I know you’ve heard this before. You need to be reading your Bible.
And I know you are busy and it isn’t that exciting and you got lost in Exodus, or was it Leviticus, last time you tried. But it’s a real need and a serious endeavor.
I recently read a short book (really, 138 pages) called God’s Battle Plan for the Mind by Davis W. Saxton. He pulls from the Puritans to show how important they felt reading and meditating on the Bible was. They expected some dedicated time reading and then applying what you read. (While the Pentateuch is applicable in many ways, maybe start in the New Testament an then try Psalms and prophets before trying to apply Numbers to anything except your bank account.)
In the book he does a good job of examining bad ways to meditate and then good ways to meditate. In fact, some of the books he quotes from are actually where the Puritan authors wrote down their meditations, so you could just borrow from them to practice. Read some Scripture. Think about what it actually means. Think about how it should change your behavior.
It’s a great way to think about whether you act like a Christian the rest of the week. Be convicted, feel guilty. It’s ok. Then you confess, repent, and pray for God to work in you and with you to change that behavior. Maybe you stop some magazine subscriptions, maybe you focus on some vocabulary changes, maybe television has to go. It’s your conviction about your change. But Scripture should change you over time. That’s why you need to spend time in the Word.
The Puritans have their deliberate meditation, time spent in the Word and applying it. Then they have occasional meditation, where throughout the day, wherever they may be, they think back on the Scripture and continue to think about it and see how it applies to their lives. But you can’t have occasional meditation if you never have deliberate meditation where you are actually in the Word.
For those who still struggle to get interested in the Old Testament, let the New Testament guide you. There are many times in the NT where it references something from the OT. A good study Bible still point those out. When you run across one, go to that spot in the OT and read those verses or that chapter. You’ll start building up your muscles for OT text.
You are here on earth for a short time. What you spend your time on shows what you believe. Do you truly believe that you are being sanctified to spend eternity with Christ? If yes, then actions that support your sanctification should be your most critical tasks every day! If reading your Bible isn’t at the top, then you don’t really believe all that strongly, I would argue. Mainly because I’ve watched my own habits change as I’ve challenged my beliefs to see if I really believe.