By now, Christians actively seeking spiritual growth in their personal lives would know that somethings that aid this are non-negotiable. Disciplines like bible study, prayer, fasting, abstinence, etc.
As you grow, the Holy spirit opens you to more that would facilitate your growth further. The above mentioned are not the only disciplines needed for spiritual growth, majority of them are even more idiosyncratic depending on individual, so the key really is to stay sensitive. As part of my own personal growth, things like TV had to go, some social meetups without any concrete value also had to go, and recently God told me to scrap a fun game I often play with my friends, He showed me something it was building in my subconscious that I didn’t even know about.
So yes, majority of the disciplines that you will build for spiritual growth would be more personal and individualistic than general and popular like the prayer and bible study we often hear about.
For this post, I will focus on bible study, which is something that some Christians find so boring. The issue around it is usually, “how do I read the bible effectively?” I made a post on Foch woman Instagram page on this and I probably will do another one on the blog as I am led.
But I discovered something with bible study which made it all the more important that believers should not just be reading the bible, but should be reading it effectively.
It is not about how much of it you’re able to quote or write, but really about how much of it has been formed in you. I’ve met Christians who have read the bible cover to cover and spending few moments with them reveal basic character flaws that should have been eliminated by just mere fact of seeing it spoken against in the bible. This goes to show that your pursuit in your bible study should be less about volume and quantity, but more on quality, formation and understanding.
There’s a high likelihood that you won’t forget something that is formed in you by the Holy Spirit, but you can easily forget something you cram by simply saying it out enough times.
The bible is such a robust book, so many accounts and summaries, personally, I find I enjoy more the stories in the old testament and the epistles in the new testament, but in studying the bible, I’ve seen that knowledge must also inform our study of the bible, I’ve identified popular doctrines in the church today that are taught to believers that were actually addressed to unbelievers in the bible. I have heard believers quote scriptures from the bible that was not to be taken for us, but used as a resource to help reach unbelievers.
I’ve seen that because most believers have learnt things so randomly in the bible, they also teach and preach the things so randomly, but we see in the bible, that there was a system, a kind of chronology with various things like salvation, repentance, faith, baptism, spiritual gifts, etc. Most believers don’t have a sequence to their revelation knowledge and this has caused a mix and match of true but misinterpreted scriptures.
This is why effective bible study is important, random reading of the bible could throw a person in more confusion than they even had before they started reading. Some believers are also in churches where there is only preaching, not necessarily teaching and it shows because members now go around quoting the Pastors themselves and not the bible from their own personal study. Jesus preached and He also taught and Matthew 9:35 is a scripture that shows us that;
And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. – Matthew 9:35
Teaching and preaching are not the same thing and usually, it is with teaching that we will learn and grow spiritually.
Bible study is a given for any person who loves God, because God’s love language is obedience and obedience to His word, but we cannot obey a word that we do not even know, hence why bible study is pertinent. But there must be a sequence to our revelation which must be Holy Spirit inspired.
It is the same way one cooks, you don’t just throw all the ingredients in at once and leave on fire. A good cook knows that some ingredients go in well before the others and failure to do this produces a result that is not palatable. It is same with our spiritual food. Everything does not go in at once. The balanced diet will come by measured and sequential steps which God directs us in.
I know this blog-post has been more informative than instructive and how-to, so I’ll follow it up with a blog-post on how to read the bible effectively and also how to ensure that you’re in a community where teaching is just as present as preaching, as the two matter to a large degree to ensure your overall growth as a believer.