– Chip Ingram
The Ingredient of Prayer
It is a great habit to pray before we study the Word of God so that the Spirit of God can bring us into a better understanding of the Scriptures we read. Praying before studying the Bible should include asking God the Holy Spirit to join us in the examination of the Word of God so that we can see how it applies to us.
The Ingredient of the Word
After we have prayed for the Holy Spirit’s illumination, we need to be consistently reading the Word of God every day. I have a rule: No breakfast before Bible. I want to have that hunger for the Word before my hunger for food is satisfied. Imagine trying to go a week or more without eating. Many Christians open their Bibles only on Sunday, perhaps during the sermon, but that’s not enough to sustain them throughout the coming week. It takes study and not just a simple cursory reading of the Word.
The Ingredient of Study
We shouldn’t read the Bible like we would a newspaper. There are often things in the Scripture that only come to the surface through a diligent study of the Word. For King David, he saw the storing up or memorization of Scripture as a way to avoid sin, as he wrote, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11). It’s like putting on the armor of God and taking up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17). Yet many of us enter into a spiritual battle with the invisible enemy, wicked spirits in high places (Eph. 6:12), without an offensive weapon with which to defend ourselves.
The Ingredient of the Spirit
The Helper or Advocate will help us recall what we’ve studied even when we’re away from our Bible, as Jesus said, “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26). The Word of God, when mixed with the Spirit of God, takes the message of God and plants it in the hearts of the children of God.
Do you have a hunger and thirst for the Word of God? The psalmist described his desire for God as this: “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God” (Psalm 42:1), and his “soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times” (Psalm 119:20). God tells us, “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price” (Isaiah 55:1). It is just as Chip Ingram said: “God gives us the ingredients for our daily bread, but he expects us to do the baking.”