- posted by Len Thompson
I've been reading God's Word daily now for close to 5 weeks and I've been using a cue and a reward each day to cement the habit into place. I think it is working and the biggest change for me has been associating my time in God's Word with pleasure rather than obligation and duty.
It seems very significant that the Hebrew word "Eden" means pleasure. The place where God put Adam and Eve was in the Garden of Pleasure and they lived there for some time without any sin. What did they do while they were there? The text only tells us that they walked and talked with God every day and lived out His instructions. That is a wonderful picture of the spiritual life. We walk and talk with God every day and obey what He asks of us and that is living in a Garden of Pleasure. For Adam and Eve, to care for the Garden was not a burden but constant pleasure. This was their primary instruction and they put themselves into caring for that Garden with great joy.
I think it is important to see that God rewarded their obedience to His Words, His script, with pleasure, not silence or more responsibility. Indeed, there is nothing inherently wrong with pleasure. The real problem with pleasure is finding pleasure in God over anything else so that other things do not become idols or entice us from obeying Him.
So I continue to read my Bible using the lectio divina methodology that we have on our website and I have my coffee and chocolate each morning. But what has happened is that the coffee and the chocolate aren't what call out to me most; now it is the voice of God calling me into a few minutes of Edenic pleasure. I get to spend time listening, learning, and talking with God. I'm not just reading a book anymore. I journal too, and think about what God is scripting for my life as a result and I think I would do this now every day without the chocolate. The time with God has become more pleasurable than the chocolate!