What does your time with God look like? Not your going to and fro, spinning from one thing to the next, hands in the dish water, reading with your kids, throwing in a load of laundry, making meals for your family…kind of time. No, I’m talking about your quiet time. I know. Finding time isn’t always easy, but we must MAKE intentional time to spend with God.
I’ve found over the years that if I’m ever going to make the most of my quiet time, I need to have a game plan. I’m not talking about putting God in a box here, only that I want to be wise with the precious quiet time I do have with Him. And of all the methods and ways I’ve tried to study Scripture, the one thing that remains for me is this. I love God’s Word…literally LOVE it. But I didn’t know how much I loved it, until I began studying it verse by verse. And this is when God’s Word, His Love letter to the world, came alive in my heart and ignited a passion and drive in me to live a more devotional life…with the help of Jesus, of course.
How I study God’s Word
Often I will have a topic in mind that I’m studying or a book/bible study that I’m reading that points me to various Scriptures. And after going back over my notes one day, I realized that there was a pattern to the way I broke the verses down, soaked them in and prayed through them.
And an acronym was born: W.O.R.D.
W. Write the Word: Anytime I’m reading Scripture and I’m wanting to really study it, I write it down in my journal. There’s s something about seeing God’s Word in your own handwriting that’s pretty powerful. It’s a reminder that God’s Word was written for each one of us. So, write those verses down.
O. Observe the Word: This is where I dissect and write down everything I notice about each verse. I may even write it down in bullet point fashion while prayerfully asking God to reveal His Truth in each verse. I love going as deep as I can with each verse, so I will usually compare a few different Bible versions (on my iPhone using YouVersion) to gain deeper meaning. I read all the study notes and cross references in my favorite Life Application Study Bible.
R. Respond to God’s Word: Once I’ve gained a fuller knowledge of the Truth by studying it from many angles, then I know it’s time for me to respond. I ask God to show me HOW I can apply what I’ve learned to my own life. Are there any changes I need to make, habits I need to break, idols that I’ve set up that need torn down? Is there a stronghold that needs to be surrendered, a person I need to forgive or ask forgiveness of? How does God want me to respond? This is usually where my written prayer begins as I journal through these questions to God and then respond to His prompting and nudging in my heart.
D. Determine to live in God’s Word: Continuing on with my written prayer, I then put feet to my faith and turn it into an actionable faith. So, I’m turning my response to God’s Word into a step of faith by deciding to do the thing He’s calling me to do based on the Scriptures I’ve just read. It may be something as small as picking up the phone to call and bless someone that day (which, by the way, isn’t really a small thing to the one being blessed) or as big as agreeing with God to cut that thing out that is hindering your faith and causing you to stumble. We need to decide to take action, friends. Pray through it and allow God to pour into you as you pour out to Him. Determine to live FREE in God’s Word every single day.
So there you have it… how to study God’s Word. This has revolutionized my study time with God and helps to keep my mind and heart focused on His Truths while spending time with Jesus. Next week, I’ll show you an example of how I put all of this into practice.