How to Get Life from Reading the Bible


In a previous post, we discussed how important it is to know that the essence of the Bible is the Spirit. Since only the Spirit can give life, for us to get life from reading the Bible we need to contact the Spirit in the Word. By receiving life, we’ll be spiritually nourished, and by that nourishment, we’ll grow in Christ. So being able to receive life from the Bible is crucial to our Christian life.

How can we get life from reading the Bible?

Second Timothy 3:16 is a key verse to show us how to get the Spirit, who gives life, when we read the Word of God:

“All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

The first part of the note on God-breathed in this verse helped us to see that the Spirit is the essence of the Scripture. Now let’s focus on the second part of the note to see how we can contact the Spirit in God’s Word:

“This indicates that the Scripture, the word of God, is the breathing out of God. God’s speaking is God’s breathing out. Hence, His word is Spirit (John 6:63), or breath. Thus, the Scripture is the embodiment of God as the Spirit. The Spirit is therefore the very essence, the substance, of the Scripture, just as phosphorus is the essential substance in matches. We must strike the Spirit of the Scripture with our spirit to catch the divine fire.”

To receive life from reading the Bible, we must “strike the Spirit of the Scripture with our spirit to catch the divine fire.” What does this mean?

A match and the right surface

To understand the analogy in the note, let’s look at how a match works.

A match head is made with phosphorus. The heat of friction ignites this highly reactive chemical when the match is struck against a rough surface. Let’s say we strike the match against a soft sweater, grass, or a plastic bottle; nothing happens because they’re not the right kind of surface. But when we strike the match against a gritty stone, it immediately ignites into flame.

So to start a fire, we need two things: the match itself and the right surface to strike it on.

The Spirit and our spirit

The illustration of the match and the right surface shows us how to catch the divine fire hidden in God’s Word. To do this we also need two things: the Bible (the match) outside of us and our human spirit (the right surface) inside of us.

If we come to the Word of God exercising only our mind with our good understanding, there will be no ignition, no fire. We’ll miss the Spirit in the Word. The Scriptures have to strike against the right surface for ignition to occur. Our human spirit, not our analytical mind or our changeable emotions, is the right surface.

If we use our human spirit as the right surface to strike the Spirit of the Scripture, the Spirit will give us life.

But just how do we use our spirit to contact the Spirit in the Word?

One way is by prayer

Physically speaking, the best way to exercise our feet is to walk. Spiritually speaking, the best way to exercise our spirit is to pray. As we read the Bible with prayer, we use our spirit. When we use our spirit by praying, we “strike,” or contact, the Spirit in the written Word of God.

Even before we begin to read the Bible, we can pray a simple little prayer like this: “Lord Jesus, I want to touch Your Spirit in Your Word. Lord, I don’t want to just read the black and white letters in the Bible; I want to receive You as life from Your Word.” Praying this way makes a big difference as we learn to exercise our spirit when we come to the Bible.

Then, as we read His Word, we can continue to pray by using the words in the Bible as our prayer. We can use these words to pray, praise, thank, and worship the Lord.

How to pray the Word of God: an example

As an example of how to pray with the Word of God, let’s use John 10:11:

“I am the good Shepherd; the good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”

We can pray with the Word like this: “Lord Jesus, I praise You that You are a Shepherd. I’m so glad You are my Shepherd. Thank You, Lord, for making me one of Your sheep. Lord, thank You for laying down Your life for me!”

In other words, we can pray to the Lord using His words, the words in the Bible, as our prayer. As we pray with the Bible, we use our human spirit and we contact the Spirit in God’s Word. This causes the Word to convey to us the Spirit, who gives life to us. We experience what the Lord spoke of in John 6:63: “The words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” This life feeds our spirit, satisfies our inner hunger for God, and waters our thirsty soul. And just as a child grows physically by being nourished, we experience spiritual growth in our Christian life by being nourished by the Spirit in God’s Word.

Knowing the essence of the Bible and exercising our spirit with the Word

Knowing that the Spirit is the essence of the Bible will revolutionize how we handle the Word of God. We’ll no longer handle God’s Word simply as a book of teachings or an outward guide on how to live. We won’t come to God’s Word using only our mind. Instead, we’ll exercise our spirit in prayer to contact the Spirit in the Word. We’ll come to the Bible wanting to receive life from the Word of God.

