Prayer is a spiritual discipline that most Christians are familiar with but most of us are frustrated with at times. Why don’t Christians pray more? We don’t know how. If you didn’t grow up in church, or even if you did, praying can be incredibly intimidating, especially if you grew up in a formal church where the pastor […]
9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
12 Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees.
13 With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.
14 I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.
15 I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.
16 I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. Psalm 119:9-16
In these verses in Psalm 119 we see eight different ways to consume God’s Word. Each is a different path to the same outcome: ensuring that God’s Word transforms the way you think and the way you live. Here are the eight ways:
1. Choose to consume the Word (v. 10). As simple as this sounds, consuming the Word starts with a choice. It starts with intentionality. If you fail to plan you plan to fail. Be intentional. Make a choice. Resolve within yourself to begin consuming the Word on a regular basis. It will never happen by accident. You have to choose to do it.
2. Be teachable (v. 12). A huge hurdle for many Christians is a teachable spirit. Many choose not to consume the Word because they’re not ready to change their life. They’re not ready to repent of sins. They’re not ready to give full control over to God. Consuming the Word will transform you, and if you’re not willing and ready to embrace that, then don’t even start.
3. Speak the Word (v. 13). Find ways to speak the Word out loud throughout the day. On the way to work, while in the car line, speak the Word of God out loud. Most of the original audiences of the Bible heard it spoken rather than read it for themselves. It will give you a different perspective to speak the Word and hear your own voice recounting it.
4. Meditate on the Word (v. 15). Take a passage of Scripture that’s particularly meaningful or a passage that’s you want deeper understanding on and meditate on it. Camp out there. Study it. Ask others about what they think it means. Read online commentaries about that passage. Choose one patch of Scriptural ground and dig until you’ve unearthed every treasure that passage contains.
5. Memorize the Word (v. 11). When you meditate on a passage, you’ll find that you’re beginning to memorize it. Finish that process and memorize the Word. That will allow you to meditate on Scripture even when you don’t have a Bible with you. When you store God’s Word in your head and your heart, it begins to transform you from the inside out.
6. Rejoice in the Word (v. 14). As odd as this might sound, find ways to rejoice in the Word. Camp out there long enough where Bible reading seems less like eating vegetables and more like eating desserts. When you learn to attach joy to the commands of Scripture, you’re lining up your heart and will under the will of God and you’re allowing yourself to be consumed (in a good way) by the Word.
7. Obey the Word (v. 9). You can’t consume the Word without obeying it. Sooner or later, the words of God need to affect how you live. When you begin to obey the commands of Scripture, you move from reading the Word to consuming the Word, because you’ve allowed the Word of God to transform your lifestyle. Do you want an easy eye test to see whether someone is consuming the Word or simply reading it? Look at how they live. Are they obeying the Word or not?
8. Make it a long-term habit (v. 16). Consuming the Word isn’t a two-week cleanse, it’s a long-term lifestyle. Progress is measured in months and years, not hours and days. You have to develop perseverance to make consuming the Word a long-term habit. Think of planting a tree. The fruit will come, but it won’t be instant. You have to persevere and turn consuming the Word into a long-term habit.