Moving Beyond the Bible Checklist

Moving Beyond the Checklist(3)

  1. I made it a point to read the Bible every night, after everything was completed for the day. Check.
  1. I went to church on Sundays to hear the Scripture read and taught. Check.
  1. I had memorized John 3:16, thanks to a loving Sunday school teacher from my younger years. Check.

Check. Check. Check.

Are you impressed yet?

When I checked off my list of things that appeared to make me close to my Bible, it would seem I had it down!

I certainly thought so, until I found myself not using the truths of the Bible in the critical moments they were most needed.

In contrast to opening my Bible about a troubling event at work, I would grumble to willing listeners in my family (Philippians 2:14).

Instead of citing scripture that would advise me to support my husband with a gentle and kind spirit (1 Peter 3:4), I was a nagging and quarrelsome wife (Proverbs 21:9).

I complained about the toy-cluttered state of my house, not remembering that my child was a gift from the Lord (Psalm 127:3).

Watching the news on TV resulted in me worrying, when I should have turned to the promises of the Bible (Philippians 4:6-7).

Grumbling. Nagging. Quarreling. Complaining. Worrying.

These were not ways to act that were pleasing to God. I was not coming back to the Word to apply verses, and concepts that would help me better handle these situations.

At the end of the day, when I did finally open my Bible, I would guiltily think back to the moments that I had failed to live for Him in. I found myself asking, “What happened, Lord? Why did I forget You and Your instruction so easily?”

The checklist wasn’t a bad thing. In fact, reading the Bible before bed, going to a church that preaches the Word, and knowing John 3:16 are great and needed foundational practices.

But, it wasn’t working anymore.

The checklist was easy, in a sense that it required little effort on my part. As a younger Christian, the checklist worked for my life. As I grew older, and my daily encounters became more complex and chaotic, my relationship with the Lord needed to grow; that included using His Word better. 

Failure to use God’s Word appropriately, was an indicator that my relationship with the Lord and my use of the Bible lacked depth. I was only checking off the Word of God.

I needed to “stop thinking like a child… but in my thinking be an adult” (1 Corinthians 14:20).

Ouch. No wonder I was struggling in these life moments.  The realization hit me hard.

How then, can we take His truths and remember to apply them as we live? How can we take our problems to God’s Word before reacting to situations and others in ungodly ways? How can we have a meaningful and closer walk with the Lord, by using His Word? {Click Here to Tweet Last Question}

Below are four approaches I wanted to share with you. I began implementing these practices to get closer to my Bible, literally and figuratively. They are proving to be successful at activating the Holy Spirit to guide me and are deepening my faith as I move beyond the checklist, into God’s presence.

If you are like I was, and only checking off the Word of God, we can start applying these practices together!

1) Read the Bible upon waking up and then more.

Waiting until evening to read God’s Word is like arming ourselves for battle after we have already fought the day’s war!

When we begin our day with God’s truth, we more easily carry It with us. We will find ourselves taking what we have read that morning and applying it to our commute, work, and onward.

Are morning times hectic at your household? Check out the First5 App developed by Proverbs 31 Ministries. If your mornings are short on time like mine, this app takes the first five minutes of our day and begins it with scripture, teaching, and encouragement. Devote those first five to Him, in His Word.

Consider joining or acquiring a Bible study. A study is a great way to stay in the Word, and have a clear objective of what you will be reading/learning daily.

If we are reading the Word throughout the day, that is why approach two is so important…

2) Our Bible goes everywhere.

The car, work, on errands; we need to keep the Book close because we want truth readily accessible! When a situation comes up, we want to train ourselves to reach for our Bible before saying or doing anything else.  

Since we are now carrying our Bible everywhere, we need to read it faithfully. A verse. A chapter. Anything we can fit in throughout the day.

However, we must be careful not to mistake quantity over quality. Reading large portions of the Bible, at one sitting, in the morning, will likely not be impactful. Reading a short amount in the mornings, and then meditating over what we read throughout the day through prayer, memorization, application and re-visitation often works best!

Even when we don’t feel like reading scripture, out of obedience to God, we do it anyway. {Click Here to Tweet This Sentence}

In return, we will be blessed by reading His word! It helps us gain new insight or simply reminds us of His love. A love so grand, that He left us a Book as help, guidance, and a way to better know Him!

3) Place scripture in designated places.

I have placed verses that stuck out to me when reading, where I know I will see them: the car windshield and the bathroom counter to name a few. They are constant reminders, as I get ready and continue on my day.

As the constant reminders turn into memorized truths, the verses become ingrained on my mind and heart, .

Memorizing truths allow them to come back to us in times of need. {Click Here to Tweet This Sentence}

Where are places you can place verses?

Also, consider using pocket spiral notebooks on certain themes of scripture. For example, I have one small spiral notebook on marriage and parenting. Any verses I come across that give me guidance in those areas, I write down in the corresponding notebook. Then when I know I need to pray for my marriage and/or parenting, I head straight to the notebook to allow God’s Word to guide my prayer life!

Priscilla Shirer has a great book titled Fervent. It is an excellent resource on the importance of writing out scripture in prayers. When we write out prayers that infuse scripture within them, the prayers are more powerful and the memorization of verses stick. Which brings us to point number four…

4) Praying and the Bible go hand-in-hand.

We’ve discussed ways to stay in His Word, but what about prayer?

Praying makes your Bible reading more effective. Reading the Bible makes your prayers more effective.

Simply put, we need to pray to God as often as we meditate on His Word. .

