With the onset of adulthood I have found I appreciate sleep more and more. It is harder to get out of bed than it was when I knew my early rising meant more time with Legos or Adventures in Odyssey before beginning the day. Under this new sleepiness my daily Bible study has been suffering.
Every night I intend to get up early the next morning, and I set an alarm to match. But invariably, when morning does come, I think about my day’s responsibilities or how I’ve been feeling under the weather lately, and I can always think of a rational reason to stay in bed as long as possible.
But I’ve also noticed that when I don’t read my Bible in the mornings, it doesn’t happen the rest of the day, either. And the lessening of depth and conviction that breeds in my own life isn’t something I want to continue.
The Bible is a gift. The God of the universe shared with us His thoughts and ways through a Book—have we lost that wonder?
“For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).
These are the words of God. They are given to us, but we aren’t passive in this. We must take hold of His worlds and mold our lives around them.
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
A Few Simple Suggestions
So in those hazy mornings when excuses seem louder than my responsibility, I am learning to just do it. And as I continue to rebuild a daily Bible study habit, here are some things that have helped me along the way. You might choose to read at another time of day, or have your own tactics to stay consistent. These are only my ideas for right now in my own life, so whether they are also helpful for you or not, please take them as simply such.
- Plan for success. Get your things—any notebook, highlighter, or coffee cup you may be looking for while you’re still half-asleep. Know where in the Bible you will be reading in tomorrow. Go to bed on time—or earlier, especially while still cementing the habit. Having a plan will not guarantee you will carry it out, but not having a plan pretty much ensures you won’t.
- Pray for strength over sleepiness. A wise older woman (and a giant in the area of Bible study and memorization, no less) once told me to get one leg out of bed and God will get the other one. Some days it’s the other way around. But without the sustaining hand of God we would not even be breathing right now, so why not ask for His assistance in rising early to spend time with Him? He wants to help us. He will.
- Hold yourself to it. As teenagers, some friends of mine started an e-mail group they called The 6:00 Club, and every day they told each other what time they got up that morning. Find that measure of accountability that works for you, and pursue it. Tell a friend, write it down, join a Facebook community. Or tell the Internet about it.
- Remember grace. Jesus died to make us forever perfect in His Father’s eyes, not to give us the ability to act perfect this side of forever. You will miss a day, just like I have missed so many days. Don’t give up and don’t guilt yourself. Just keep going tomorrow.
“I’m tired.” If we’re looking for an excuse, that’ll work as well as any. But it’s just an excuse—an attempt to justify ignoring our responsibility to know the words of our Father. A reason, on the other hand, is a firm and constant truth which stands whether we want it to or not. The God of the Universe wrote a Book and gave it to us. We can find an excuse for every day if the week, but can we seriously think of a solid reason to not study the Word of God on a consistent basis?