Symptoms Of Bible-Deficiency & Warning Signs That You Need To Be In The Word
My irritation leveled up a notch with every noise my sister made, whether it was a conversational sentence or just the way she shifted in her seat. She was driving me nuts, and all I wanted to do was yell and fume and throw a shoe at her.
For really no reason at all.
You see, all day I had been feeling annoyed, grumpy, lethargic, and…empty.
I felt like I was standing in a chasm, unable to crawl out, like the chasm was inside of me.
And it was a good day! Nothing went wrong or anything like that. It was just me.
Now, usually, on days like those, we tend to blame our hormones or the weather or whatever (which it certainly could be!), but I’ve found that, more often than not, there is always one reason why I go from pretty princess to Count Dracula:
I haven’t been in the Word lately.
Now, hear me out before you exit out of this blog post, okay?
I know it sounds a little woo-woo, but I’ve seen it to be true so often in my life, and I’m sure you have seen it, too.
Someone very dear to me — we’ll call her Sally for the sake of privacy — was very passionate about God and getting into the Bible. She wanted me to do Bible studies with her and teach her how to study the Bible for herself. She was going to church every Sunday, going to small groups, listening to worship music, and asking questions. She was seeking God with all of her heart, chasing Him with reckless abandon and relentless love. As a result of her newfound faith and spiritual growth, she started making fantastic decisions and really changing her life for the better.
But all too soon, the busyness of life set in.
Her dedication to the Word slowly faded. She opted to work instead of go to church or small groups. Don’t get me wrong, she wanted to do all of those things, but she was just so tired and busy and overwhelmed.
And then that yearning for God was snuffed out entirely. She wasn’t sure if she even wanted to read the Bible or go to church anymore.
Weeks turned into months, and the life she left behind to follow Christ came knocking on her door.
She opened the door to sin, and it led to destruction just as it always does (James 1:15). She lost her fiancé. She lost friendships. Family relationships became strained. She lost her sense of purpose. She lost her joy in the world. She became stressed and angry all the time and very hurtful to those around her.
Have you ever been there? Or maybe you’re there now? Where you feel far from God or maybe just off?
Maybe you’re more irritable, easily annoyed, and quick to get angry like I was?
Don’t you want to fix it?
Don’t you want to figure out why your life went up in smoke?
Don’t you want to find a cure?
That’s what I’m discussing in this post. You see, as radical as this idea is, I believe that 98% of the problems we face are a result of one problem: not being in the Word enough and allowing it to change us. (Click to Tweet)
SO, we’re going to talk about warning signs in your life that you need to be in the Bible more…BEFORE you find yourself in compromising situations and your faith fading.
You are very irritable and easily annoyed.
This one is big for me. When I go about 4 days without being in the Word, every little thing annoys the crap out of me. I lash out at other people and am just not a nice person at all.
I’ve learned to recognize that and push into God when that happens (even when I really don’t want to.)
I like the way Phylicia Masonheimer explains it: you’re unable to give grace because you haven’t exposed yourself to His.
Ask anyone in my family. I’ll be Queen Meany one day, spend time with God and allow His Word to soak into my soul, and the next day I’m all rainbows and butterflies.
The Bible is kinda like a Snickers in that sense. ;)
You find yourself judging and criticizing others.
This goes with the last one, but it’s a bit worse. When someone does something to you, you find it super hard to forgive and can’t help but think about ALL of the things they’ve done…like that time in 3rd grade when they stole your paper airplane.
Reading the Bible regularly opens your eyes to the truth: that we’re all sinners — that includes you — and that we’re all in need of grace.
When you know the truth and have it ingrained on your heart from digging into the Bible, you start to see the people and the world around you with a truth-perspective. Total game-changer.
You feel empty on the inside and hopeless.
This is one that gets me. When I go for a prolonged period without digging into the Word, I’m much more likely to sink into hopelessness and even depression.
It’s like I’m numb, directionless, just going through the motions. The world becomes dim, and my hope in living weakens.
God is hope.
God is love.
God is life.
If I am not experiencing God through His Word, then I am not experiencing hope, love, and life. (Click To Tweet)
You’re tired, overwhelmed, and have no desire to work.
I get this a lot when I’m not in the Word, especially because my “work” is ministry.
God is rest for our souls. The Bible is rest for our souls. When we’re running on empty and completely deplete of energy, yeah, we’re going to get burned out.
That’s why it’s so important to dig into the Bible as often as we can because it is rest for our souls. It’s our renewal, our rejuvenation, our fuel to get through the days.
Not being in the Word blinds yourself to God’s purpose and, in turn, your purpose. It leaves you feeling hopeless and directionless, which then leads to lethargy and glumness.
You’re extremely anxious and stressed.
When you’re not actively in the Word and pursuing God, you start to depend on yourself and lean on your own strength instead of leaning on His. Of course this leads to stress and anxiety because you know that you will fail.
Trying to be independent from God and not desperately seeking Him will increase your anxiety and stress. It’s a natural phenomenon that God placed in us so that we will seek Him.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 ESV)
I know that verse specifically talks about prayer and thanksgiving being the cause for peace, but prayer, thanksgiving, and digging in the Word go hand-in-hand.
