Here is an expression that, even if you don’t use it, I believe will resonate with you if you’re a Christian:
I want, to want…
“Wanting to want” means this: It means that as Christians, we are to have a different value system than that of the world. We are to value things that, in the eyes of the world, might often look like a waste of time. We are to make eternal kingdom investments rather than spending our time, finances, and emotional energy on earthly things.
Take, for example, the practice of prayer. Prayer is valuable. And it is beneficial. Prayer is the means by which we enter into a deeper relationship with our Creator in whose presence there is fullness of joy. Further, prayer is the God-ordained means by which we can bring real change into the world. By any measure of logic, then, we should not only make it our practice to pray, but that we should actually want to pray.
Problem is we don’t. We want to watch Netflix and chill. That leads us to wanting to want when it comes to something like prayer. Ideally, we should desire to pray, and not just pray because we know we should. So we want to want.
That’s true for all kinds of things in the Christian life because our emotions are just as broken by sin as everything else is. As the Spirit of God is making us more like Jesus, He is not only changing our behavior; He is redeeming our emotional lives as well. Someday, in heaven, our emotions and our actions will be brought into harmony with each other. We won’t just do the right thing; we will feel the right thing. But until then, we want to want.
Which brings us to the subject of the Bible. Here’s what we want to be true about us:
- That God’s Word is a lamp to our feet and light to our path (Ps. 119:105).
- That we treasure God’s Word in our hearts (Ps. 119:11).
- That we delight in the statutes as revealed in the Bible (Ps. 119:16).
- That the ordinances of the Bible be sweeter than honey dripping from a honeycomb (Ps. 19:10).
That’s what we want. But here is our reality:
- Many mornings it’s a discipline rather than joy to open God’s Word.
- It feels like we are too busy for 10 minutes with an open Bible.
- It’s hard to understand exactly how these verses relate to my life today.
So again, we want to want when it comes to the Bible. But is there a way for us to move in the right direction? Is there some action we can take that will propel us down the road of discipline to joy when it comes to Scripture? There is, and it’s a very simple way indeed:
The way to grow in our love of God’s Word is through reading God’s Word.
Think about it like this: Let’s say there is some other activity in life that you know you should do, but you don’t necessarily enjoy doing right now. Something like exercise. No doubt you should exercise. No doubt it’s beneficial to do so. But it’s been so long since you’ve done it, it’s just hard to keep going. How do you increase your value of that practice? And how do you increase your enjoyment of that practice? You do it, by doing it.
Another way to say it is this – your heart is going to follow your investment. You will care more about those things which you are giving yourself to. This is a very encouraging thing because we can’t control how we feel. We feel what we feel. But we can control what we invest ourselves in.
There are, then, really two options before us if we find ourselves wanting to want to read the Bible. Option 1 is that we are paralyzed by this state of being. That we stay stationary in our wanting to want, pining away at our lack of desire. Or, there’s option 2. Option 2 is that we recognize our emotions are broken, so we pray that God will change our hearts when it comes to reading the Bible. That we would not just do it, but love it. And then in faith, we start reading, believing that God will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
If we make that investment, by God’s grace, our emotions will follow our actions, and we will not just read the Word, but love the Word.