Have you ever desired a certain food? I mean really craved it? The best hamburger you’ve ever had? A gooey, delicious piece of chocolate cake?
What if that were how we viewed God’s Word? What if we craved God’s Word like, or even more than, we craved the most delicious food we have ever eaten?
As we are a little less than halfway through the True Story Project, I have sensed the weariness and guilt in many voices as we begin to discuss each week’s reading. There is a lot to read, in a short amount of time, and, if you get a day or two behind, forget it. There is no catching up at that point.
I too have been weary. Weary about God’s Word. It had been a chore. No, even worse—it felt like drudgery. God had shown me through his great faithfulness the importance of the daily reading of my Bible. So, even though I didn’t want to, I got up every morning, even in my most exhausted times, opened my Bible, read, and checked it off the list. And then I did the same thing the next day.
Until one morning, I had had it. I was once again staring at my Bible. It was too early for any human to be awake. I was too tired from being up all night with my little baby and up chasing my three older kids all day. I was done.
I happened to be reading through Job (which we just began in the True Story Project), and Job 23:12 struck me. Job was talking about God and said, “…I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.” Without giving too much away, I love Job because he is brought to such depths of despair, but his faith is never shaken because it was never wrapped up in the blessings and comforts of his life. His faith was so firm through all trials because he knew God, and he knew God’s Word. And he didn’t just know it; he craved it more than “his portion of food.”
I asked God that morning to give me a hunger and thirst for his Word like Job’s—a craving. I wanted to crave it more than my portion of food. I was tired of drudging through the Bible. Tired of forcing myself every day to open his book and keep my eyes open to read it. Let alone try to understand what was going on. I wanted to crave it like Job.
So I prayed, “God give me a hunger and thirst for your Word. I long to want your Word, but right now I just don’t.”
It wasn’t until a whole year later that I realized that God had given me the desire of my heart. It was right before we started the True Story Project. As we as a church started preparing for this project, I realized that I loved God’s Word. I really loved it. It was no longer a task to complete. It was not a forced chore. It was my food. It was what I looked forward to in my day. It was my place of rest. God had given me a hunger and thirst for his Word that I could not quench. I wanted to know more and understand more every day.
Now don’t get me wrong; I still have days where I open God’s Word, not because I want to, but because I need to, as my life is now shaped with an excitement for it. Though I once saw it as a book of rules or something to do because that is what a good Christian does, it now excites me. It reveals my God—our God. It shows the power of our Creator; the compassion, the mercy, and the steadfast love of our Father.
My prayer for you is not that you would successfully complete every reading in The True Story Project. My prayer is that you would hunger and thirst for God’s Word. That you would grow to love it so much that you couldn’t live without it. (Deuteronomy 8:3)
1 Peter 2:2 says that we should desire God’s Word like a newborn baby desires milk “that we may grow into salvation.” If you have ever had or been around a newborn baby, you know that if they aren’t sleeping or filling their diaper, they want to eat. That is their one and only desire in their waking moments. That’s how God wants us to view his Word.
God wants his Word to be the greatest desire in our day. The thing we long for. He wants it to be the thing that satisfies us.
So, if you find yourself drudging through the True Story Project, I challenge you to think about what it would look like to not make God’s Word a chore in your day, but to truly hunger and thirst for it. What does that mean for your life? And then surround yourself with other people who love God’s Word. There is nothing more contagious than being around someone who truly gets excited about the Word of God. If you don’t know anyone like this, join us for our Open Bible Studies.
God doesn’t want his Word to be drudgery. He wants to be longed for. God’s Word, his story, is so amazingly beautiful, and I pray that he would give you an unquenchable thirst for the Bible in your life.