Do you know the devo rules?
You need to do them as soon as you wake up so that is the first thing in your mind as you go through your day.
You need to use a bible reading plan so you can get through the bible in a year, or two years.
You need to be in quiet and solitude, so you can focus on the scriptures.
There are a couple more I can think of, and probably several more that you could name for me. But these are probably the most universal rules that we go by to consider the time we have spent in God’s word a quiet time.
I have a different way of doing “Devos”. I have often times, throughout the course of my faith journey, thought I was doing something wrong because I don’t spend time with the Lord the way “they” tell me to.
I am not a morning person at all. Even under normal crazy kids conditions I still cannot spring into action. Everytime I have tried to get up earlier to spend time in the word it has gone terribly. (I have had no small amount of anxiety over never being a Proverbs 31 woman because of that fact by the way. “She rises early” is not a description of me.)
I don’t like bible reading plans. I have done a couple studies and I’m not a huge fan of those either. I have heard that there are some great deep study guides that I have never tried before, so maybe I just haven’t hit on what I like yet. Mostly, I really like to take a chunk, like 3 chapters, and ruminate on them for a while. I also enjoy topical research and systematic study toward knowing God better.
I have finally matured enough to value what I do and not compare it. That’s how come I can write about it and not feel ultra uncomfortable that someone will judge me. I really love God’s Word. So, what do I do for my time in it?
I mostly set aside some time in my day, mid afternoon or evening, when I have most of my stuff done for the day. I’m so much less distracted then!
I have a chunk that I work on at a time. Right now it’s all of Hosea! With a focus on one chapter at a time.
I don’t always actively read. Sometimes I passively meditate on what I have learned. Sometimes I memorize a line at a time. Sometimes I just skip around reading a line here and there that are related in theme, or structure, or voice. Mostly I steep myself in the word, seeking to understand all the levels of literary significance, and the beauty of God’s nature revealed in each word.
I like to spend more time, rather than less. So, the end of the day when all my work is done is the best time for me to focus. I like to understand the overall themes along with the more specifics of the verses. So, the larger groups of text with focus is the best for me to understand it all. I like to feel the words as much as read them, so reading, memorizing, meditation, etc help me to really worship through God’s word.
The moral of this story is I had a lesson to learn about God’s word and how you study it. Right now I’m not even talking about good hermeneutics, which has abounding importance. I’m just referring to the fact that I thought effective bible study only happens under certain circumstances. The ones that make sense to those that write the books. The common ones. But I am comfortable enough now, with my study skills and methods, that I can say with certainty that it doesn’t only happen one way. I worship better when I come before God in a way where my heart and mind are effectively prepared. Thank you God for growing me in wisdom!
He has given us this great gift! May we wait on His leading through it. We are truely like lambs in the pasture of His word.
So, how about you? Do you have a similar study method? Or something that you have always considered odd because it’s not what is presented as the “right” way to study?