3 Strategies for Seeing the Word of God Come Alive for YOU
Thank you for embarking on this journey of discovery and life with us. By putting action to your hunger for more of God’s Word, you will see it come alive in your life – we can guarantee it! And when our lives are compelled by and filled up with truth from the Bible, everything changes.
David and I have grown in our love for and dependence on God’s Word for several years. But it wasn’t until we went through the unexpected experience with amnesia that we truly saw how alive, powerful, and real it is for us today. David couldn’t remember anything from the past 8-13 years during the “amnesia season” – he didn’t remember that he was a pastor, he didn’t remember his home or even some of our friends and family. BUT! – he remembered the Word of God, could quote it, and was driven by it as if he had never had amnesia.
We learned a powerful lesson – the Word of God is so alive and supernatural that it lodges in a place within our spirit that can never be taken away! It’s eternal; it sinks down deep into our soul and transcends memory. Truly, we can affirm the validity of Hebrews 4:12 (ESV)
For the word of God is living and active,
sharper than any two-edged sword,
piercing to the division of soul and of spirit,
of joints and of marrow,
and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
We are now on a quest to help others, just like you!, learn to hide God’s Word deep in your heart and watch it transform everything.
For more of the story, you’ll want to check out our book, One Thing Remains: One Couple’s Traumatic Encounter with Amnesia and Their Life-Changing Journey to Restoration, available on Amazon.
Let’s start with 3 powerful strategies we know will assist you in seeing the Word of God come ALIVE in your life!
We’re sure you’ve heard the phrase, “What you feed, grows.” It’s a no-brainer that if you want to grow in an area, you’ve got to give it attention. It’s no different when it comes to the study of God’s Word. If you want to grow in your knowledge and use of this tool, you’ve got to spend time studying it!
Yet, what we’ve discovered in our own life and those we work with, is that getting to a point of having a consistent, uninterrupted, meaningful devotional life is not easy. Every single distraction and challenging thought process is going to attempt to derail you from this goal. Maybe you’ve heard a convicting sermon and are motivated to start your own quiet time on Monday…. The spark for God’s Word is growing and you’re so excited about getting started. But then….
- You got a phone call from a friend late Sunday night and by Monday morning, you’re too tired to get up early.
- One of the kids or dogs was up throughout the night and you’ve got to grab a few extra zzz’s instead of getting up early to be in God’s Word.
- An unexpected work project demands more of your time.
- You have a headache and can’t concentrate.
- You have one of these thoughts:
- “I don’t have a clue what I’m reading.”
- “I don’t have a Bible degree – how am I supposed to figure this out on my own?”
- “God really doesn’t want to spend time with me after all the (fill in the blank) things I’ve done in my past.”
- “My spouse is gonna totally make fun of me for getting up to read the Bible.”
- “Who do I think I am – a goody two shoes?”
- “I don’t know where to start, so why even try?”
- “I think I’ll just take a walk or drink my coffee and enjoy the quiet morning.”
- “I’ll just read a verse in a devotional book and call it a day. That’s better than nothing, right?”
Do any of those circumstances or thoughts sound familiar? You’re not alone – we all battle them. We believe that because the enemy knows the time with God and His Word are some of the most important ways we could ever spend our time, he’s going to pull out all the stops to prevent us from making the effort to do it. Once you agree to be a student of God’s Word and see it come alive in your life, you become a target for the enemy’s tricks.
Thankfully, we don’t wrestle with flesh and blood (Eph 6:12) and we have weapons that actually work against the advances and deceptions of the enemy – now is the time to use them! (See Ephesians 6 for the list of weapons you have at your disposal!)
So once you’ve committed to making time with God a daily priority and you recognize the thoughts and distractions for what they are and you’ve fought through… now what?
Here are some tips for making this daily sacred time special:
- Set aside the same time every day
- Have a place that’s already set up for your quiet time (so you don’t have to put the area together daily; that’s just another obstacle for the enemy to use)
- Remove all distractions
- Have a Bible that’s easy to understand (we like English Standard Version)
- Have a plan for study!
