Have you ever thought, How can I study the Bible without being in a formal Bible Study? Or, What should I study? For years I tried to fit into the Bible Studies offered at my local church. I have done it all: fill-in-the-blank studies, short-answer studies, 40-minute studies, and homework-intense studies. It took a long time AND, I wasted a lot of it figuring out just which type of study really helped me learn and grow closer to God. I’m not saying that ‘formal’ church-run Bible studies are no good. BUT, I believe it is a myth that you must be connected in this way to grow in your relationship with Christ.
Now, I’m a professional business woman and I really don’t have the time to go to the Tuesday morning Bible Study offered at my Church (because, I am working). AND, I don’t want to take the time away from my family to go to the Study offered on Thursday evening. Do you see my dilemma? You may be thinking the same thing. You may have also tried to fit this type of Bible Study into your schedule only to find that you’re not really ‘all there’. Your thoughts are on that project back at work or, in the evening, you’re thinking about what the kids are eating for dinner.
Okay, you may be more self-actualized than I am and have found a way to study God’s Word that works for you outside of a church sponsored one. Personally, I have walked into a Bible bookstore more than once looking for my next Bible study only to leave frustrated and empty-handed. Or spent time on the internet trying to come up with the right ‘key words’ to find a study that appeals to me. My time is valuable and if I am going to carve out time for Bible study (as I should) it needs to speak to me and connect me to what God wants to say, to me.
By knowing how you are specifically wired to connect your heart to God is the key. His Word is alive and by studying it you should be inspired, convicted, and equipped to stand in your Marketplace each day as a daughter of the King. Only by studying God’s Word in a method that is aligned to how you are created will you find satisfaction in Him and grow in your Faith.
But, many of us have this belief that the way other Christians do something is the way it must be done. We pride ourselves on knowing about and saying, “Have you seen the new such-n-such study by so-n-so? It is fabulous!” Have you been there? Then you dutifully purchase it and go through the study only to feel as dry as ever, thirsting for more from your encounter with God’s Word. AND, He does want more for you. He wants your relationship with Him to be alive and growing. Through His Holy Spirit you have the power to cultivate this relationship in a way that is meaningful and connects your heart to God.
Do you know how you learn best? As an educator I used three main methods to teach in order to speak to each type of learner. You have probably been asked this before. Are you an Auditory learner, a Visual learner, or a Kinesthetic learner? Now, you can have a combination of two that rank closely to one another but there are few people that are equal in all three types. This is where we need to begin when studying the God’s Word. You, Auditory learner, you can turn your commute time into Bible time. There are many programs that are on CD. And, Visual learner, you are drawn to studies that allow you to write out longer answers or draw symbols for the different concepts you are studying. And, Kinesthetic learner, you need studies that can go outside the classroom, the house, to enjoy nature, or to be able to do alongside another physical activity, or even studies that allow you create something to represent the concepts your are studying. Activities like cooking.
By assessing your learning style, your personality, your multiple intelligences and even your Spiritual preferences I can make that ‘trip to the store’ much more fruitful. By developing your Personalized Faith Plan (PFP) you will know exactly what type of activities connect you to God. You will also be given study activities to incorporate into your spiritual life that will make a real difference in your faith. No more guessing, these activities are designed to grow your relationship with Christ in a manner true to how He has created you.
I know how busy you are. I know that you want to make the most of each moment in your day. So, Wise Woman, you plan. And, Wise Woman, you also know that your day goes much better when you start with God. And you, Wise Woman, want to overflow into all the other parts of your life in a way that is good and serves others. Only by connecting to God, to His super-abundance, in a way that speaks to your heart will you satisfy that hunger to know Him better.
God wants that intimate relationship with each of us. He created you to be in this relationship so you can find everything you need in Him. Our responsibility is to seek Him. 1 Chronicles 16:10-12 (NLT) says, Exult in his holy name; rejoice, you who worship the Lord. Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him. Remember the wonders he has performed, his miracles, and the rulings he has given. You are seeking Him; now find the right tools.