Short prayers at the red light. Long prayers in our closet that require pouring out our hearts through tears. Prayers from the Bible. Prayers spoken with our children and husband. Prayers read from God-inspired authors. Prayers said in the checkout line.

We need to constantly pray that His truths stay within our hearts, and request He keep placing them there! {Click Here to Tweet This Sentence}

Do these approaches sound tiring? Time consuming? Difficult?

Yeah, sometimes they can be.

We live in a fallen world. Satan makes building a relationship with the Lord, through the Word, difficult. But, not impossible. {Click Here to Tweet This Sentence}

Sweet sister, could these four practices really be as tiring, time-consuming and difficult as the grumbling, nagging, quarreling, complaining, and worrying that was described earlier?

Do you know why Satan makes staying in the Word difficult?  He knows the Bible will bring us fulfillment, a deep relationship with the Lord, and better ways to handle all he and life will throw at us.

That is why it is crucial we move beyond the Bible checklist of our younger days. A checklist that does not reflect and progress our spiritually maturing lives, is going to fail.

Please know, we will not master memorizing, reading, and applying the Word as described above.

And, that’s okay.

God offers us His grace because He knows we will never be perfect! He wants us to rely on Him, the Holy Spirit, and the Word as we wade through the maturing process that will bring mistakes, mess-ups, and mishaps alongside the blessings.

Sister, He sees us striving to be godly women, and He will be glorified as we show others how God’s Word is more than a checklist!

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8 thoughts on “Moving Beyond the Bible Checklist

  1. Jessika says:

    I love this article! Thank you for the tips–I needed them more than you know. I am excited to start changing things up from my normal routine, that checklist that really wasn’t working. I know I will be better some days than others, but I’m hoping this will really stir things up for me. Thank you again & God bless you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keri Mosier says:

      Oh, Jessika, I am so glad you enjoyed these words! What a blessing your comment is to read for me. Praying for you as you take on this endeavor with me. Just remember, God sees you striving, sister! 🙂

      Like

  2. RebeccaLynn says:

    So very true, Keri! I love this! Jesus came to demonstrate that practicing God’s laws like the Pharisees and Saducees (for self-glorification) isn’t nearly as important as writing them on our hearts and living them out for His glory. It’s very telling that God’s word says he honors the things we do for him “in secret.” That’s a humbling thought – and when we put it into practice, we start to realize how easy it is to fall into self-glorifying “checklists.” But God gave us a Helper! He lives within us and searches our hearts – revealing the things in us that we need to change. Thank God!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keri Mosier says:

      RebeccaLynn, you are so right when referencing the “self-glorification checklist of the Pharisees and Saducees” as what can happen to believers if we are not careful. And, yes, thank God for the Holy Spirit and His Word to help us! Thank you for your comment! Blessings to you, lady!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. joshandlauradyer says:

    What a great post, Keri! I really have been inspired by your blog and how you’re building the #Strivingtobeagodlywoman brand! Love it! Thanks for creating this space for women to be encouraged and celebrate our inheritance as daughters of the King!

    I wanted to share three more things that have really helped me increase my “Bible literacy” in the past year.

    1) Listening to an audio Bible app in the mornings while I’m getting ready. Faith Comes By Hearing (Bible.is) and YouVersion both have great apps with audio options on the chapters. So, if you’re reading on your smartphone first thing in the morning, but want to keep the Word on through your makeup and hair routine, then you can press play right where you are in the chapter! It has been a game-changer for me.

    2) Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Our Hearts and Our Minds by Jen Wilkin is a fantastic read for anyone ready to get to the next level in understanding the Bible. It even has a chapter at the end full of wisdom for women who are ready to start leading Bible studies! It’s a really great read.

    3) The Daily Walk Bible. This study Bible has tons of cultural, word study, and background information, as well as a breakdown of chapter themes to help you get through even the toughest books of the Law. (Leviticus always has a way of making me want to pull the covers back over my head instead of get up and read.) With that Bible (which also has an ebook version), I feel much more prepared and clear on how to navigate tough passages in light of the whole redemptive story.

    If you decide to review any or all of these as a blog post, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts about them!

    With Christ’s love,
    Laura Smith Dyer

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keri Mosier says:

      Hey, Laura (and Josh)! I am LOVING what you have shared. I cannot wait to read Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Our Heart and Minds. Going to purchase this week. 🙂 Still continuing to pray for you both in your own ministries. Keep up the good work. Thankful for you!

      Liked by 2 people

    • failingforwardweb says:

      Hi Laura,

      I have also struggled with the checklist and personal studies.
      For me, I had to fight myself to focus and plus I hate reading so now I am forcing myself out of my head by blogging and forcing myself to read by reading blog posts etc.
      I had to institute a plan to leave the checklist as well.

      I also use the audio Bible when getting ready in the morning and also to put me to bed at nights, but I do my readings in between.

      Since there are 31 chapters in Proverbs and the maximum amount of days per month is also 31 I read a chapter a day from the book of wisdom (Proverbs). Do the crosswalk devotionals on my break time at work and read any other chapter I want to focus on for the month. Unfortunately, at times I take more than a month to complete the books as some of them I have to wonder what did the author mean or what did God mean when He said the things that were written; which then leads me back into other books for clarity. However, it is not a problem because I am learning more about God and drifting away from the checklist daily, actually @ Keri I was planning to go back to the checklist before I read this post (Thank you so Much for reminding me why I dropped it in the first place).

      Another thing I do is instead of playing my regular past time games like candy crush, I do Bible trivia and whatever I get incorrect I go do my research so I have the extra knowledge.

      I hope you continue to inspire Keri and Laura as well looking forward to reading more of your posts.

      Liked by 1 person

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