Engaging with the Word

The Bible is unlike any other book. It's not meant to be read passively or selectively. It is living and active—it teaches, convicts and changes us as we interact with it. We don't just come to the Word to learn about God's character, but to be progressively transformed into His image. So we need to learn what it looks like to engage actively with God's Word, with a heart of surrender that seeks to know and respond to Him.

Instead of just skimming over the words on the page, take time to really sit in it and reflect. Ask questions, think about what it means, consider how it connects to the overarching story of redemption, identify what it teaches about who God is and how He works.
Invite the Lord to illuminate your heart and open your eyes through His Word. In what ways do your thoughts and desires fail to line up with what you're reading in this passage? Seek out the root of your sin, not just the external action.
Whenever we see some aspect of God's character in Scripture, our own sin and insufficiency will be evident. Recognizing our sin is a gift of God's grace to us, and is part of how He is at work changing us. But it's uncomfortable, so our natural tendency is often to ignore it and focus on things that seem more pleasant and encouraging. However, the only right response is to humbly confess to God our sin and desperate need for Him.
We know that the Bible says God is good and faithful and loving, but in the face of difficulty, it's hard to remember and walk in those truths. One of the ways for truth to move from our head to our heart is through praise. Whatever you learn in Scripture about God and His work, respond by praising Him—awaken your heart to love and worship the Lord.
Be specific in praying that God will change your heart and mind. We are dependent on Him and need His help to learn to walk in His ways. For example, if you recognize pride in your heart, ask God to grow you in humility and show you where in your life you have been pursuing your own glory instead of His.
Identify particular ways that God is leading you to respond to His Word. Heart change won't happen overnight, but you can take steps forward in obedience as He teaches you through His Word.

That God would speak and reveal Himself to us is such amazing grace. May we cherish and engage with His Word, looking not just for information or help, but to know our Creator in relationship and be changed by Him.