Learning to Anchor in the Word of God



January 17, 2022

Psalm 84:1-2 NIV

How lovely is your dwelling place,
Lord Almighty!
2 My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.


Yesterday, I noted that if we are to grow in our love for the Word of God and find it deeply impressed on our hearts two things must happen: 1. A greater vision of the Word of God, and 2. A deeper, simpler and more comprehensive way of reading.

Over the past several years I have been pioneering ways of reading the Bible for all it’s worth with all I’ve got. I am finding it to be quite different than what most others are doing. Most people I encounter go in one of two directions. One group reads devotional materials. Their engagement of Scripture consists of whatever the particular devotional material might reference. I am not eschewing this approach. It is fine, as far as it goes; however, it just doesn’t go deep enough to adequately anchor a person in the Word of God.

The other direction people tend to take is that of “reading plans.” They are trying to cover large swaths of Scripture each day in their devotional time. From a 90 day reading plan to a one year plan or even a two year plan, they are trying to get through the whole Bible. I don’t want to eschew this approach either. It, too, is fine as far as it goes; however, it just doesn’t go deep enough to adequately anchor a person in the Word of God.

I am a massive advocate for a deep familiarity with the story and sweep of the story of Scripture. I am also a strong proponent of reading devotional material. We can learn and grow a lot by reading others writings concerning Scripture. And while I don’t consider the Daily Text “devotional material” in the usual use of the term, it is a form of devotional commentary on Scripture. 

The practice I am trying to pioneer is something altogether different. I am going to call it “Anchoring.” Anchoring means living with a particular text, usually a passage with some length or heft, for a significant period of time. It consists of daily engagement with what I call the 5 R’s of Anchoring: Reading. Ruminating. Rememberizing. Researching. Rehearsing. I will focus on those in the coming days, but anchoring is the process of engaging a text of Scripture in a simple yet comprehensive fashion to the end that we have laid claim to the text for the rest of our lives and the text has laid claim to us. 

As an example, I have been reading Psalm 84 for the past nine months, almost every single day. Many days I have simply read the text aloud from my Bible, focusing on hearing it well. Many other days I turned on my bible app and let it read the text to me while I again focused on listening. I found an “Anchor Buddy” to join me in this text. More on that tomorrow.

I wonder, though, if today, you would humor me and simply read Psalm 84 aloud as we close. Focus on hearing it. I will be referring to it in the coming days. 

How lovely is your dwelling place,
Lord Almighty!
2 My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
8 Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty;
listen to me, God of Jacob.
9 Look on our shield, O God;
look with favor on your anointed one.
10 Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.
12 Lord Almighty,
blessed is the one who trusts in you.


Yes, Lord, I want to learn to anchor myself in your Word that your Word might anchor itself in me. Train me in this way of patient reading that slows down and covers less ground. I have the image of a drilling or mining operation. What greater treasure could I claim than your Word. Holy Spirit, would you orient me with this way of anchoring myself in the Word of God to the end that the Word become flesh in me. I pray in the name of Jesus, who is this way in perfection. Amen. 


Is there a passage of Scripture you are led to “anchor” into in the coming season? Would you like to explore this? Is there someone you could share in this practice with—perhaps even over the same text—an Anchor Buddy? ;0)  

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt


Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.


  1. I have always found comfort in rewriting scriptures and making them personal.
    Psa 84:1  How lovely is your dwelling place, I love to abide with you there, my LORD God Almighty! 
    :2   Deep in my heart I long for your temple, and with all that I am I sing joyful songs to you.
    3  Even the sparrows have built a nest, and the swallows have their own home; they keep their young near your altars, LORD Almighty, my king and my God. 4  I am most happy when I abide with you in your dwelling, it brings songs of praise to my heart. 5  I find my strength in you, for you are my resting place and Mount Zion is my comfort. 6 There are no dry valleys when I am with you, you fill my soul with living waters.7  I grow stronger as I seek your face, my Holy God of Zion. 8  Hear my prayer, LORD God Almighty. 9  Bless our king, you children of the Lord. 10 Do you not know, One day spent in the house of the Lord is better than a thousand elsewhere: I would rather stand at the gate of the house of my God than live in the homes of the rich. 11  You my LORD are my protector and glorious king, you bless me with kindness and honor. You with hold no good thing from me.12 I am blessed because I have put my hope in you!