Here are some ideas for how to interact with God's word that will deepen your relationship with him and help to more firmly root the truths of his word in your heart.
Relationship with God happens day to day. Think about you human relationships. How do you get to know someone? You spend time with them, interacting with them often in different places and ways. Sometimes you may email or text each other, other times you may get together for a coffee, or a longer dinner date. Hopefully you find yourself both talking and listening.
When it comes to getting to know God, we need to spend time with him. Yes, reading the Bible is the best way to get to know who God is and the story he is telling. However, many people struggling with sitting down and reading the Bible. It can start to feel like school, like a duty void of relationship, or they simply just don't know where to start.
I very often hear people, myself included, describing our relationship with God by talking about how far along in our Bible reading app we are, or when we last attended church. We all do it, but let's think about how it would sound if you described your relationship with a friend by saying you had been trying to read their baby book, high school year book, some texts and emails they had sent you over the years, and every now and then you showed up to watch a sport they play, but if you are honest, you get there late, tend to leave early and find yourself distracted during most of the game. Does this sound at all like your relationship with the Lord? How would you describe your relationship with him?
Engaging in an interactive relationship with God gets our God given creative muscles moving. Here are some creative ways you can take a passage of "living and active" scripture and see it come to life!
Pick a chapter, or short passage of scripture and consider choosing something from the following menu. You don't have to do all of these, just consider selecting a different one each day that you choose to interact with the Lord over the same passage. Think, going to a restaurant and selecting a different menu option each time you go. You wouldn't try the whole menu in one sitting, unless you are Gordon Ramsey. ;)
A Meal with God, Menu Options:
1. Talk to God, ask him to help use his word to remind you of truth. Read the passage all the way through in your mind silently. Then talk with God again about what you read.
2. Talk with God, ask him to help use his word to remind you of truth then write out the passage. Notice what it was like copying his word in written form.
3. Read the passage out loud in full. Then pick a verse that stand out to you and try reading it out loud, emphasizing a different word each time through. Ex: GOD so loved the world. God SO loved the world. God so LOVED the world, and so on. Then tell God something cool you noticed.
4. Use your five senses, the container and or breathing to get fully present of where you are then listen to the passage being read out loud. Tell God something you are thankful for at the end. (BibleGateway.com has several audio Bible versions to choose from)
5. If the passage reminds you of a song, listen to the song. Tell God what you liked about the song and something you are thankful for.
6. Listen to the song again and use crayons, pens, or paints to draw out what it makes you think of. (Think 2-3 year old artistic expression here, doesn't have to be anything fancy and you may decide you want it to just be abstract shapes and colors.) Tell God what your drawing means to you and thank him for listening to you.
7. Read a devotional that references this passage and write a few sentences to God like you are writing him a letter about your takeaways. (Can be written on paper, or typed "email to God" style).
8. Read a verse or two and ten stop and write your response like a conversation back and forth with the Lord. Read a verse or two more and write your response again directed to the Lord like having a conversation with him, and so on.
9. Print out the passage and circle or color code any repeated themes, phrases, or words you see in the passage. Notice what stands out to you about the repetition and tell God about it. If questions come up, ask him those questions.
10. Take a verse that stands out to you and dissect it morsel by morsel like an amazing piece of your favorite desert. - Use www.blueletterbible.com to look at what each word or phrase of the verse means in the original language and write or verbalize a short response to God about what you noticed.
11. Listen to the passage and let your body move and express itself physically: in dance, or other movements. Notice how your movement impacts or changes the way you digest the passage. Comment to God about what you noticed.
12. Read the passage inside one day and outside another day. Notice how a change of scenery impacts you. Find something in creation you can thank God for.
13. Pick a verse or a phrase from the passage and work on committing it to memory. Consider putting it to a tune you already know to help it stick, or create your own tune!
14. Tell someone about what you have experienced as you have spent time with the Lord several different ways over the same passage.
15. BONUS - you may have some other creative ideas on how to interact with the Lord over this passage, try them and share them with me below!