- Ask an accountability partner to check in with you every day to encourage you in this priority.
- Learn How to Apply What You Read to Your Life
We believe that, because God’s Word is living and active, it has the power to speak directly to you as you study it. Eternal truths can leap off the page for you and start a transformation process in your heart and mind. We want to empower you to study the Bible independently, understand what you read and apply it to your life. This can be done! With the Holy Spirit inside of you, you have everything you need to be a successful student of God’s Word.
James 1:22-24 speaks to this concept of not reading but not applying the Word of God.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer,
he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in the mirror.
For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
Learning to apply God’s Word is a skill that we develop and over time, we become more adept at it, just like any skill in life we devote ourselves to. Please don’t feel like you have to be a Bible scholar from the beginning! That’s an unrealistic expectation; for the rest of our lives, we will be learning and growing and seeing new insights in the Scriptures. It’s such an exciting journey!
Here are some tips to help you apply God’s Word to your life:
- Pray before you read. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you one thing in your reading that can speak to your heart or your situation. God loves to answer this specific prayer for those who are seeking Him wholeheartedly. (Jeremiah 29:13)
- Be in the right mindset to study – removing distractions, setting your heart, preparing the area. Come seeking and hungry!
- Have a Bible that’s easy to understand, like the ESV.
- Look up the original meanings of words in the Greek or Hebrew language. We like the Teracarta App for this!
- Ask questions about what you read. It’s ok if the answers don’t come to you right away.
- Don’t skim a large portion of Scripture just to say you’ve read a bunch that day. Less is more, if it’s understood and applied!
- Journal your thoughts, prayers, questions that arise as you read a passage.
God’s Word is like a treasure chest – and we believe there is so much richness and life contained within the pages of Scripture, that we will spend all of eternity uncovering its vast truths and treasures! It should never grow old or dull for us, as it is the living, breathing love letter from God the Father to us.
Thankfully, we weren’t meant to live life or study God’s Word in isolation. Many times in the Scriptures, we see groups of people getting together to read the Word and pray together. This is such an important aspect of our Christian life that we can’t miss! In fact, we have received some of the most life-changing insights from the Word of God as we listened to others share what God is teaching them.
Community is essential. The church is absolutely necessary, no matter what is happening in the culture at that time. Just like the enemy attacks us for trying to get closer to God and His Word, he attempts to keep us from gathering together with believers. A quick glance at our current world situation will reveal this insight. We’ve got to cling to the instruction found in Hebrews 10:25 (ESV)
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some,
but encouraging one another,
and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Did you catch that phrase, “all the more as you see the Day drawing near”? As we get nearer to the Lord’s return, we have to increase the priority of meeting together with other believers! It’s so important.
The potential concern with group Bible studies is people starting to share their opinions versus everyone looking intently at what the Word actually says. Be wary of joining a group where the participants start most sentences with, “I feel” or “I think” or “My opinion is….” We want to have confidence about what God’s Word is saying and not base our theology on our opinions. Now – we know that we don’t have all the answers all the time and that’s ok! That’s why we need each other. But if we realize we don’t know something, we need to dig into God’s Word to find the answers and pray for Him to reveal truth.
The Early Church met in each other’s homes daily for fellowship, eating together, prayer and the study of God’s Word (Acts 2:42). This practice greatly increases our faith and understanding of God’s Word.
We recommend having a Bible study accountability partner to meet with often and share Scripture discussions with each other. We also recommend joining some type of Bible study group. And of course, the need to be a part of a thriving, Bible-believing and preaching church is imperative.
We need each other – talking and working through Scripture passages together helps us with understanding the Word, remembering it, applying it and living it out.
This is just the start, but it’s a good start if you want to see the Word of God start to come alive in your life. For more information and resources, visit us at davidandshannoncarroll.com – and be on the lookout for our upcoming course, where we walk WITH you as you see God’s Word truly come alive and start to transform everything!