Have you ever been through a season of life where you just don’t feel like reading the Bible?
“Come all you weary, Come all you thirsty, Come to the well, That never runs dry, Drink of the water, Come and thirst no more.” ~ "God So Loved" by: We the Kingdom
Or maybe you feel like God’s presence is absent? If you’re not going through it currently, chances are you will go through it at some point. The truth is, we aren’t always going to “feel like it." So, what do we do when that happens? How do we prepare for and push through this?
Before anything, we should pray. Open up with the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) or speak from what is on your heart. And remember that as a believer, you can rest knowing that God will never leave or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6). Ask the Lord to increase your faith (Luke 17:5) and to fill you with His spirit so your eyes are open to His presence that never left. Thank Jesus that because of His sacrifice on the cross and taking our place, we will not have to face abandonment from God. Bask in this! Do you pray from a position of knowing how much you’ve already received?
Here are four ways you can prepare and push through the "I don't feel like it" moments:
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 (NIV)
"Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms." Psalm 95:2 (AMP)
Thank Him for all that He has done for you. Thank Him for His sovereignty, acknowledge that He holds the days of your life in His hands. He is trustworthy. He is faithful. In every situation we are to give thanks, for this is His will for us (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Thank Him and watch your crushed spirit move to a cheerful heart, a heart that glorifies our Father (Psalm 69:30). Let thankfulness be the medicine to your soul (Proverbs 17:22).
2. Worship music
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.” Acts 16:25-26 (NIV)
What if on the other side of your praise and worship were chains coming loose? For you! For your family! For your friend! We will not fully understand the power of our worship until we get to heaven, but we might as well see a glimpse now. How wonderful!
Let your worship be louder than your worries. Set your eyes on the Creator and forget the problems of the world. Get in your car, turn on worship music, and go for a ride. Blare it on your kitchen radio. Lay in bed and play music from your phone. Get into the presence of God and watch how God moves in your heart, mind, and life.
3. Read and pray through the Psalms
If you have no words to pray, don’t worry. Don’t let yourself get stuck here. For one: "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans” (Romans 8:26). He isn’t waiting for you to have the perfect words. He is a good Father, and beyond that—He is your Heavenly Father and knows everything that is on your mind anyway.
But also, we have prayers written throughout scripture to use as our prayers. Start in Psalm 1 and make your way to the end. Borrow words and faith from David. Notice how even in the depths of sorrow, he still shouts praise to God. Let this lead you. Be encouraged! When you feel sorrow, hard-hearted, or numb, God can give you a heart of flesh and renew your spirit (Ezekiel 36:26).
4. Don’t give up
If we continue to wait for the “feeling” to get into our Bible or to pray or to serve or to give, we could find ourselves in a constant state of waiting. If we finally sit down to read our Bibles, quickly get discouraged, and then stop, what discipline and steadfastness are we building within us? Do we only do what we do for what we instantaneously receive, or are we doing it knowing the good work and roots its producing in us (1 Corinthians 15:58)? As the heroes of the faith did, we have assurance about what we don’t see yet. We have confidence in what we hope for (Hebrews 11:1-2).
"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you." Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)
Perfect peace is on the other side of your steadfastness and trust in Jesus.
And last, be flexible to where the Holy Spirit is leading. If you’re straining to focus in on what you’re reading in the Bible, get up, throw on some worship music, and commit to not ceasing your praise until your heart is in a position of receiving what God wants to speak through His Word. Let the Holy Spirit guide you. He is faithful. Don’t give up on Him, for He will never give up on you. Cling to Him and His promises (Joshua 23:8).
Keep knocking. Keep sowing. Keep going. Stand firm.
"For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does." Psalm 33:4 (NIV)
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