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How to Be Consistent in Scripture + Intimate with Jesus



In previous posts, I've talked a lot about the importance of being in God's word and different ways to take Bible study notes. I'm so passionate about this, but lately I've realized that sometimes the hardest part about getting into the Word isn't actually doing it, but doing it consistently. This is a struggle many of my friends are facing, and maybe it's a struggle you're facing too, but first and foremost, here's what I want to tell you:


There is grace upon grace waiting for you.


So many of my friends feel pressure to have this Instagram worthy, hour long, complex time with the Lord. And that's a hard, unrealistic pressure to try to carry.


No matter how many days you've skipped, no matter how many days you've forgotten to pray, no matter what, Jesus is waiting for you to come back to His arms. You don't have to achieve or hit a certain streak or create a picture perfect Bible study. All you have to do is show up and meet with the Lord.


And honestly, when the expectation is more of just spending time with Jesus and less of sticking to an elaborate routine you hate, consistency is wayyyyy easier. Instead of forcing yourself to take notes, read multiple chapters a night, or whatever that may be for you - start small. Start by talking to Jesus and reading a few verses a night. Start with what works for you, not your best friend, not your youth leader, not the Instagram influencer you follow, but what works best for you. Keep it simple, keep it personalized, and that is the first step to staying consistent in the Word. Because once you start getting excited for what you're about ready to do in your time with the Lord, spending that time with Jesus won't seem like such a chore.


Maybe for you, you need to try:

  • reading the Bible out loud/listening to it being read to you (because sometimes reading the Bible like a book is boring and hard to focus on)

  • journaling your prayers (because it's easy to get distracted when you're praying in your head, and writing it out can help you truly release everything on your mind)

  • ditching the notes and starting to doodle key words/images that help you remember what you're reading (because long winded notes aren't really your thing)

  • utilizing a commentary or online Bible study resource (because understanding the Bible on your own can be hard sometimes)

  • setting aside time to be still and listen to worship music (because music is how you really connect with the Lord)

  • doing your Bible study outside or in another special place (because that's where you focus best and feel closest to Jesus)

  • or something completely different and out of the box!

No matter what that looks like for you - do it! Jesus has no expectations or guidelines of what your Bible study should look like, as long as you are intentionally meeting with Him.


Once you figure out what works for you, you have to stick with it. This is where consistency comes in.


Some days, no matter how thought out, well planned, or personalized your Bible study is, you just don't feel like doing it. Some days it can be really, really hard to spend time with Jesus, and those days begin to add up - until you realize you haven't done your Bible study in a month and you feel oh so far from the Lord.


Again, let me remind you: grace upon grace, okay?


But don't give up, friend. Here are some things that have helped me stay consistent, and maybe they can help you too.


1. Talk to Jesus about it - you can't do it in your own strength.

No amount of willpower will make you stick to a daily Bible study routine. We're humans and imperfect, and our feelings fluctuate so much that we simply can't do it on our own. Maybe that's a reason why staying consistent is hard for you - because you're trying to do it on your own. Lean into Jesus' strength and grace, and He will help you build up that consistency!


2. Pick the right time.

To stay consistent, you have to find the right time and place to help you stay on track. This has to be carefully chosen, because if you're trying to squeeze it into a schedule that has no space, it won't work very well. For me, I wake up at 5:20 on school mornings to do my Bible study, and then I spend more time with Jesus between 8-9pm. (the night Bible study is really to help me unwind and end the day with my mind on Jesus. It works so well for me because that's when my siblings go to bed, so when they go to bed, that's my cue.) Pick a time for you that won't be super difficult to commit to - and that will allow you to have enough brain power to focus.


3. Find someone to hold you accountable.

Maybe for you, it would be most helpful if you had someone right beside you, encouraging you to stay on track. Find that person! Do Bible studies with them, text each other every morning three things you're grateful for, or meet up weekly to talk about what you're learning. God created us for community, so when we try to live for Jesus alone, it usually doesn't end up very well because we were meant to lean on each other and support each other.


4. Set realistic goals.

An hour long Bible study before school complete with extensive notes and journaling isn't realistic for everyone, and especially not at first. So as you are figuring out the consistency part of your time with Jesus, start small and be realistic about what you can do during your Bible study. Then, you can keep gradually building up and growing as you grow in the Word. Don't put too much pressure on yourself, okay?

 

On the other side of this, though, what about those of us who are consistently in the Word? Well, let me tell you, that's not the end all be all of Bible study. Trust me. I'm learning this right now.


At this point in my life, my Bible study is part of my daily routine by now, and my whole schedule would be thrown off if I didn't do it. But - quantity is not always quality. Just because I'm doing my Bible study every day doesn't mean I'm diving deep into the Lord every day; sometimes, as much as I hate to admit it, it means I'm going through the motions without any real connection with my Father.


Gosh, that's really hard to admit, right?


The other night I was thinking about this, and I felt Jesus whisper to my soul: "At this point in your faith, it's not about consistency anymore, it's about intimacy and depth."


Wow. But so true, right? We are all at different points in our journey with Jesus. Some of us are working on consistency, and that's great. Some of us are working on diving deeper into our relationship with the Lord, and that's great too. Maybe some of us are working on both at the same time. But there's never a stop in growth simply because you mastered the daily Bible study routine, or hit another "milestone".


So if we're working on intimacy and depth, how do we do that?


For me, that's looking like shaking up the routine and getting a bit uncomfy. It's looking like a little more sacrifice and brain power, because sometimes I get so used to the routine that I miss out on the real meaning of it all: meeting with Jesus.


Practically speaking, here's a few things I'm working on/trying out:

  • getting up early to do my Bible study (I've mentioned this in other posts, but dang - God is really teaching me the importance of putting Him first)

  • being still in prayer before I go about my day after my Bible study

  • adding a "reflection" section on my notes so I don't forget to apply and meditate on the verses I read

  • adding a "recap" section on my notes so I don't forget what I read about the day before

  • journaling and really diving deep into what's going on in my heart

  • prioritizing worship on my own time and passionately praising the Lord in the privacy of my room

I don't know what this looks like for you, but I want you to remember: getting personal and real with Jesus, actually meeting with Him is the most important part of your Bible study. Instead of simply crossing our time with the Lord off the to-do list, let's focus on enjoying that time with Him and allowing Him to truly transform us.

 

You guys, I hope this post on consistency + intimacy with Jesus has encouraged and challenged you in some way! I'm going to be real - this is something I am most definitely learning about and figuring out, and it's a journey, but it's a journey with Jesus, and that is the most beautiful thing.


How do you stay consistent in your Bible study? Is there any part of your routine that helps you focus on being close with the Lord? Let me know in the comments below!

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