This post was originally published as Bible Study Made Simple podcast episode 14, How to Make Time for Bible Study. You can listen here.
Have you ever said that you would study the Bible if you had more time? Or maybe that you will study when you find the time? Maybe you have given up and think that you will never have the time to study the Bible! Today, we will talk about the 5 steps to making time for your Bible study.
I am Eva Kubasiak, and this is Bible Study Made Simple. Have you ever felt intimidated or confused by the Bible? Or maybe you have started studying the Bible before but haven’t found a way to incorporate it into your regular routine. The Bible Study Made Simple podcast is here to help you move from intimidated and confused to confident and joyful in your approach to Scripture, and help you find a routine that sticks. The goal isn’t checking off a box perfectly, but instead, our goal is an intimate connection with the God of the Bible - plus having tons of fun along the way!
When it comes to just about anything in our lives, there is a difference between finding time and making time. It can be easy to get into a mindset thinking that one day we will just magically find time that we didn’t see before, but unfortunately, that is never the case. Instead, it becomes a mindset shift from finding time, to making time.
Today, let’s talk about the 5 steps to making time for our Bible study.
Step 1 is to prioritize your Bible study.
When we make time, we are saying that we are setting a priority in our lives. Our commitment to studying our Bible, and even more so our commitment to seek God and get to know Him is important, and it is something that is worth it to us to make happen.
We will never just have time for Bible study. Everything is fighting for your attention, some good things and some not-so-good things. But when we commit to our decision to make time for Bible study, that is when our routine and habit start to form.
Step 1 is to prioritize it, and step 2 is to schedule it.
If you call a drs office and they tell you what time your appointment is, chances are, you are going to write that appointment time down! That is because making that appointment is important to you. Same with a date night, coffee with a friend, or church event you are excited to attend. We put those things on our schedule.
Then how come when it comes time to study our Bibles, we expect our schedule to just clear up and we magically have time?
When you make up your mind to prioritize your Bible study, block some time off for it on your calendar. Tell your family that it is a priority to you if they live with you, or even tell a friend to help keep you accountable to your appointment. You are significantly more likely to get something done if the time is blocked off for it on your calendar. If you use a digital calendar like Google Calendar, you can even have a notification go off 10 minutes before to help you transition and get ready for your Bible study time.
After Bible study is on your schedule, the next thing to do is to identify potential distractions and eliminate them.
Now, this sounds a little more extreme than it actually is. You aren’t going to eliminate family members that might come busting in. But you can make sure they know that your time with God is a priority. You could even have an activity ready for them to do quietly while you spend time in the Word. For me, a potential distraction is my 6-month-old. Albeit, she is a very cute distraction. I try to save one of her favorite toys and only pull it out while I am studying my Bible so she plays quietly while I study. If that isn’t working, I will read out loud to her what I am studying, or even talk through my process a little bit. She likes hearing my voice, so it’s a fun way to get her involved. So eliminating distractions isn’t always getting rid of the thing, it might just be creating a backup plan so that you can work with the distractions.
However, some distractions do genuinely need to be eliminated. Netflix, Instagram, or YouTube for example. It’s pretty hard to study the Bible and hear from God with Netflix on. Hide the remote, go to a different room, unplug your device, do what you need to do to eliminate whatever might be keeping you away from your time with God.
Okay, so we have a distraction-free environment on our schedule, and it is a priority, now what? Now, you get started! Follow through on the commitment you made. If you need some ideas for where to get started, you can check out episode 4, where to start (blog link), or if you need more specific help on what to do when studying, check out episode 7, for some questions to ask when studying Scripture (blog link).
Let’s review. Step 1, Prioritize it. You already know that Bible study is important because you are listening to this podcast. Step 2, Schedule it. When Bible study is on your schedule, it makes it that much easier to follow through. Step 3, identify and eliminate distractions. It sounds scary, but isn’t, I promise. And then Step 4, do it. So what’s step 5?
Try again the next day. If you miss a day, try again the next day. If you have the most amazing perfect time with God and you take tons of notes and are on a spiritual high, try again the next day. If you did it, but didn’t really get anything out of it, try again the next day. If you haven’t picked it up in 3 months and are starting to feel guilty for missing for so long, try again the next day.
We can get an idea of how it is supposed to look in our minds, and when it doesn’t go that way we end up giving up. But the goal is to connect with God, not have a picture-perfect Bible study time where you get all the answers right. So no matter what, keep picking it up the next day. Keep meeting with God. I promise it’s going to be worth it.
Here’s a prayer for you when you are feeling stuck and struggling to make time for your Bible study:
Father, I want to meet with You. I have a picture in my mind of what I think it should look like and I am struggling to make that happen. I have the desire to study my Bible, but my schedule is so full, I don’t know how I could possibly add something else in! Help me to see what I can’t in my day, and show me how I can connect with You, even if it doesn’t look Instagram perfect. I know that Your desire is to meet with me, and I want to meet with You. Amen.
If you want to take your first step towards God through His Word, I would recommend getting into a Bible reading habit. I have a free guide just for you that you can download at evakubasiak.com/habit. As you take your next steps towards God through studying the Bible, I pray that you remember our goal is connection with God over perfection in our day to day routine.