open your bible!
So having prayed to God, your next step is to actually open the Bible and read what He Says. Now you can choose to open your Bible to any random passage and just read whatever your eyes see. However, if you are new to reading The Word or if you are trying to include your family or group, you should begin with The Proverbs or The Parables in the four gospels.
To some degree, though, it doesn’t really matter what passage you open your Bible to. In fact, whenever you open your Bible, there are three important things you must do:
- The obvious, you must open The Bible.
- You must open your mind and heart to God’s Word.
- You must listen to God’s Story and silence the world’s story.
Let’s unpack this a little. When you open The Bible, God’s Word Speaks to you. But can you hear Him when your ears are closed? Of course not. Therefore, you must not only open The Bible. You must also open your heart and mind to hear what God Says.
But even if your ears are fully open, it is impossible to hear when the room is full of noise. Similarly, you cannot hear God Speaking when your heart and mind are full of noise. In practice, this means you can’t read The Bible while browsing instagram or texting your best friend. Put away any immediate distraction. It’s just noise that keeps you from hearing God.
Beyond these immediate distractions, you also have to close your ears to general worldly cacophony. You may not notice, but like the adulterous woman in Proverbs 7:10, the world is constantly telling stories that are contrary to God’s Word. For example, God Says, “Thou shall not commit adultery.” However, you can’t hear this command when your mind is full of movies and music that glorify people happily cheating on their husbands. God Says, “If you love me you will obey my commandments”. But the prophets of the world write books and articles saying that love is about “following your heart” and doing whatever you feel. When these worldly ideas and thoughts fill your mind, you won’t be able to hear God Speak. Therefore, you must close your ears to them. Stop watching bad TV shows. Stop listening to music that doesn’t glorify God. Distance yourself from ungodly voices in your life.
No matter what passage you choose to read, opening God’s Word will be useless unless you open yourself to God’s Word. Open your mind and heart to hear what God Says. Close your mind and heart to distractions and worldly ideas. You do not open The Bible with your hands alone. We can sum this all up by saying: “You can only open The Bible by opening yourself to God’s Word and closing yourself to the world.” Or to quote Paul:
“For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified … 5 so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” - 1 Corinthians 2:2, 5“But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” - Galatians 6:14