“I don’t feel like it today.”
The whisper leaves my lips as I struggle to understand what I’m really saying.
“I don’t want to pray right now.”
It’s shameful to admit. When feelings drive me toward to a place of deception and poor judgment.
“I don’t want to read my Bible today.”
I’ve felt that feeling all too often. Now, let me get things straight before I say something I don’t mean.
I love my Bible. I love the comfort and inspiration and peace and hope it brings me.
But after reading it so many times, believe me, it’s familiar. All too familiar, sometimes, that I can easily become numb to its power.
“I don’t feel like reading it today.”
I want to read my other book, tweet, watch that Netflix show, finish up that paper I need to write.
I want to text my friend, not read that Book that I’ve held in my small hands so many times.
Not strain my eyes to read through the highlighted text and scribbled notes I’ve made in the margins. Not flip through the crinkling pages and see the bleeding ink.
We’ve all felt it.
It’s a real sensation. The lack of longing for scripture, the disappearance of zeal for God’s Word.
That’s why we don’t base faith on our feelings. We don’t base how much we believe in God’s power by the feelings that make us want to read the Bible. They’re not always there.
It’s not something we’ll always long for, and it’s not unusual to experience the lack of fervor for reading the Bible.
It’s not unusual to desire something a little more entertaining. Something new and fresh. Something aesthetically pleasing.
A few weeks back, I write the post “When Fiction Seems Cooler Than Jesus.” It was much of a rhetorical post, not preaching that we shouldn’t have fiction in our lives, but that we should ask ourselves why we like them more than the Bible, at times.
But what I failed to mention is that the Bible is not just another form of entertainment. It is the Holy Word of God. His breath into our hearts. The way He communicates with us. Therefore – we cannot compare the Bible to anything else in the world.
It’s one of a kind. The literal breath of God so easily accessible to us; bound-up pieces of paper we hold in our hands.
Friends, that’s beautiful. I know, I understand when it doesn’t feel “enjoyable” to just sit down and take in the Bible. I get it when we’ve had a long, intellectual day and the last thing we want to do is pick up another nonfiction book.
But we can’t compare it to a sermon, or a Christian living book, or even blogs such as this one.
Because the Bible has innate, indescribable, marvelous power.
Power to discern thoughts and actions. Power to heal. Power to speak. Power to save. Power that only God can provide.
I don’t mean that magic pours out of the pages, or that glitter’s just waiting to explode from the binding. I don’t mean that every verse is an “ah-ha!” moment, because it’s not. Yet every piece of the Bible fits together in the way only it can – for only the Bible is life-transforming.
I won’t deny that other books affect us. I’ve read a handful of books that have literally changed my life and the path I’m on now. (I’m not kidding. Click on this link HERE to find the book that made me a YA bookworm, wanna be a writer, an editor, and a blogger. Then buy it HERE.)
But no other book can save. No other book can give hope like the Bible can. No other book can bring such peace; that peace we find in trusting God’s wisdom.
I love this verse from John 6:63; Jesus says this.
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”
The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
Not entertainment. Really, that shouldn’t be what we’re looking for in the Bible. Because yes, the Bible can entertain, but that’s not its purpose.
In it, we find peace. We find God’s love. His power. His compassion. Strength. Hope. Joy. Grace.
Not just something to fill the time, but something transforming – something that makes us whole.
“Feeling like it” doesn’t have anything to do with our faith. Faith is something we put effort into in order to grow.
And the first step to that is seeing the Bible as more than something to put on the coffee table, more than just that “leather-bound-book that I’ll get around to one of these days.”
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
The Bible is alive.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”
The Bible is literally what God has spoken.
Instead of seeing it as just one more thing to add to our busy lives, why don’t we let our lives be built around it? Busyness and all.
That’s what faith’s about, anyway.