It’s time for the big game. How are you going to experience it? Are you going to…
- Skip it and read about it the next day online?
- Have someone tell you about it?
- Watch it on TV?
- Purchase tickets so you can watch it live from the stands?
What would it be like to actually suit up and get in the game?
How we engage the big game can be a metaphor for our life. Are we going to sit on the sidelines or watch it from afar or step out on the field and engage?
I’ll be honest. The idea of suiting up for a football game is absolutely terrifying to me. I am a wee little person and not in the best of shape.
Then it hits me. How many times have I said that about engaging life itself?
- I’m not built to do that.
- I’m not a professional.
- I’m not trained. I don’t know what I’m doing.
- I’m too old. I’m too young. I’m too frail. I’m too busy…
- I don’t want to risk embarrassing myself.
- I don’t want to hurt the efforts of the team.
The one that usually pops into my mind is, “I don’t want to get hurt.” Engagement goes hand in hand with risk.
We can sit on the sidelines of life. We can also sit on the sidelines of engaging God.
It’s easy to pick a devotional and read it, listen to a podcast, or say “Amen,” at the end of someone’s prayer. It’s easy to watch the preacher preaching, the teacher teaching, the worship musicians singing and playing their instruments for the glory of God. Thanks to online streaming, we don’t even have to change out of our PJ’s.
At their best, these beloved Christian practices draw us into the presence of God. Yet, so often, we are merely observing someone else’s encounter with God. We’re on the sidelines.
There’s nothing which can replace our own encounter with God.
As the old saying goes, “God doesn’t have grandchildren.” Our faith, our engagement must be our own.
You know this. It’s one thing to watch a couple marry. It’s another to be the bride or the groom.
The beauty of this life is encountering God ourselves. The miracle of it all is the Creator of the Universe, our Lord and Savior, wanting us and wanting us in the game.
There are so many ways this can happen. One of the primary ways is through reading the Word of God for yourself.
There were years and years and years in my own Christian walk where I faithfully read devotion books. Devotion books are great. You read an inspiring testimony. You learn something new. But, they’re someone else’s encounter with God and God’s Word. They’re the view from the sidelines.
My faith changed radically when I started engaging the Word of God for myself. When I suited up and stepped onto the field and sought an encounter with God.
What do you need to read God’s Word for Yourself?
1. You need a plan. Click here for my post on the best Bible reading plan.
2. You need a designated place and time to read. Set an appointment with yourself and God and keep it.
3. You need a Bible Buddy, someone who is also reading the Scriptures. There’s a reason why Weight Watchers and AA works. Never underestimate the power of support and accountability.
4. Discover which type of engagement best works for you- listening to the scripture via an audio Bible, highlighting passages as you read, memorizing scripture, doodling or creating art based on what you read, etc.
I’m a writer, so journaling helps me engage God through God’s Word. My favorite Bible Journaling pattern is SOAP. The SOAP Method for keeping a spiritual journal is practiced by thousands of Christians. It was developed by Wayne Cordeiro, pastor New Hope Christian Fellowship in Hawaii.
S = Scripture
Read the Bible passage for the day. Copy the verse which catches your attention word for word into your journal.
O = Observation
- What does this passage tell us about God?
- Our world?
A = Application
How will your life be different today because of what you have read?
- Lessons to be learned
- Examples to be followed or avoided
- Promises to be claimed and enjoyed
- A character trait of God revealed
- Deeds to start, continue, or stop
P = Prayer
Include themes from your reading in your prayer time. I like to pray a keyword or theme from the passage over my prayer list. I keep my prayer list in the back of my journal.
I’d love to hear how you’re getting in the game. Leave a comment to encourage and inspire others. – Lisa <><
Get in the Game- Reading God’s Word for Yourself © 2019 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.