John 14 15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you….
25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. NIV
You are going to be led through the Word by the Lord Himself! The Holy Spirit uses the Word to teach you first, then He reminds you of what you have learned, just as Jesus said He would. You will get to understand the Holy Spirit’s voice, He will be gentle and kind, reminding you of what you need to know. It takes discernment and practice, but soon you will understand when He is talking to you. As Christians, we do not have to wait to receive the Holy Spirit at some point—He is already with us. You just have to get rid of all the mental and spiritual “static” so that you can hear Him.
His job is to lead you in righteousness and spiritual growth. Sometimes He will admonish you, sometimes hearten you, sometimes reassure you. He will know what your heart really feels, what you really think—even before you do. Don’t be afraid! But don’t be surprised either when He reveals deep things of you that you might not have either known or been willing to confess.
Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. NKJV
Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; NKJV
The key to reading the Word is to be open, to be receptive You might have read the Word through twice already in your life, but I find that it is necessary for me to read just a few words, then stop. Think. Pray. Meditate. Then move on. For me, the Lord feeds me every day what I need. I am almost certain to come across a situation that was referred to in my morning reading either that day or in the next few days. Sometimes the message He gives me is for me, sometimes for someone else.
I strongly recommend morning reading. However, I also strongly dislike programs that tell you how much to read (unless the Lord has prescribed them for you, then definitely obey.). So do this: Do not limit yourself, nor insist on a certain amount of reading. Pray for the Lord to guide you before you even open the Book. Relax, clear your mind, and rid yourself of pride and defense. Then open the Word and read. Read for understanding, not for “goals”. If you have to read the same sentence eight times to understand it, then do so. If you happen to read one gem of the Word that really speaks to you, then feel free to stop. Meditate on it. Pray on it. Let it mull in your mind and ponder it in your heart all day. It might be a promise, it might be a chastisement. No matter what it is, read enough so that you understand what He is telling you, but stop when the Spirit leads you to stop. There are days where I read chapters, and there are some days where I read one verse, maybe two. Read enough so that you get the context (there is a danger in isolating a phrase from the context).
Here is another hint: if you read something and think “Oh that is not for me”, STOP. Pray. Make sure it is not for you. It might be something that you think is historical or irrelevant. It might be something that you honestly do not want to face! However, the Lord’s Word never expires. It also might be that He is giving you wisdom for a situation that you will face, a sin or admonition you need. So do not gloss over any part of the Word, but especially the New Testament—that is the covenant that we are under.