Bible Reading: Even More Important for the Military?
By: Brian O’Day
Hopefully, you have a Bible reading Plan that you’re working through and are having regular time alone with the Lord. But for those of you in the military or the immediate family member of a service member, have you considered the added importance of this regular time alone with the Lord?
Having served for 10 years on active duty myself and now pastoring a church with many active-duty families, I have compiled a list of reasons I find this discipline of added importance for you.
- You’re not special. The discipline of reading and studying the Word of God is important for every Christian. The difficulty and uniqueness of military service may tempt you to skimp out on this discipline, but you are not special- you need this discipline just like everyone else- maybe more.
- Military Life is Hard- God is Our Help. Believers over the millennia have turned to the Lord in their hardship. The challenges of military life should regularly and repeatedly send you back to the Scriptures. “Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord.” (Psalm 121:1)
- Military life is Constant Change- God is Unchanging. Everything about military life is upheaval and change. Move here; go there; new unit; new home; new boss; new school; new everything. You need to build a habit that is as steady and consistent as possible. Wherever you wake up, whatever you have to do today, open God’s Word and read it. Then pray to the unchanging God to help you this day.
- You Will Regularly Be Out of Church- God Remains Faithful. I trust you know and value being a part of a local church. If not, let me encourage you to join a local church ASAP. However, I am also aware that the nature of military life has you away from your church family a LOT. Between moves, deployments, training exercises, and visiting family, you likely spend a lot of weeks each year unable to gather with your church family. In these times, you still need nourishment from God’s Word. Even when you are unable to worship with your church family, turn to the Lord and find your refreshment and encouragement in Him.
- You will be Searching for Church often- God’s Word is Your Guide. In my 10 years of active duty service, I had to search for a new church home 6 times. If we’re not careful, we will just go to a church that is easy to get to or the first one we try even if it is not a faithful church. Regularly reading the Bible yourself will better equip you to discern between healthy preaching and teaching and that which is false.
I know that life is busy and there are challenges to keeping up with this discipline, but it is necessary for the continued health of your soul.
I love you guys!