Stephen Altrogge

Stephen Altrogge

The Blazing Center

I’m a husband, dad, writer. I drink too much coffee and know too much about Star Wars. I created The Blazing Center. I’ve also written some books which people seem to like. You can follow me on Instagram and Facebook

I sit down early in the morning, Bible in hand, super charged coffee by my side. The world is asleep. My kids are asleep. Heck, I’m still asleep. I sure could have used another 30 minutes. My eyes…so heavy…did someone attach barbells to them? Did I accidentally take a sedative this morning? I make/stumble my way through my daily reading. I try to jot a few notes, pray, get my heart oriented for the day. I finish, and I feel… …nothing. Still very tired. No glorious revelations of Shekinah glory. No deep sense of God’s abiding presence. No spiritual flashbangs or burning bushes. Did anything really “happen” during the time I read the Bible? Did the Bible make any difference? Why should I even continue when it just feels like I’m going through the motions?

It’s A Way Of Acknowledging My Dependence On God

Regardless of what happens, reading God’s word is a loud statement that I need God. That I cannot survive on bread alone. That I’m not smart enough, strong enough, or clever enough to navigate this world apart from God. God has made it clear that spiritually speaking, only the weak survive. The spiritual discipline of sitting under God’s word is a proclamation of my weakness, and that honors God.

God has made it clear that spiritually speaking, only
the weak survive.

I read the Bible to acknowledge that I need God.

God Rewards Those Who Seek Them

Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” God rewards those who seek him. Not those who feel him. Not those who get warm fuzzies or feel spiritual electricity coursing through their souls. When I read the Bible, I am expressing faith that God will reward me for seeking him. And (although this should be obvious), God will reward me for seeking him. If I only read God’s word when I feel like it, I am choosing to forfeit rewards from God. I read the Bible because God will reward me.

Reading Scripture Is Primarily A Planting Activity

Psalm 1:3 describes the man who reads God’s word this way:

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.

Trees grow slowly, in tiny increments. If you look at a tree, it doesn’t look like it’s growing. Fruit only appears in specific seasons, and not until the tree has reached a certain age. When you plant a seed, you have faith that you will eventually see the results. A farmer who lived by his feelings wouldn’t last very long. Reading God’s word is usually like planting seeds. I won’t see the fruit of it immediately, but eventually, that fruit will come forth. If you ever wonder why a particular Christian is so mature, it’s because they’ve spent many hours planting seeds in the soil of their heart. Growth is slow. Fruit is slow. But it will happen. If you ever wonder why a particular Christian is so mature, it’s because they’ve spent many hours planting seeds in the soil of their heart. I read the Bible to plant the seeds of change.

Because God DID Speak To Me

Every time I open the Bible, God speaks to me. He is never silent, even if it somehow feels like God isn’t speaking. The words of Scripture are sacred, pouring forth from God for my good and his glory. I don’t need a “holy” experience to hear God. I don’t need the hair on my neck to stand up, and I don’t need to find a secluded place in the woods. As I sit on the couch, rubbing sleep from my eyes and gulping wake-up juice, God himself is talking to me. Glorious. I read the Bible to hear from God.

God’s Word Protects Me

Going into the world without the protection of God’s word is like going into battle without a scrap of armor. It’s suicidal. The world, the flesh, and the devil are eagerly looking for opportunities to rip me to shreds. To deceive me, destroy me, lure me into traps. To absolutely ruin my life and my eternity. To wage spiritual warfare on me. The devil prowls about like a lion, like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, even like an angel at times. The word of God protects me against the siren calls that beckon me. It shines light into the dark corners so I can see that the sin which looks so attractive is actually an animated corpse. The Bible is a lamp unto my feet, a beacon in dark places, a shield, and a sword. I read the Bible for protection.

Take Up and Read

There will be many times when I don’t read the Bible. When sleep or sickness or general laziness prevents me. But I know I can’t allow that to continue for long. I may not feel a sense of peace or joy nearness to God, but that shouldn’t stop me. My growth depends on it.

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