Have you ever wondered if the voice you hear is the voice of God?
In a world where so many messages are constantly bombarding us, it’s hard to discern one voice from another. But God has given us the Bible, and when we center our lives around the words of Scripture, we can be certain we are hearing His voice.
But the Bible is so long! It’s hard to know where to start! One practice that I often use is Lectio Divina, a Latin phrase meaning ‘divine reading’. When we read the Bible slowly and deeply, a few sentences at a time, it trains us to listen for how the verses are speaking specifically to our hearts. It certainly shouldn’t be the only way we read the Bible, but it adds depth to other types of reading.
Begin by reading a passage slowly, not for information, but to familiarize yourself with it. Psalms, Proverbs, and the Gospels are great books to use in Lectio Divina, but for today, let’s use Habakkuk 3:17-19:
“Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places.”
Read it (even out loud!) several times until you feel like the words are sinking in. Next, reflect on the passage. Perhaps as you read, a word or phrase especially strikes you. Narrow in on it and ask yourself, How is this word speaking to my life right now? Be curious about what God is trying to tell you. How does the word or phrase relate to what you are experiencing in your life?
Re-read the passage again, and respond in prayer. Talk to God about the ways you feel encouraged or challenged by what He is saying to you. Ask Him to root the passage deep in your heart, producing fruitfulness. Ask yourself, What can I do today in response to what I’ve read?
No matter what chaos crumbles or swirls around us, the Word of the Lord stands firm. May His truths speak deeply to your heart and mind today.