Psalm 119:16 - I delight in your decrees. I will not neglect your Word.
One of the most influential parts of my spiritual growth has been learning how to feed my soul with the "real thing" - or as Dr. Bob Burns calls it - "Raw Bible". We are blessed to live in a culture and country with plenty of access to wonderful teaching tools (or side items) like devotional books, worship CDs, and podcasts just to name a few. But I sometimes wonder if the powers of evil deceive us just enough to think that we don't need the Bible itself. We sit down, read a verse, read someone else's reflection about it, maybe say a short prayer, and feel that we've "spent time with the Lord". But have we? A wonderful mentor, Cathy B, taught me that the Bible is the ONLY book that you'll ever read where the author is right there with you, speaking to you, telling you what He means. The Bible is "living and active" (Hebrews 4:12). This is SO true! Only the Bible penetrates our soul and transforms our thoughts and attitudes. Search God's Word - there aren't any verses about meditating on a devotional book, but check out Psalm 119 and what the psalmist has to say about delighting in God's Word.
Unfortunately, we often feed ourselves the side items, the salad or the dessert, and we skip over the main course. Our souls can't survive on a few lettuce leaves or a bunch of sugar. We need the meat! The entree of our time with Him should be the Bible itself. I am so passionate about personal worship and engaging with God in His Word because of my own experience. For many years I tried to subsist on the salad and sugar and my spiritual walk and growth struggled. Just as a child's physical growth is hindered when subsisting solely on junk food, my soul's growth was stunted because I was neglecting His Word.
My next goal is to begin sharing ways to engage with the Lord through your Bible reading time. Hopefully I will get some of those up soon. Until then, check out the "Raw Bible" article by Dr. Bob Burns of Covenant Seminary. (It's only a couple of pages, and it is SO worth it!)