There is a great misconception about Bible study that keeps women from getting involved in it at the “difficult seasons of life.” The misconception is there is a specific godly time for Bible study. And if it is not done during that time, it is not worthy of even attempting. The misunderstanding comes from the countless people of God who speak of their morning quiet times with God. They usually point to that as a habit they just cannot do life without.
We look at those we consider godly and are tempted to follow them, to create their habits as our standards. But what is interesting is our focus is all wrong. We look at the time of day, when we should be looking at the habit they have created – daily devotion to God and His Word.
When the standard shifts away from God’s Word and onto another person (or a time of day), we have a hard time keeping up. What if my life doesn’t look exactly like the godly lady next door? And what if I am not a morning person? What does that say about me?
Here’s a word of encouragement for you, O despiser-of-the-morning:
There is no absolute best time to spend time with the Lord.
There is not one time of day which is holier than another.
What is important in creating the lifelong habit of daily devotion to God’s Word is setting aside a time each day to do it. Making the Word the priority, not the time.
We have been walking through a series called You DO have time for Bible Study. If you are just joining with this post, I encourage you to check out the previous three. Go, ahead. This article will still be here when you get back. We have been talking about the fact that you DO have time for Bible study, the priority of Bible study and the place where your Bible study will happen. Today, we are going to talk about choosing a time for Bible study.
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Choose a Time
Selecting a specific time to do daily devotions is a critical part of creating a Bible study habit. Choosing an exact time when you visit your Bible study spot and do the work of Bible study is how you get started. The time is less flexible than the spot. You may move around the house, trying to find the perfect spot; but once you have a time locked in, it is good to maintain that time for as long as possible.
There is a reason you often hear of people doing their Bible study in the morning. There is a reason many men and women of God get up early in the morning to spend time with their God. It is because it is QUIET and because it is FIRST!
And because, often, if we wait until we have the time to do it, we will be tempted to push it off to later and later in the day. Until finally we say, “I will do it tomorrow.” And then tomorrow holds the same pressures as today, preventing the creation of the habit of devotion.
Overcome the Obstacles
I am not here to tell you that Bible study has to be done in the morning. But I believe that we must make it a priority of our day in order for it to get done. There is no problem with it being at almost any time of the day, as long as it is a specific and devoted time. That is why you will want to designate it as a time where you can focus – usually a time when it is quiet.
If you don’t want to get up early in the morning, you can set aside nap time as your Bible study time. Or you can do it immediately after dropping your kids off at school. Or as soon as they are asleep at night. Unless you have really quiet kids who don’t need your constant attention (how did you get those kids? please tell me!), you will want to find a time when it is quiet in the house and designate that as your time.
Protect your Time
One of the best pieces of advice regarding creating a daily habit of Bible study is this:
Pray for God to protect your time with Him.
This advice was life-changing to me! I used to get so frustrated with my inability to stick to the habit of getting in God’s Word. I used to have long seasons of life where my Bible sat collecting dust as I told myself, “Tomorrow.” And then tomorrow never seemed to come.
Here’s what happens when you pray for God to guard your time with Him: He delights to answer!
Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit your works to the LORD, and your plans will be established.”
I am telling you: if you pick a time that is typically quiet in your home to start the habit of Bible study, the interruptions of life are limited. But if you live in a house that tends to be busy most of the time, God will perform tiny miracles in your day when you ask Him to protect your time with Him.
The phone will not ring
No notifications will spring up on your smart phone
The baby will remain asleep
Your husband will not require your attention
And if all else fails, and interruptions happen; God will help you regain your focus quickly.
My Time with Jesus
How do I know this is true? I have seen it happen, time and time again.
I have an established habit of getting up at 5:30 AM to do Bible study and spend time with God. Back in the day, I had the luxury of not getting up that early, of sleeping in and spending half the day studying the Word interruption free. And now I have kids – three of them.
As God has added each child to our family, God has continued to guard my time with Him.
Currently, He wakes my littlest one up at just a little bit before 5 AM for his early morning feeding; giving me just enough time to feed him, change his diaper, put him back down. Then I head downstairs to make a cup of coffee before I sit at His feet for a couple of hours, starting at 5:30.
He keeps my older ones asleep during this time, too. As my husband wakes at 6 AM, gets ready, and heads out to work at 7 AM. The small distractions of sending him off with a hug and a kiss, are quickly recovered from.
All through this – my established, prayed-for, protected time with Jesus – God is working tiny miracles in my day just because He wants to spend time with me.
Your Time for Bible Study
I offer my testimony about setting a time, not to point out that it has to be the way that I do it. Rather, I want you to see the power of God’s protection over the plans of your heart. If you truly desire to seek Him and His Word, He will truly delight to give you the desires of your heart.
I found this simple Proverb the other day and I love how it speaks to finding time for Bible study.
He who gives attention to the Word shall find good,
And blessed is he who trusts in the LORD. ~Proverbs 16:20
What will you find if you designate and protect time for Bible study?
And how will you be described if you trust in the Lord (even to guard your time for Bible study)?
Oh, how I pray that you, too, would discover the goodness that comes from spending daily devoted time with God and His Word! I encourage you to seek God’s protection of your chosen time. And I pray you will be blessed when you trust Him to help you!