By Patrick Miller
A few years ago, I made a New Year’s resolution to do the Whole 30. You know, the one where you cut absolutely everything fun out your diet (except coffee and meat) for an entire month. Week one was brutal, but I survived. Week two was hardly any better. You don’t know temptation until you’ve stared down a freshly baked cookie after going sugar free for 14 days.
But a cookie wasn’t what broke me. Lion’s Choice did. Specifically, those tiny little chocolate dipped cones. I don’t know how many I ate. I think I blacked out. What I do know is that I did the Whole 15, not the Whole 30.
What was my issue? It wasn’t discipline or self-control. Generally speaking, I’m a pretty disciplined person. My problem was that I lacked a “why.”
I didn’t need to lose weight. And I didn’t feel unhealthy. I just felt guilty about my diet. Guilt just wasn’t enough to keep me going, so when chocolate-dipped perfection presented itself to my sugar starved brains cells… resistance was futile.
Without a “why” I lacked hunger. I mean, I was obviously hungry for ice cream, but I wasn’t hungry for the Whole 30 and so I failed.
How will you make 2021 different?
Many Christians say the same thing every year: this year I will really read my Bible. The problem is that we aren’t hungry for the Bible. Sure, we’re guilty for it (I know that’s a strange way of phrasing it, but you get the point), but that’s not enough to keep us going longer than 15 days.
So rather than setting a resolution to read the Bible, maybe you should resolve to find a hunger for your Bible. Maybe you should resolve to find a “why.”
The need for a “why” hit me a few years back while I was having lunch with a guy who’d had a tough year. Over the course of twelve months, he’d met someone, fallen in love, gotten married… and then divorced when his new wife left him.
He was crushed. Embarrassed. Alone. Depressed. Confused. Anxious.
He asked me what he should do. I shared a lot of things about experiencing Jesus’s presence and guidance in his life, but the main thing was this: if you want to talk with Jesus, you need to listen to his word. You need to read the Bible.
He agreed, but I wasn’t optimistic. Good intentions rarely pan out.
We met up two weeks later and I asked him how his Bible reading was going. He responded, “I read it.” I was confused. He read it?
So I clarified, “You mean you read a book in the Bible? Which one?” He shook his head, “No, I mean I read it. I read the whole thing.”
He told me the Bible was his lifeline and he couldn’t get enough of it. When he felt alone he read it. When he felt confused, depressed, or anxious he read it. He was so hungry for the food only God’s word can offer that he read the whole Bible in two weeks.
He told me that Jeremiah 15:16 had become a reality in his life:
“Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart.”
Are you hungry right now?
I promise you are. The problem is that you might be feeding your soul on food that can never satisfy it. One author wrote that every man knocking on the door of a brothel is looking for God. I think the same thing can be said of a lot of different things:
- Every person sucked into an endless social media scroll is looking for God.
- Every person online shopping for hours on end is looking for God
- Every person turning to alcohol every night to dampen reality is looking for God
- Every person watching pornography is looking for God.
- Every person obsessed with their romance is looking for God.
- Every person binging Netflix is looking for God.
- Every person playing video games unto exhaustion is looking for God.
- Every person seeking the perfect body at the gym is looking for God.
- Every person dying for the next promotion is looking for God
- Every person snowplowing and helicoptering over their child is looking for God.
- Every person trying to save and stuff their bank account with money and house with stuff is looking for God.
Are you hungry right now? You are. And if you keep trying to feed that hunger on food that can’t satisfy, your life will be malnourished.
Make a change in 2021
So in 2021, turn your hunger away from those things and—with God’s help—turn it toward him instead.
Are you hungry for energy after a long day?
Psalm 19:7 says, The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul.”
Are you hungry for guidance?
The Psalm continues, “The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; … the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.”
Are you hungry for joy?
“The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart”
Are you hungry for a purpose that will outlast time?
“The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever”
Are you hungry for truth and justice?
“The rules of the LORD are true, and just altogether.”
If you want 2021 to be different, find where your soul is hungry and take that part of yourself to Jesus. He will feed you with the only food that satisfies.
So now that you’re hungry to ready the Bible, when are you going to start? Work and family life can make regular Bible time feel impossible. But is it? Click below for the real reason you don’t have time to read your Bible.
Don’t miss the rest of our five-part series for Making Jesus More in 2021:
- Part 1– 7 Easy Steps to start Reading Your Bible in 2021
- Part 2– Are You Hungry? The Secret to Reading Your Bible Consistently
- Part 3– The Real Reason You Don’t Have Time To Read the Bible
- Part 4– 3 Reasons to Delight in and Meditate on the Bible
- Part 5– 5 Simple Ways to Connect with God Through His Word