Do Christians need to study Scripture?

A few months ago, around August 2019, I was in a rut spiritually. I felt stagnant, as if I was slowly becoming weaker and I didn’t understand why. I use the term slowly loosely because this anemic state has been progressing for an unknown amount of time. Our physical bodies can adjust to extreme circumstances just as our souls can live with minimal nutrients. How did I change this anemic state around in the last four months?

I started reading the Bible everyday, copious amounts of scripture, I sat in it, wrote down thoughts, underlined, wrote questions in my Bible, engaged with the Word on a different level than before. It was if my anemic state withdrew as I was feeding my inner man with substance, not empty calories of entertainment.

“If you continue in my word, you really are my disciples.
You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:31-32

Me and my dogs discussing theology 🙂

Our thirst for scripture might sometimes be more, and sometimes less, but we can always ask a fundamental question, why don’t I have the urge to read His word? Can we use that as a gauge to check our overall spiritual health? Some might respond with the claim of legalism, or that they pray and read scripture only because that’s what Christians are supposed to do. Of course there can be long seasons of drought where we don’t perceive any change from our time with the Lord but I can promise you this, God honours obedience and commitment, especially persevering and pushing through the spiritual wilderness.

“It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Matthew 4:4

We are all called to study and meditate on every word that comes from the mouth of God. We are not all called to be theologians or pastors but we must all interact with the Word. Just as we all must eat food but we aren’t all called to be nutritionists or work in the food industry.

We cannot live off a meal that we had last week or in 1994. Just as we cannot feed our soul with a revelation that took place in 1994. We need daily bread to survive physically, we need to feed daily on the word of God to survive spiritually.

“Like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word, so that you may grow up into your salvation, if you have tasted that the Lord is good.”
1 Peter 2:2-3

Have we truly tasted that the Lord is good? If you love someone, for instance your spouse, you want to spend time with them, you want to share your life with them, their opinion matters, you go to them for advice and comfort. Would that be an accurate description of my relationship with His word? Or is it more like the spouse that’s in the way of my aspirations and dreams, someone that’s there but over time became more of a nuisance than anything else? I would say, the marriage I described has large problems and is only headed towards disaster. Does our relationship with God have similar problems if we think about it in those terms?

I saw this video and it has some really interesting statistics about the effect that reading and studying the Bible has on people.

Bible Matters

“For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
Hebrews 4:12

The word of God is living and effective, if God truly exists, if the Word of God is truly from Him, we are reading information from the creator of everything and the one who has all power. If Tom Hanks wrote me a letter and was teaching me some lessons he learned through life and he ended the letter with that he wanted to meet me, I would be beyond excited.

Have we tasted that the Lord is good? Are we excited about meeting Him? In our daily lives and His second coming? He wants to meet with me through His word, prayer, nature, other people, etc. Am I beyond excited for an encounter with Him? If so, we need to start with the words that He has spoken, that is our daily catalyst for a more intimate relationship with Him.