I once heard someone say, “You rake leaves, but you have to dig for gold.” As I have been in some sort of Bible study on and off for over 40 years now, I have come to discover that there is a big difference between “raking” and “digging” when it comes to studying God’s Word. You can skim over it- “raking”- getting the gist of the content, perhaps just reading the chapter headings. Or you can take time and “dig” in, study it, and obtain the gold nuggets of truth that lie within.
Why is it so important to take the time to be in an in-depth Bible study?
Here’s 5 reasons why I would recommend “digging versus raking.”
1. GETTING TO KNOW YOUR CREATOR. Growing up, I learned all the Bible stories and knew a lot “about” God. But I did not grasp the depth of His love for me or the amazing breadth of His power, majesty, and desire to be in a personal relationship with me. In order to get to know someone and love him or her deeply, you must spend a significant amount of time together. For me to know the One who created me and loves me more than any human ever will, as well as learn to trust Him totally, I must enter into an intimate and full understanding of His character. Digging will help me grasp the complete scope of God’s nature. “And to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:19.
2. FINDING YOUR LIFE PURPOSE. Most humans are on a quest to find and fulfill their life purpose, often asking the question, “Why am I here?” Life without a sense of purpose can lead to discouragement, depression, and despair. Digging into God’s Word is not only an amazing discovery of your Creator, but also how and why He made us humans, and what His life purpose is for us. God wants to speak directly to YOU through His Word and for you to know His plan and purpose for your life. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work,” 2 Timothy 3:16-17. And Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
3. LIVING A LIFE OF FREEDOM IN OUR TRUE IDENTITY requires that we know the difference between lies and God’s truth. In order to recognize a lie, we must first know God’s truth. How do we identify counterfeit things? Do bankers study the hundreds of examples of counterfeit money to recognize it? No, they study the real thing. They study it so well that when something that is not real comes across their desk they will say, “Wait a minute! Something is not right with this one.” It is the same with distinguishing lies. When a lie presents itself to us, either through thoughts, something we see or hear, we can recognize that something’s not right about it, that it is contrary to God’s truth. We will know that it is a lie from the enemy. But if we don’t know God’s truth from studying the Bible, we won’t be in a position to recognize a lie when it comes to us and will remain slaves to lies and bondage. John 8:31-32 tells us that if we ABIDE in His word, we are truly His disciples, and we will know the TRUTH and the TRUTH will set us FREE. There is a gold mine of truth and wisdom in God’s Word in how to handle any of life situations you are facing right now, and it will give you the power source to keep walking in freedom.
4. MAKING WISE LIFE DECISIONS. God loves us deeply and wants us to live extraordinary lives (John 10:10). That’s very difficult to do if you are consistently making poor decisions or falling prey to Satan’s lies. The Bible is life’s handbook and map and will help you avoid the pitfalls of foolish and ignorant decisions. As I have dug for the gold in God’s Word over the years, I have come to a deeper understanding of making healthy, Godly choices. Every day I pray and ask God to help me make wise decisions and show me what to do. It is especially crucial for my personality type, (Phlegmatic) which has a very hard time making decisions! “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” Psalm 32:8
5. THE ASSURANCE OF HEAVEN AND STRENGTH IN THE STORMS. This may be one of the greatest benefits of taking the time to really dig into God’s Word. God’s desires for us to be His children and spend eternity with Him. His Word clearly tells us how we can be assured of an eternal destination with Him (John 3:16). It’s also not only having the guarantee of heaven, but also as we dig deeper into His Word, we also have the assurance that He will be with us throughout life’s storms. He will help us to persevere and remain hopeful when everything around us may be in turmoil. “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God.” Psalm 146:5. (Go digging in Psalms for numerous verses about hope!)
These are just a few of the endless benefits of learning how to, and taking the time to, dig deep in God’s Word. Being a part of groups like Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), Community Bible Study (CBS), and now a Precepts group, have helped me to mature in my faith and learn how to walk daily in freedom through my relationship with Christ. They have also provided a wonderful community in which to learn and grow in my faith journey. God’s passion is to raise up a strong army of believers in these perilous times. Knowing Him, and His Word is part of equipping we saints for victorious living.
Get your shovel and start digging!
For His Glory,
CBS- https://www.communitybiblestudy.org/, BSF – https://www.bsfinternational.org/, and PRECEPT https://www.precept.org/ are national/international ministries. Join a group in your area. You won’t regret it!