How does this post affect your view of reading the Bible? Share your thoughts and experiences below.

We love hearing from you, so please share your thoughts and experiences related to the post (blog commenting guidelines).

22 thoughts on “How to Get Life from Reading the Bible

    1. yes this has given me a new outlook towards sparking a fire within. I really want to be baptized with the HOLY SPIRIT I can now approach the scriptures as mentioned in part 1 thanks for the eye opener

  1. thank you for sharing with me your new book i hope i can get a free copies of your book (Using the New Testament Recovery Version:)i really enjoy reading it and i learn a lot from it thanks any way hope i can get a copy of your book thanks and God bless you,

  2. “As we read the written Word with prayer, we use our spirit and “strike,” or contact, the Spirit in the Scripture.”

    The explanation you provide is very helpful. During my bible reading certain words or phrases stand out to me. I use these words in my prayer and fellowship with the Lord. Thank you for this helpful post. May the Lord bless your work to help others draw closer to Him!

  3. Thanxs for the prayer using the Scripture,is it possible to pray reading the Scripture, the prayer might be too long,and me i have a poor memory,happy with the prayer

    1. Dear Noel,

      Thank you for your question. The words of the Bible, the Lord’s words, are available for us to use in our prayers. We can pray-read by speaking to the Lord Jesus about anything that touches our hearts as we are reading. This is wonderful as we don’t have to worry about composing a long or eloquent prayer, or something from our memory. Doing so would most likely leave us feeling dry and exhausted inwardly. Rather, by using the words in the Bible as our basis when we pray, we feel refreshed and fed by the Word. We hope you will have this experience!

  4. A great lesson that can never be taught too frequently; that Scripture is the word of God, the Spirit of God.

    Thank you.

  5. The daily battle of spiritual values verses worldly values is tough and it is on-going. Which set of values will dominate our lives; which set of values do we believe to be permanent and truly worthwhile?
    Unless we fully accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, worship of false gods, i.e.,
    love of wealth, love of power, and love of pride will dominate our thinking and our energy. The only way to attain real peace of mind in this world is to strive to attain paradise with Jesus in the next.I don’t know much, but this I do know: The more time and effort I spend with Jesus – (reading His word, thinking about Him), the better I feel.
    Thank you Word of God.

  6. Thank you for this perspective. It shed a clear light as to get life from the scriptures hence aligning ourselves with the creator again. The instruction is simple and strong. If one follows carefully, it will allow an even deeper connectivity and profound wisdom and understanding.

    Thanks again for the light!

  7. Thanks for your insight I’ve been feeling a bit dry these days I can now approach my daily devotions with a new hope

  8. Thank You for sharing this picture of our relationship with The Lord’s Holy Spirit, His Written Word – The Bible, and our human spirit. We were made to receive Him, breathe Him in, and enjoy Him as our Life. God’s plan is marvelous. All we have to do is come eat and drink. I’ve been having a struggle helping an extremely mentally ill lady who I used to work with. She is in a state of hopelessness and to her at present suicide feels like her only course of action to take. I was so thankful she called me…though it’s a very tough situation, I just keep praying, speaking God’s word’s of Life to her and when I feel depleted and shaken from her condition, I just have been turning back to The One who fills all in all. After being with her for several hours, I came home to take care of my own duties and while home, I just sang and enjoyed worshipping The Lord and speaking His word. He renewed and encouraged my shaken heart. My prayer is that she can be turned to His Life Line as well. I would appreciate everyone’s prayers for Benita. She is in a critical state of illness and defeat. THANK YOU ALL WHO LOVE OUR LORD JESUS!

  9. Praise the Lord. This post is just timely help for me! I am reading Bible with one gospel friend and I don’t know how to help her to contact the spirit. Thank you for reminding me that the scripture is spirit!

  10. Thank you, thank you! For writing that we are to read God word aloud and the spirit
    Of God will come alive! His word will be alive and His spirit will reveal His messages to me for my life ! To God be the glory! May you be blessed!

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