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Focus is not a quality I possess. I am highly distractable — down to the second. Keeping my mind on one single task is impossible — hence my many lists and the constant question “what was I going to do?” I admire my husband in that regard, as he has the inane ability to so focus on a single thing that the rest of the world fades away. Not me.
For years I prayed for relief from this weakness. Prayer and bible study were very difficult as tens of other thoughts jumbled around my brain at the same time. I couldn’t quiet them. I couldn’t focus on what I was reading and, thus, I got nothing from it but frustration.
My answer finally came in the form of technology.
A couple years ago an update on the bible app installed on my phone allowed it to read the text to me. This was an exciting discovery. At the time we only had one car and I would take my husband to work on days I needed it. Of course, this meant I had to forfeit my quiet time for the day as, by the time I got home, my children were awake. Not anymore! I could listen to it while I was driving. Not as good as reading it, but second best. Then I made the discovery that rocked my quiet time and completely changed my ineptitude in that area.
I could listen to the bible while I was reading it! Yes!!
All of a sudden I was seeing it with my eyes and hearing it with my ears and I was able to focus! I got so much more from bible study. I was seeing things I never saw before. It was amazing. The coolest part is that I’m actually getting a sort of amplified bible feel. The version of my physical bible is in New American Standard, but I listen to the English Standard Version. This means I get a greater sense of the passage.
I can’t stress enough the importance of a daily bible reading plan. We cannot fight the battles of everyday life without putting on the whole armor of God, which includes the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). Jesus used scripture alone to stand against Satan’s temptations when He was in the wilderness. In fact, He quoted from the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy to counter all three attacks. Everyday we are faced with countless choices and decisions. A friend calls with a difficult situation and needs advice. Our children come home from school asking about a controversial subject they learned at school. Unceasing commercials, billboards, TV shows, and movies that tell us what we should believe. We are bombarded on a day to day basis with what everyone from government officials and television news hosts to Hollywood celebrities and your favorite blogger believes is right. And they all want you to believe it to. How are we to know what we believe with all the different “good” viewpoints out there.
I’ll tell you how. By getting to know the Word of God. It is the ultimate standard. How are we to know where we stand if we don’t know the bible. Without it, we become like the Israelites in the book of Judges — we are “doing what is right in our own eyes.”
“Your Word is lamp unto my feet, and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
The Word of the Lord is our guide through this life, but it can only be that guide if we read it! If this is new to you, or you have struggle with the desire to read your bible, just do it! Create an easy plan for yourself on Bible Gateway or YouVersion. The more you delve into the Word and get to know the Author, the more you will want to read it and the more you will love Him (Proverbs 2).