A man is lying down while holding a giant bible and read

5 Ways to Keep Ourselves Rooted in God’s Word

There are many things that make it challenging for us to read God’s Word. Often we think it’s because we don’t have time, but perhaps the more accurate reason is we often feel too tired and worn out from work and personal responsibilities. When we do find the energy to read, we may still be put off when it’s not easy to understand—we don’t get the context and how the passage relates to where we are now.

And even when we do understand, it can be hard to practise what we’ve read—Love our enemies? Impossible! Forgive? But what about our hurt? Give generously? But I don’t have anything to give…

The devil will use every means to dissuade and discourage us by making us think God’s Word is an impossible task, but the Lord gives us His Word not to burden us but to lift us up. More than a duty, His Word is meant to bless us by showing us who He is and how much He loves us. 

If, after all this time, you feel unsure about what to think of God’s Word and how to relate to it, here are some suggestions to help you stay rooted:


A man in praying after reading a giant bible

1. Invite the Spirit to make it happen

When we want something to happen, our default is usually to think about what we can do. Set a goal, make a plan, create a to-do list, put in reminders. 

But hearing and responding to God’s Word are ultimately Spirit-led endeavours. Certainly, we’re responsible to put in the effort, yet it is the Spirit who enables us to actually understand what the Bible says, remember it, and apply it in our lives, (John 14:26, 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:10-16).

The main way we invite the Spirit is through prayer. We need to pray diligently, to humbly ask God to keep revealing Himself to us (Psalm 119:18, Ephesians 1:18) so we can live life according to His will. We confess and ask for forgiveness for any sin that may be hindering us from hearing and obeying His Word. 

We pray to consciously depend on the Spirit’s wisdom and leading as we go through the Bible, including directing our questions to the Spirit and asking for understanding, as well as praying to remember the things we’ve read/heard.

Prayer and God’s Word always go hand in hand, and it is also God’s Word itself that teaches us the Spirit’s presence and work (e.g. Romans 8). Involving the Spirit is always a simultaneous process of reading about Him in the Word while conversing with Him in prayer.


A man is walking while listening to a song which connected with a giant bible

2. Keep receiving the Word in different ways

Reading the Bible is important, but it isn’t the only way we can receive the Word.

Colossians 3:16 tells us: “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” 

Isn’t it great that God means for us to not only read His Word, but to sing it too? He knows that music can engage our souls on a whole different level. For days when Bible reading gets tough, why not start with a song? Look for songs that echo words from Scripture and are rich in theology—songs that really highlight the characteristics of God and all the things that He’s done for the world He loves.

When we find ourselves struggling to concentrate when reading, listening might just be another way to help us. We can receive God’s Word by listening to audio Bible, devotionals or podcasts or recorded sermons. Whenever we feel listless, before our minds wander off and down some unpleasant or unhelpful train of thought, we can choose to tune into God’s Word, whether in song or message. 

We may not necessarily hear and digest everything, but as we make that first choice to listen, we can pray for God to guide our thoughts and steer them toward whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).


A man is sinking into a giant bible

3. Meditate—repeat until it sinks in

Before the Bible is meant to instruct us on what to do and how to live, it is first a revelation of who God is. God wants us to know Him (John 20:31) and experience Him for ourselves. Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good”. The more we chew on His words, the more we’re able to taste and appreciate His wonderful character and soul-nourishing truths.

So, what if we let ourselves slow down and read and re-read the same passage for a few days (or even a couple of weeks), and take our time to think on what the words mean? We can also write down key verses and save them somewhere visible and accessible (e.g., on our desks, phones), and whenever we find ourselves needing a break from work or while on commute, we can revisit these words and ponder them (Deuteronomy 11:18, 20). 

Meditating can also involve asking questions. For example, when we read the words “Do not worry”, instead of trying to immediately extinguish our worried thoughts, we can take a step back first and ask questions like, What is it beneath our worries that we feel we cannot entrust to God, and why? Even as God tells us to not worry, what does His Word say about His character and His promise? 

Those who meditate on God’s Word are likened to “a tree planted by streams of water” (Psalm 1:2-3)—trees need plenty of time to absorb nutrients in order to grow and bear fruit. And in 2 Timothy 2:3-7, we’re encouraged to persevere in faith like a soldier, an athlete, and a farmer—people whose work involve a lot of persistent, repetitive actions, who practise dedication, diligence, endurance—and in turn, we have full assurance that the Lord will give understanding as we persist in reflecting on His truths. 


A man is chating with his friend while the giant bible is open on the table

4. Talk it through with someone

Have you ever experienced a time when you were feeling stuck on something, and talking to someone helped clear your head and make sense of things? Or, have you ever talked to someone about something you’ve experienced or read, and the conversation you had deepened your memory of it? 

The same thing can happen when we share God’s Word with each other. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” When we talk to each other about what we’ve read and heard from the Bible, these things we’ve noticed can stay longer on our minds and allow us to reflect further. 

With so many messaging apps at hand, we can easily reach our friends and share what we’ve received. It can be as simple as “I saw/heard this verse/message today, and it made me think of __. What do you think?” As we invite our friends to share their thoughts, we may hear a different perspective that can further enrich our understanding of God’s Word. 


A man is pushing forward the giant bible

5. Put the word into action

Beyond sharing our thoughts and insights, the most precious thing is for us to talk about how we can put the Word into action and ask our friends to pray for us and keep us accountable. 

For instance, what would loving others look like in our day-to-day life? Is there someone in our lives that we have not been loving towards, and how can we begin to change that? What are some first steps we can take? By thinking through and sharing the practical steps we can take, we’ll be more motivated to do what we say we will.

Doing is always the hardest part. But even the disciples, when they first met Jesus, had yet to learn about who Jesus truly is, yet they took the first steps of following Jesus’s call and came to be blessed. 

In the same way, we too can take the first steps of obedience, whether it’s practising generosity by starting with a small amount, or choosing to be patient with someone simply by refraining from speaking when upset and praying instead for inward strength. 

God sees our hearts and He will strengthen us to keep obeying Him for His pleasure and our good (Philippians 2:12-13).

A seedling is growing on the giant bible

Psalm 119 tells us that God will strengthen us, do good to us, give us understanding, direct our footsteps, and preserve our life, all according to His Word (vv.25,28,65,133,169). May this encourage us to hold His Word close to our hearts, knowing that He who gave us His Word is faithful to fulfil what He says (Isaiah 55:11).

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