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Rhythm has become an important word in my faith life.
For much of my life I’ve lived with this idea that there is one way to do this Christian thing and I had to find it and stick with it. But the deeper I go with God, the more I’m learning how our faith is lived out in rhythm.
Rhythms in faith function very similarly to the seasons we experience throughout the year.
Each season we focus on different things, spend our time in certain ways, and celebrate in a way that is unique from other seasons.
Spring is a season of renewal where we get back outside again, we plant, we re-engage with our neighbors.
Summer is a season of fun and adventure. It is a season where we travel, prioritize family time and community, and on the hottest days, we’re content to simply rest indoors and enjoy some AC.
Fall is a season of harvest. It’s the season when school starts back up and our schedule is a little more full. It is a season of cozy sweaters, cooler weather, and feasting.
And winter is when we all crawl into our houses and rest for a while. We move slower, plan less, celebrate the Christmas season, and start fresh with a new year.
Our world functions in seasons, and our faith should to.
As I’m seeking to live my faith life in seasons, I’m finding that it is helpful to engage in different rhythms.
A spiritual rhythm is a spiritual discipline that you practice for a time. It is a discipline that fits your needs and God’s desire to connect with you right now, but you do not hold it too tightly. It is a routine you keep, but also one that frees you up to know God better.
One of the rhythms that I’m beginning to pull back into my current season is writing God’s Word.
What does it mean to write God’s Word?
Writing the Word is a practice of writing out a short passage of Scripture, mediating on it, and journaling about it.
This is also a great practice to use if you’re wanting to memorize Scripture!
I first heard about this practice of writing the Word from Cultivate What Matters.
I’m a huge fan of journals and like trying out new ones when I come across them. Several years ago I had stumbled on the Write the Word Journal from Cultivate What Matters and decided to give it a try.
The journal had a simple format: a Scripture reference, space to record the date and a thought about the day, and ample room for writing out the Scripture passage and journaling about it.
Since my first discovery of those journals, I’ve worked through a handful and given several away. They are one of the devoted resources I recommend most often.
However, you don’t need a special journal to Write the Word.
All you need is a plan, a pen, and a notebook.
Why Write the Word?
Now, if this practice is completely new to you, you might be wondering what the point of writing the Word is. God’s Word has already been written down? Is there any point in copying it?
In fact, when God established Israel as a nation, one of the instructions He gave the people was that their kings were to make a copy of the Law in their own handwriting, keep it with them, and read it often:
“And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel.
Deuteronomy 17:18-20 (ESV)
There are three different ways we engage with God’s Word. We can read it, study it, and write it.
By writing God’s Word we’re able to slow down and think about the words we’re writing–the Words God has given us.
Writing the Word provides a simple way for us to meditate on Scripture and absorb the words at a deeper level.
This practice is also a great way to meditate a passage because for those of us who are kinesthetic learners, the simple movement of our hands writing out the passage can help us remember it better.
How to Write the Word
If Writing the Word feels like a rhythm you’d like to practice this season to meditate on Scripture, memorize passages of God’s Word, or just engage with the Bible in a different way, here are some easy ways to get started:
1. Find a plan. You can find Scripture writing plans all over the internet but two of my favorites from from Cultivate What Matters and Symphony of Praise. Whether you pick a Write the Word journal, download a list, or even create your own plan, you’ll want a list of passages you’ll be writing through.
2.Make time. An important part of developing a rhythm or routine is working it into your schedule. Once you’ve decided on a plan to use, it’s time to pick a time when you will practice this rhythm.
Maybe you add Writing the Word into your morning devoted routine.
Maybe you use it as a midday break or an evening wind-down.
Wherever you choose to insert it into your day or week, approach that time as another opportunity to know God and His Word better. Set aside the time to be uninterrupted as best as possible, and enter that time with a heart open to hear God speak to you through His Word.
3.Set a goal. Since we’re talking about the rhythm of Writing the Word, I want to give you permission to use this practice for a season. Don’t feel like you have to Write the Word every day for the rest of your life. I find Writing the Word works really well in a seasons when I’m focused on a particular topic or am curious about what God says about something in particular. I also works well in seasons when it’s hard for me to focus for long periods of time.
As you begin Writing the Word, consider setting a goal for yourself. This goal could be a length of time you will do this practice–30 days, 6 months–or a particular topic you want to explore. This is not a goal of achievement, but to help you develop the rhythm and focus your time writing the Word.
Writing the Word is a simple rhythm that can breathe new life into your Bible study time, help you slow down and engage with God’s Word differently. In seasons when reading longer chapters of Scripture just isn’t doable, Writing the Words gives you space for bite-sized Bible study that can be just as rich and soul-filling as studying longer passages.
Don’t forget to check out the Write the Word Journals from Cultivate What Matters. These journals are a great place to start!
Do you regularly engage in the rhythm of Writing the Word? Is there a plan you have really enjoyed?
Live in His love!