Can you imagine having the oxygen to breathe, yet willfully not taking a breath? Or, worse yet, maybe you are being a bit lazy and decide you don’t have the energy to breathe. That would be ridiculous! That is an asinine thought.
Likewise, this is what happens when we willfully reject or lazily neglect reading Scripture. We can’t survive. Don Whitney, author of Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, relays this thought by saying
“There simply is no healthy Christian life apart from a diet of the milk and meat of Scripture.”
As the body of Christ, we need to understand this fact: we will not grow as Christians if we do not consistently read the Bible. To help us understand the brevity, let’s take a look at why reading the Bible on a regular basis is vital for spiritual health.
No Ordinary Book
The Bible is not simply a book. It is also not simply a book written by men. It is a book written by men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write God’s words (2 Tim. 3:16). As Michael Kruger once said: “The Scriptures contain not just the words of human beings but the words of human beings who were called to be God’s mouthpieces” (2 Pet. 1:21). Through human instruments, God wrote down what He wanted to communicate to humanity. Oh, and how amazing that communication was and is!
With this in mind, it should be a daily wake-up call that we don’t stake our spiritual health on any ole’ book. Rather, we stake our spiritual health on the very words of God! Therefore, we should be excited to read the Bible–to hear from God–through the pages of Scripture!
But what about when you know you need to read it, but don’t have an appetite for it? What happens when you’re experiencing the struggle of Romans 7 and can’t seem to immerse yourself in the Bible?
When You Don’t Have an Appetite for Scripture
Make no mistake: when we don’t desire to read Scripture, we are in fact not desiring God, the Author of Scripture. That is the ultimate truth.
However, what do we do when we don’t have an appetite for His Word but know and believe we need it? Think of it this way: you’re sick with the flu, and anything you consume comes back up. You have no appetite, but know you need to nibble on something—what do you do? Saltines! You slowly eat saltines even though you don’t want to.
In the same way, when we don’t have an appetite for the Bible, we need to discipline ourselves to read bits and pieces of it in order for our appetite to grow; when we begin to do that, we will be (spiritually) healthier Christians.
Again, the Scriptures—which the Bible equates to our spiritual food (1 Pet. 2:2)—is also our spiritual oxygen. We need it to survive. When we don’t read it, it’s as if we are refusing to breathe oxygen—spiritual suicide. As humans, breathing the oxygen around us is second nature; likewise, as Christians, reading Scripture should come as natural as breathing. It is as important as breathing.
We are only making ourselves unhealthier as Christians when we—whether deliberately or lazily—neglect to read Scripture. It’s food for the soul. It’s oxygen for our spiritual livelihood. It is a necessity.
Take Up and Read!
Friends, we have in our access the most amazing book ever. We have more Bibles than ever before yet many Christians rarely, if ever, read it. Shame on us! Let us repent of our apathy (or laziness), see the glory of God in the person of Christ shining through the pages of Scripture, and take it up and read!
Soli Deo Gloria