A few weeks ago some friends and I went to dinner. One of the people with us was younger. At the restaurant he was asking what we thought about the choices on the menu and what he should get. He decided on the surf and turf. I complimented him on his choice. When they brought us our meals, he immediately went for the lobster. He asked, “How do I get it off the tail?” As I was beginning to tell him, he stabbed the tail with the fork, grabbed the shell and pulled.
He successfully had removed the whole tail. Before I could congratulate him on his feat, he shoved the entire lobster tail in his mouth, chewed a couple of times and swallowed. I sat there in shock. I said, “You aren’t supposed to eat it like that. This is something you take your time with. You savor it. You dip it in the butter and enjoy it. If you’re going to eat for the sake of getting full, go to McDonald’s. If you want to experience a meal, you eat this. It’s more than eating. It’s enjoying your food.”
Many of us approach reading God’s word the same way he ate his lobster. We stick a fork in it, read a bunch, comprehend little, chew enough to swallow and move on. We don’t enjoy the Bible. We read it out of spiritual duty. We say, “A chapter a day keeps the devil away.” Is that really the case though? Are we really getting anything out of it when we do it as a chore?
David said, “Oh taste and see that The Lord is good.” He understood what it meant to take your time in God’s word and to enjoy Him. He let God’s word sink down into his spirit. He often talked about meditating on God’s word. That’s how he got it into his spirit. He knew there was more than just reading. There was tasting, savoring and enjoying to what God says. He took his time, thought about what God was saying, how it applied to him and how he could use it in his life.
Each day when I read the Bible, I try to do the same thing. For years I was guilty of the chapter a day mentality. It was a box I had to check off in order to be a Christian. Now I know better. I don’t put a time limit on God nor a chapter or verse limit on Him either. I get to a quiet place, calm my my mind and emotions. I pray, “God, speak to me today through your word. Direct me to what you want me to see. Help me to read it like never before and to see things I’ve never seen before. Help me to make connections in your word that I’ve not seen in years past.”
I encourage you to do the same thing. If you find yourself doing a chapter a day or trying to read through the Bible in a year, ask yourself why. Are you trying to say you’ve read the whole Bible? Are you plowing through the goodness like my friend with the lobster tail or are you enjoying it? Take time today to look at God’s word with different eyes. Meditate on a verse all day. Chew on it. Think about what God meant, how it was directed at you and how you can apply it to your life. His word will become alive in you. Who knows, you might even end up with a heart after God like David.