A Plan or a Way

Posted on August 21, 2012

“What is your favorite Bible reading plan?”, He asked me as I walked quickly towards my destination. Why did this question feel like a test? I thought for a moment.

“My favorite plan is to read the Bible in order to hear God speak, “ I responded.

“Yes, I know,” he said, “but….” The “but” told me he didn’t know.

“When it comes to reading the Bible in a systematic way, what is your favorite plan”, he persisted.

“My favorite plan is to read in order to hear God speak,” I repeated.

He began to look at me like I was being obnoxious. I was just answering his question.

He was asking me a question, that if I answered the way he was asking, would result in a response that would be untrue to my deepest beliefs.

He was asking me about a structure, I was answering about a way. This is often the case in conversations I am involved in.

In many cases people are looking for a structure or a plan. Jesus offers a way.

When it comes to reading the Bible, many ways can be identified. You see the way has to do with what we are looking for and what we are looking through.

We can look through a lens of bitterness and superiority.

We can look for answers to an argument.

We can look through a lens of academia and knowledge.

We can look for mistakes and inconsistencies.

All of these and many others lead to a way of reading the Bible that results in self focus and swollen ego.

We can look for the voice of God to us in any given moment.

We can look through the lens of an integrated natural and spiritual worldview.

We can look for the mind and heart of God.

We can look through the lens of spirit-led self-examination.

All of these and many others lead to a way of reading the Bible that results in God consciousness and transformed hearts.

Jesus did not say “I am the Plan, the Truth and the Life”

He said, “I am the Way”


  • Bobby Lane

    What an awesome article! While God can speak in a structural reading plan.  He also desires to get intimate and desires to go to the heart of where we are.  This also allows the Holy Spirit to lead and minister to us as we journey in this life.  Thanks Bob

  • This reminds me of a devotional I read in My Utmost for His Highest on May 12 … this excerpt in particular: 

    Your god may be your little Christian habit— the habit of prayer or Bible reading at certain times of your day. Watch how your Father will upset your schedule if you begin to worship your habit instead of what the habit symbolizes. We say, “I can’t do that right now; this is my time alone with God.” No, this is your time alone with your habit. There is a quality that is still lacking in you. Identify your shortcoming and then look for opportunities to work into your life that missing quality.

    Reading that has convicted me because I believe I’m prone to worshiping my little Christian habits. Thank you for the affirmation and helping me see the Way! 

    P.S. Here’s the link to the My Utmost devo if anyone is interested: http://utmost.org/the-habit-of-having-no-habits/

  • Marissa Star

    This make my heart happy 🙂 I could go on. But I’m going to stick with that. ~Ris

  • Al

    loved this!

  • Jesi Steiber

    I’ve never been one to stick with a “plan” for the exact reasons you wrote. I’ve tried several times, and honestly I get “nothin'” from it. When I read to seek Him – I am filled.  Love this, thank you!!

  • marga

    Bob, I completely agree – and yearn for this “way” of reading…. at this point, tho, I am dry and want a place to start, a way for God to quench my spirit. Anything?

  • ThehappyDana

    This is great! Loooove it! I’ve always had a hard time following a plan, but I thought it was my spontaneous personality. More importantly, whether following a plan or not, I want to hear his voice. Always love your teaching, Bob!

  • Janet Manor

    Love this once again you write something that makes my heart sing!!!

  • Klhamp

    Very. Very nice, Bob.

  • BLynBogs

    How nice this post is to those who have fallen off the “plan” for a successful life in America. Jesus doesn’t twist our lives to fit a mold, He leads us to Him, however that may look.

  • Debra

    I completely LOVE this!

  • Rterry

    Not what a plan maker wants to hear. But much need to listen to. it is about the way ( the walk ) the daily walk… not getting there but the walk to get there this is the Way. This is where heart changing is done. when you change the lie’s for the truth.

  • Kaysie

    Wonderful thoughts. Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by A.W. Tozer:

    “For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience they are not the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.”

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