Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Stop Wasting Time at Bible Study: Six Ways to Renew Your Mind

My ears perk up every time I hear a new book is being released or there is a new bible study meeting. There is a voice that wants to convince me that I will never be enough and also tries to convince me I need to go to EVERY bible study.

I’ve been there, 12 weeks in bible study and I’m still just impaired as when it began. It’s discouraging and can lead to despair and hopelessness. Why is it working for other people and not me? Do not misunderstand me, there are excellent studies out there, but there are thousands. It is time to be more discerning when jumping on the latest, greatest bible study bandwagon. *Finger pointing at myself here*
A mentor once gave me some good advice: stop doing things that aren’t working. LeeAnne Watkins
Recently, God has been showing me valuable truths that allow me to be transformed by the renewing of my mind and fully engaged with what He is doing and wants to teach me in any given season.

Seek Him

Recently I took a class and cried through the homework and that’s not a bad thing. I had to ask the Lord the hard questions and ask Him to help me stay the course. I asked what He wanted me to get out of it and how to navigate the tough journey. There were a lot of hard things in that class, but the Lord didn’t want me to address all the hard things, at least not all at once.

I tend to read the text and listen to the class discussion, but forget the Lord is very personal and probably has much to say to me on the subject. I need to get time with Him and His Word.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33 ESV
Ditch Expectations

I read the title and mentally prepare a checklist of expectations. How often does God do the obvious thing? No matter what I am studying, lowering expectations and opening my heart to the Lord gives Him the opportunity to move and teach.
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3

Slow Down

I usually learn a lesson and before I have really wrestled with it and spent time evaluating its implication in my life, I try to apply it. Again, this is a great opportunity to ask the Lord what lesson He wants me to learn, how he wants me to apply and if it is for this season? I just need to be still.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!v And see if there be any grievous way in me and lead me in the way everlasting! Psalm 139:23-24
Calculate Investment

Applying myself requires an investment. Whatever investment I am willing to make God will honor and bless, whether it’s time, money or activities. I can enjoy the fruit of the investment here and now, but also know that I am investing in eternity.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:19-20
Be Kind

It is very easy to beat myself up when I read something that points out that a certain way of doing things or behaving may not be the best thing. I’m trying to stop doing that. I can recognize an area of weakness and be kind to myself in the process of overcoming. After all, God is very kind to me, even leading me to repentance.
To acquire wisdom is to love oneself; people who cherish understanding will prosper. Proverbs 19:8
Repeat Material

I just completed a study for the third time. Yes, three times! And you know what I needed it - every. time. The first two times almost seem superficial now, as I see the Lord was dealing with surface stuff to get me to this last round where He went straight for the deeper issues of my heart.
Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. 1 Timothy 4:15-16
After completing the book for the third time I realized how much I had gained and how much value there was in allowing the Lord to slowly and repeatedly work in my heart. It took me that long to fully understand and be persuaded. Honestly, it took that long to weed through the garden of my heart that had been so neglected it left the real issues buried deep.

There is grace and there is hope. He gives us hind’s feet so that we can track with Him, not so we can run ahead and fall off the mountain. Keep in step and trust His leading, He will lead to still waters and restore your soul.
But the modern church has tended to define a disciple as a “doer” instead of as a “learner.” We have been asked to do service projects, join home groups, find an accountability partner, get counseling, fix our marriages, sing on the worship team, get out of debt, help in the nursery, hand out bulletins, go on mission trips, give to the building fund, share the gospel at Starbucks—but we have so rarely been challenged to pursue the most fundamental element of discipleship—earnest study of the Word. Jen Wilkin

No comments:

Post a Comment