Let’s break it down.
Not getting in the Word —> depending on yourself —> stress and anxiety
Your desire for God has declined drastically.
If you’re not cultivating a relationship with God by talking with Him and reading His Word back to you, the relationship is going to become stagnant.
Imagine that you have a friend who you talk with all the time. For some reason, y’all just stop talking as often. Months pass by. Is your relationship with that friend the same? Do you still want to talk to them as much as you once did? Of course not!
This is super important, so listen up.
Your desire for God will decline when your dedication to God declines, and when your desire declines, destruction soon follows.
The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. And those who aren’t seeking safety in the arms of God are easy targets. (Click To Tweet)
You care a lot about how you look, how to be better, and how to have more.
Your eyes have to be fixed on something. Either they’re fixed on God, or they’re fixed on the world. There is no in-between. (Click To Tweet)
When you start worrying so much about how you look, what to do with your hair, how much you weigh, how to get that promotion, what new gadgets you so badly want, etc., red flags should be going up in your head.
Those things aren’t bad in and of themselves, but when they become an obsession or what you think about most often, then you have a problem, friend.
It looks like you desire some thing, an idol, more than you desire God. And that’s no bueno.
You think church is becoming stale and boring.
I don’t mean to bust your bubble, but sometimes when we take a step back from God, God becomes silent and allows you to experience what it’s like without His presence. Why? Because He wants us to realize that we need Him, desperately.
So, when we choose to not seek God’s heart (by not actively seeking Him in His Word), He chooses to not give His heart.
I mean, why would He give His heart to someone who throws it away and ignores it?
So, if you’re not getting anything out of church, maybe it’s because you stopped really wanting and seeking God.
You’re starting to make small compromises in your faith.
This is a biggie.
Not infusing your life with Truth (the Bible) makes it really easy for you to listen to lies. (Click To Tweet)
Lies that say:
“That’s not a big deal. Everyone else is doing it.”
“Nothing happened the last time you did that. Why can’t you do it again?”
“Just this once won’t hurt anything.”
“God will love you anyway. Just go do what you want.”
“You can’t survive without doing that. Come on, you want it so bad.”
“Why should you not do that when everyone else is doing it?”
You get the point.
You start sinning in little things, and then they start piling up and snowballing until they wreak havoc on your life.
Take Sally for example (the story mentioned earlier). She made small compromises and opened a door to one sin, and before she knew it, a whole bunch of other sins had their foot in the door, too.
That’s how sin works. If you compromise on one, it keeps multiplying and snowballing until you can’t control it anymore and completely destroys your life.
So, if you make one compromise, that should send a warning flare up in your head, telling you that (a) you need to repent and turn from that sin ASAP, and (b) you need to douse your life in Truth so that you won’t give in to the lies and sin.
You’re questioning your faith and rethinking doctrine
First, let me preface this by saying that questions and doubts are NOT bad, as long as you’re actively searching for an answer and not just letting the questions fester until you give up on God. In fact, I encourage you to question what you think you know about God often; just do it in a healthy way.
Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way….
Ever heard the saying: “You’re so full of crap that your eyes turned brown”?
Well, sin is kinda the same way.
Sin tends to pile up until you can no longer see past it.
Sin blinds you to the Truth.
Sin infects your thinking.
Sin infiltrates your heart.
And when that happens, it becomes really easy to question everything you thought you knew about God.
Getting in the Bible and covering yourself with Truth protects you from sin, and it floods you with Truth.
If we believe the Bible is completely true, then reading it puts truth in our brains and our hearts. And, as a result, we KNOW what is true and what is not.
So reading the Bible gives you surety of faith.
👉🏽 Look, friend. I know I just covered a lot, but this is something very near and dear to my heart.
I believe in the power of the Bible so freaking much, and my greatest desire is to see women digging into the Bible with a fierce passion.
If you have’t been in the Bible for a while and have seen some of these signs in your own life, I want to whisper to your heart a few things:
It’s okay. It really is. This does not make you a bad Christian or too far gone. We all go through seasons like this, so don’t beat yourself up or guilt-trip yourself.
Go to Him, start with small steps, and allow Him to pour His love into you. You don’t have to start with an hour long intense Bible study. Start with ten minutes. Start with telling God exactly how you’re feeling, why you don’t want to seek Him, and what’s going on in your heart. Confess your sins to God, and remind yourself of the Gospel. I promise He’s not going to get angry or be scared away. He welcomes your raw honesty; just go to Him with it, and stumble forward.
Make a change. Here’s the cool thing about grace: it both frees and empowers. So, yes, grace covers your shortcomings, but it is not an excuse to lay on the ground and allow those shortcomings to get the best of you. Choose today to make a change in your life, to make God a priority, and to actively seek Him with all of your heart.
Just show up. You don’t have to have it all figured out. You don’t even have to necessarily want to spend time with God. (*GASP* I know) Faith is choosing to follow God even when it’s hard and when we don’t even want to. So take a leap of faith, despite what you might be feeling, and CHOOSE Him.