with the speed reading you spoke of in a previous post? Isn’t this more of a slow and reflective exercise?” That’s a great question, and the answer is very simple. If you do your speed reading prayerfully, the Holy Spirit can cause something to catch your eye. When that happens, you can respond in one of two ways. You can stop and listen to what the Lord is saying before reading further. You can also make a note of the reference and go back to it later. Whichever works best for you is fine.
I have used this method of hearing God is the Scriptures for several decades. I have journals filled with insights the Lord has given me over the years. This method has greatly enriched my life in my journey toward living in the Reign.