Bible Study Tips: for the Busy


So, you are too busy to read your Bible? I completely understand (I’m an American). We are such a busy society, we need Pinterest to remind us to put normal everyday things on our schedule! Maybe it is time we pencil in a chunk of time with God, to really listen to His Word.

No Time? If you are looking at your calendar thinking, “blank space is non-existent,” again, I understand (I’m a 21 century American). You have already heard the spiel: wake up earlier, stay up an hour later, give God your lunch hour, etc.

So often we tend to make the imaginary “devotional-patrol team” happy, instead of really engaging with God.

If God is worthy, let us make time for Him! We can do more than just squeeze a quick devo into our schedule. Our Savior, Sustainer, Life-giver deserves our first-fruits. A great spiritual practice is to tithe the first 10% of your time to God.

Yes, I think we need to prioritize time with God, studying our Bibles. Putting it in the schedule might feel “cheap,” but its a good practice to begin a habit. Eventually, it will turn into a desire to spend time with God, not just a forced habit that’s good for you (like eating healthy).

“But He walks with me and He talks with me….” We need to be cautious of the attitude that says, “well, I walk with God all day, and pray to Him on the way to work; He is always with me!” If you think your life is a living, walking, intimate time with God, check your motives.

  • Are you saying this because you don’t want to sacrifice your agenda to “be still and know that I am God”? (Psalm 46:10)
  • Is your heart truly in tune with God throughout the day? Or is your motive a selfish way to invite God into your life, instead of stepping outside of yourself into His plan?

Easter 2013Even if our motives are pure, and we aim to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17), we might still be missing out. I have spent entire days connected electronically with my husband. We will send each other sweet loving texts throughout the morning. Maybe have a phone call during lunch and Facebook message in the afternoon. When he gets home from work, we sometimes have to skip eating dinner together; then we stay out late for ministry. We come home, crash into our pillows and start snoring.

Those days, I don’t get to hear my husband’s heart. I don’t have the chance to sit down and just be with him, listen to his stories, his ups and downs from the day. There isn’t a chance for him to clarify a text he sent, or to remind me how much he loves me. Lack of intimate communication leaves room for doubt in our relationship.

Does that ring true for your relationship with God?

Does the lack of intimate communication leave room for doubt in your relationship with God? Do you find yourself asking whether He cares or really does have a plan for you?

Making time in our busy schedule provides for both intimate worship and needed reassurance!

Here is the amazing part: God can make time for all your other needs. He owns time. He alone can actually provide another hour in the day if you really need it. He has done it before…

The sun can stand still: There is a fascinating story in the Bible about how God paused time for His people:

Then the five kings of the Amorites—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon—joined forces. They moved up with all their troops and took up positions against Gibeon and attacked it.

The Gibeonites then sent word to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal: “Do not abandon your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us! Help us, because all the Amorite kings from the hill country have joined forces against us.”

So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army, including all the best fighting men. The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.”

After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise. The Lord threw them into confusion before Israel, so Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely at Gibeon. Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah. As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the Lord hurled large hailstones down on them, and more of them died from the hail than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.

On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel:

“Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”

So the sun stood still,
and the moon stopped,
till the nation avenged itself on its enemies,

as it is written in the Book of Jashar.

The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel!

Joshua 10:5-14

Not only did God provide more hours in the day for Joshua and his men, but God did most of the task for them.

Joshua did not just plunge into the day, thinking, “well, it is going to be a busy one; better get going.” Joshua chose to listen to the Lord. And God responded with relationship. God didn’t just give directions; He spoke intimately into the situation and revealed Himself (verse 8).

Can we prioritize time with God, truly reading His Word, listening to Him? Can our time with God be the one thing we don’t habitually compromise on? I have a feeling that when we do, we will still have enough time in our day to accomplish all He has planned for us. He might even accomplish the work for us!

The Lord will accomplish what concerns me;
Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

Psalm 138:8

Still not “getting there?” If you still feel like you can’t make time to pursue God’s Word, perhaps you are struggling with a different issue. Press the “Follow” button to get updates on more topics for the Bible Study Struggle.