How do you determine your priorities? Are you choosing them, or are they choosing you? When we prioritize, we set things in place by ranking what is most important. It is not hard to verbally declare our value for something. However, it can be challenging to demonstrate our values through our actions. What we genuinely value will consistently be shown in the priorities we practice.
How often have you heard people say, "The Word of God is the most important thing in my life." It makes you stop and wonder how many people make the Word of God the most important thing in their lives based on their daily activities' priorities. It's not that we are trying to lie to ourselves or mislead anyone else, but sometimes it feels hard to carry out this high priority. It can seem so lofty that it is unattainable. We are negligent; there's not enough time in the day, and on and on, we can't seem to consistently do the one thing that is most important to us.
But the good news is that God never judges us when we miss the mark. He does not scold us as if we are bad children. Lovingly, He provides us with grace to help navigate life and re-adjust our priorities to reflect His divine will for us.
In our fast-paced lifestyle, we will need to be creative when prioritizing our engagement with God's Word. Simply put, we will have to plan for it. Everyone gets the same 24 hours a day. If we allocate our time with God first, everything else will fall into place around our prioritizing of time dedicated to God. Here are some practical tips we can implement without any significant prep work.
Hear the Word of God daily.
With all of the technology resources available to us, we can nearly instantly access hearing the Word of God through Bible audio apps, podcasts, YouTube, and other digital platforms. We know from Romans 10:17, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." One of the ways we can prioritize God's Word is to choose to listen to it. This may happen as we get ready for work in the morning while driving in the car or as part of our bedtime routine. You can also play a Bible reading track and follow along with your Bible in hand. The more we hear scripture, the more familiar we become with it, and the more it will become a part of our vernacular.
Recite scripture to commit to memory.
Growing up in Sunday School, you may remember something called "Scripture memory verse," where you had to recite it at the beginning and end of class. I know this may sound farfetched to consider, but what if we lived in a world where there were no longer printed Bibles available? Would we have enough of God's holy, precious words inscribed on the tablets of our hearts to cling to? Psalm 119:11 declares, "I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." Oh, to treasure God's Word so much that we prioritize committing it to memory.
Choose a personal Bible reading plan.
Reading the Bible does not have to be intimidating or complicated. The key is finding or developing the right plan that fits our needs. Consider reading one book at a time, one chapter a day. From one day's reading, you could center your prayer time, zoom in on a Scripture passage for moments of meditation, or choose one word to focus on as the overall theme from your reading. Reading the Bible is not the same as studying the Bible. It is a quicker way to interact with scripture and still encounter the presence of God, alive and active within us. Psalm 119:18 is an excellent Scripture to pray each time we approach Bible reading. It says, "Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law."
Journal your experiences with the Word of God.
There is something special about writing down our Bible notes and writing out scriptures. Yes, of course, we all have our electronic devices we can just as readily use to take notes. Whatever appeals to you, do it so that you are interacting with the word.
Journaling is a beautiful way to record our revelations and reflections from our time engaged with the Bible. The key insights we receive from God can be captured in the stroke of a pen or clicking of the keys. Psalm 119:93 tells us, "I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life." God's word is our lifeline. When we write things down, we are more inclined to remember them.
Journaling can be incorporated over a series of Bible readings. Don't feel rushed to get it all done in one sitting. Maybe you can start by setting a timer and journal a little at a time for a predetermined amount of time. Or perhaps you may choose to journal at certain checkpoints as you read to ensure you are fully taking in the information. There is no one correct way to journal, so don't be afraid to try it. Remember, it's not about how long or how much you can write, but what you receive by inspiration from the Holy Spirit through the experience.
It would help if you also considered studying in a community with other believers. This is not to suggest studying the Bible with other people replaces your study time. Although, one sure advantage to studying scripture in a community is that it provides accountability.
As we endeavor to prioritize the Word of God with prominence, it comes down to ensuring we are giving God His due attention and our time. We will have to make time for the word, but it is worth our effort. These tips are strategies that we can utilize in about thirty minutes daily and help us intentionally prioritize God's Word. They can be implemented immediately, and there is no time like the present.