I'll admit it: as much as I love preaching, as much as love to read theology when I have some free time, and as much as I enjoy Biblical languages, I don't sit and just read the Bible as consistently as I should. My "quiet times" are only semi-regular.
There are probably a number of reasons for this, but one that I have consistently come back to is that most times I don't feel anything when I read my Bible. Nothing seems to change. I still fight my same old battles with lust, pride, selfishness, a foul mouth, and so on. "This is the Word of God," I tell myself, "so why don't I notice it doing its work in my life?" Why doesn't anything really happen when I read my Bible?
I was lamenting this to a close friend a couple weeks ago and he quickly responded with something that has been rolling around my mind ever since. He told me that expecting that kind of instant gratification comes more from our culture than from true Christian spirituality.
This is, by the way, a great reason to meet consistently with other godly people. Sometimes they say something that is really, really helpful.
The more I think about Jonathan's words, the more I realize two things. (1) I can be really dumb; (2) that advice agrees with the way a biblical view of Bible study specifically and sanctification more generally.
Think about Psalm 1: meditation on the Law was a day and night activity. Does that mean that the psalmist was in such depth of communion with God that he always felt the strange inner warmth of His presence as he read the Law? Doubtful. He was probably a normal person- that is, he was probably like you and me.
Again, consider Psalm 119: verse 11 says that when the Word of God is stored up in the psalmist's heart, then he will manage to avoid sin. He goes on and on about the need for meditation, for learning God's ways, for knowing His statutes inside and out. Do those sorts of things happen through good feelings one morning? Absolutely not.
I could pull plenty more biblical examples, but I choose instead to note that this fits more broadly with the fundamentals of spiritual growth. Nothing that truly contributes to our growth happens instantly. It is no wonder that we call Bible reading and prayer "spiritual disciplines." For these activities to make a difference in our lives, they require sustained consistency.
It also coincides with my Christian experience. Almost all of my greatest spiritual growth has been done over long periods of time. I'd venture a guess that your life isn't much different in this respect.
Clearly daily Bible reading should not be complete drudgery. That's not what I'm saying. I still like the Bible when I read it and I'm often encouraged by it right then and there. But "being encouraged" is not the same as having rapturously deep spiritual communion every time I crack the Book.
So what I am saying (or rather, what Jonathan said) is that we should never have a Googleized view of Bible reading- you type in your desire, and God responds with immediate results. We have to keep at it if we want to see things happen. We have to desire God today, and then again tomorrow, and then again the day after that. When we do that, then we'll see just how much God really is at work in us, to will and to work our sanctification for His good pleasure.