2 Timothy 3:16 (MSG) says, “Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way.”
Do you sometimes wonder if Timothy was reading the same Bible as you?
A friend recently admitted to me, “I don’t know how to read God’s word. I try and read Bible chapters on my own, but I don’t hear or see God speak from it. I always pick things I don’t understand. How do you know what and where to read to get help from God?”
I connected with what she asked because I used to have the same questions.
I used to wonder if I was reading the bible wrong. Since then I’ve learnt how to read the Bible to hear from God.
How I read the Bible
For starters, there is no right or wrong way to read the Bible. This is how I read it, but if you prefer another method then stick with that.
- I like to read the Bible with a notebook so I can jot down any thoughts or impressions that come to mind.
- I begin by picking a book of the Bible or I read from where I left off before.
- If you’re new to reading the Bible to hear from God maybe start with Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians or Colossians.
- Then I read until I feel God say, “Stop”. Perhaps the verse resonates with me or it answers a question or prayer I brought to God.
- Once I feel “stop” I don’t read any further. I pray and ask God what he is saying to me and I write down whatever thoughts come to mind about the verse.
- Often I look at devotionals and commentaries related to the verse. Other times I’ll grab a dictionary and look up each word in the verse or look for other Bible verses that speak about the same theme.
When you hear nothing
If you don’t hear God speak to you at first don’t grow despondent. Keep reading the Bible.
Try reading a daily devotional or journaling your prayers.
Sometimes I know I’m hearing from God because I’ll read the same verse in 3 or 4 different places that day. When that happens I go, “God, what are you trying to tell me?”
Some days I read the Bible and nothing speaks to me. On those days I find a verse I like, and copy it onto my phone, and read it throughout the day until I have memorised it.
Often I find that God will use scripture I’ve memorised to speak to me by bringing it to my memory at just the right time.
How do you read the Bible and hear from God? Share your methods in the comments and maybe help someone else grow in their relationship with God.