Being In The Word
A study conducted by Lifeway found that only 19 percent of churchgoers say they read the Bible every day. The highest percentages were 25% saying they read the Bible once a week and 22% reading the Bible once to a few times per month. As we’ve said many times on The Constant Battle, people are very good at making excuses, and excuses are probably the main thing holding us back from reading the Bible.
Answer a simple question for yourself: do you think Satan wants you reading more or less of the Bible? It’s a sure bet that he wants you to read as little and know as little of the Bible as possible. How are we to confront false teachings, or even identify false teachings if we don’t know what the Bible says? How do we confront worldviews with Biblical truths if we are unfamiliar with the Bible? In fact, it was the Holy Text that Jesus used to defeat temptations when Satan tempted him in the desert.
When tempted to turn stones into bread, Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:3: “People do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” This is an example inside of an example as to why we should be reading our Bible diligently: not only should we read the Bible to lean on during times of temptation, but the scripture Jesus quotes here shows that we don’t live only by food, but by the scriptures, the word of God. As proverbs 4 says of the Father’s wise words:
“For they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.” (Proverbs 4:22)
In the second temptation, Satan quotes scripture, telling Jesus that he should throw himself down and the angels will catch Him, and they won’t allow his foot to strike a stone. Here, Satan is quoting Psalm 91:11-12: “For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.” If Satan is familiar with scripture, shouldn’t we also be? Jesus of course responds by quoting another scripture, this time from Deuteronomy 6:16: “You must not test the Lord your God…” This goes back to the idea of identifying false teaching; if Satan quotes scripture in an attempt to tempt Jesus, we should certainly expect that tactic used on us. The Bible warns and predicts:
“But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed.” (2 Peter 2:1-3)
“For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Timothy 4:3)
The final temptation is for power. Satan tells Jesus he will give Him all the kingdoms of the world if Jesus would only bow down and worship him. Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:13: “You must worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”
If we are sons and daughters of God, then we need to know what the Bible says. Here is a simple and effective plan for being in the Bible everyday: read the Proverb that coincides with the date of the day (today is the 9th, so you would read Proverbs 9 today) and read five Psalms paired with the Proverb (so on the 9th day of the month, you would read Psalms 41-45). I first heard of this plan as something that the late Billy Graham did everyday, and that was good enough to convince me. It was easiest for me to start on the 1st of a month, so I would read the first 5 Psalms and Proverbs 1. It is a fantastic daily reading plan as we experience wisdom through the Proverbs and praises to the Lord in times of great trouble and strife through the Psalms.
With Bible apps and reading plans there are an unlimited number of ways to be engaged with the Bible everyday. I find it easiest to read the Bible on my phone; my alarm is on my phone so when I reach for it in the morning, I open my Bible app and I read through the Psalms and Proverbs for that day. Arm yourself with the sword of the Spirit and strengthen yourself in the Word to be ready for the constant battle of Satan’s attacks.
“Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.” (1 Peter 3:15)
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.