Over the last few weeks, we have examined how to stick with our goal of engaging with God’s Word this year. We focused on the purpose of our reading: Jesus. We focused on the importance of repetition. And we focused on the critical need to celebrate what God is doing as we progress. We conclude this series with the need for every one of us to refresh.
When it comes to engaging God’s Word, you will probably have that moment when you miss a day or two, or even a week or two. OK, I’ll say it, even a month or two. Missing your reading is precisely when you need to refresh your Bible engagement. The typical response to missing or skipping time engaging with the Word is to give up and quit. I’ll try again next year, you think. But the reality is that the difference between sustaining a successful, consistent reading habit and giving up is the decision to refresh. What am I talking about?
Refreshing your Bible engagement means you don’t wait to start again. It means you don’t think of missing time as a failure but as a means to grow and press into your spiritual development. At the same time we don’t want to be so wishy-washy about our commitment that we don’t step up and develop the habit we know we need to have. So here are a few ways we can refresh when we struggle with engaging God’s Word.
Pick up where the plan is, not where you left off
One issue I see all the time with trying to re-engage with a Bible reading plan is that people feel they need to check every box. While the completionist in me sympathizes, the reality is you are just fine to hop right back into where the plan is currently. If you missed reading week five and it’s week 6, start with week 6. If you missed day 30-35 start at day 36. Don’t give yourself retroactive assignments if you don’t want to. While the Replicate Foundations plan provides weekends to catch up if you find yourself getting too far behind refresh the who process by diving in right where you are.
Try a different plan
Sometimes the plan we choose is just not meshing with our schedule. Or perhaps we have bitten off more than we can chew. Don’t be hesitant to try something different. The Replicate Foundations plan provides a chapter or two a week while our New Testament Plan is only a chapter a day. These options can be useful for when it all seems too overwhelming. Regardless of what plan you use, shift when necessary to refresh your Bible engagement.
Reality Check (it’s probably not the plan)
The truth is that every plan has its strengths and weaknesses and obviously we are very excited about the Replicate Reading Plans, but the problem with sticking with it typically has more to do with us than the plan. Sure, there are different ways plans can help us get better and the two options above testify to that, but the reality check you need is the same one I need from time to time: set aside the distractions and excuses and do it. I am very effective at making excuses. I can give credible reasons why I get off track. I can even get those I am explaining myself to (typically my discipleship group), to accept my excuses fully. But the truth is I just need to apply myself to engaging God’s Word like I really believe what it says. Think about it: If we really believe we have the very Word of God, why would we not engage with it? Why would we not read and apply it as often as possible? Sometimes a refresh is a swift kick in the want to.
Engaging in God’s Word is critical for every believer. No matter how much we struggle making it a consistent part of our life, we know that the struggle is worth it. I am so thankful that we have a Father in heaven who wants to communicate with us. Let’s remember the purpose of our Bible engagement, implement repetition, celebrate what God is doing, and refresh as often as needed so we can stick with it!Engaging in God’s Word is critical for every believer. No matter how much we struggle making it a consistent part of our life, we know that the struggle is worth it. Click To Tweet