The people on the street crowded in tight around us. They stretched out their arms desperately wanting to snag a copy for themselves. They displayed a hunger for God’s Word I’d never seen before. In just a few hectic days, our short-term mission team gave away 10,000 Bibles to the spiritually hungry citizens of Moscow.
That was September 1991, roughly two weeks after an attempted coup in the USSR. Bible distribution in the Soviet Union had been limited and closely monitored for nearly a century. Only a relative few enjoyed the privilege of owning a Bible. But countless others longed for one.
Do you hunger for God’s Word like that? If you didn’t have a Bible would you stand in a line for hours to possess one?
Whether or not we acknowledge the source of our hunger, we humans long to connect with our Creator, to intimately know the God of the universe. God satisfies this spiritual hunger of our souls through His inspired Word. He reveals Himself, His character, and His ways in the Bible.
We Crave What We Eat
When we limit our intake of Scripture, our desire diminishes. But the more we feed on God’s Word, the more our appetite will increase. God Himself will grow our hunger if we step our in obedience to foster it. At first, this may mean more discipline than desire. But if we faithfully pursue a regular time in God’s Word, the Holy Spirit will bless our obedience with a passion for Scripture. Soon our discipline will give way to desire.
My love affair with chocolate helps me understand this phenomenon. The more I indulge in its dark, creamy sweetness, the more of it I want. But the opposite is also true. The more I deprive myself of enjoying this special treat, the less I think about it.
3 Steps to Foster Our Hunger for God’s Word
These three steps will get us started in the right direction on an ongoing journey to deepen our desire for feasting on God’s Word and experiencing the glorious benefits.
- Make a Commitment – Yes, making a commitment to be in the Bible regularly and sticking to it will be hard, especially at first. It requires discipline and sacrifice. You may have to adjust your schedule or give up something, but the benefits are eternally great. (Quiet Time Tips) Also, give yourself some grace. If you miss a day or two – or more – start again.
- Develop a Plan – A haphazard approach to Bible intake will yield haphazard results. Time in the Bible should be planned and purposeful. Choose a reading plan that will be challenging but not overwhelming. If you don’t already read your Bible several times a week, don’t try to tackle the “Read the Whole Bible in a Year” plan. Evaluate where you are now and select a plan that is a step beyond that. Many plans schedule five days of reading a week, which gives you two days to “catch up.” I occasionally have days when I let life take over and miss my time with God. You will too.
- Savor & Soak – Like a slow, steady rain on parched ground, taking our time as we read God’s Word can give its truths time to penetrate the hard crust of our hearts. “Slow” does not mean “less frequently.” Slow refers to our approach. Instead of continuing our often fast-paced, surface reading of God’s Word, let’s take the time to seriously contemplate what God is saying to us through His Word. Pick a reading plan that will work for the amount of time you have each day. In addition to reading God’s Word, we can also meditate on it, allow it to prompt prayer, pray it back to God, and memorize it.
Do you long to long for God’s Word? Give God the opportunity to create that hunger in you. Make a commitment. Develop a plan. Savor and Soak!
Where are you in your journey with a love affair with God’s Word? Does it still feel like discipline? Can you just not get enough? Or are you somewhere in between?