“As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” -Psalm 42:1-2
One of the most common prayer requests and questions we get are along the lines of: “I just don’t have the desire to read the Bible” or “I am so bored when I read the Bible and I just don’t understand any of it.”
One survey shows that the average household has 4.4 Bibles, but only 26 percent of Americans read their Bible on a regular basis (four or more times a week). The majority of twenty-somethings (57 percent) read their Bible less than three times a year, if at all.
And why should we when we can easily find our favorite Bible verses on Pinterest and worship music is so much easier than in-depth Bible study. Listening to podcasts or 20-minute sermons fits our schedules better. Although all of that is good, it’s not as filling as Living Water and the Bread of life. Reading a supplement or Cliff Notes version of a book won’t give you as much as reading the actual book. Eating dessert regularly won’t fill you up properly and in large amounts may actually be harmful.
But the reality is when we’re used to small bite-size, easy, sweet, uplifting content as our interaction with God, we stop desiring Living Water. For example, I’ve met people who are so addicted to soda and other beverages that they rarely, if ever, drink regular, pure water. I’ve met people are so used to polluted water that they prefer that to purified water (and vice versa).
So, if you find yourself in a season of not desiring the pure, unfiltered word of God, I challenge you to assess what “spiritual” food you’ve been filling yourself with lately. Just like any lifestyle change, cut back on those other things and slowly start to fill your day with more of the Bible. It may take years to wean yourself off the sugar-laden substitutes, but soon you’ll find that you actually crave time spent in the Scriptures over the easy fix of a 20-minute podcast, 200-word devotional or a worship song. Only then you’ll see the latter as treats and supplements, not the main entree.