In light of I Peter 2:2’s command to “long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation”, one might ask if spending time in the Bible should be considered to be a “discipline”, or a more natural “desire.” The answer is: both!
Just as with any good thing, we should long for the word of God naturally. Many of God’s children have the testimony of having a great desire for the word when they are saved. But as with any good thing, there are times when you may get distracted even from what you love — and you must discipline yourself to do it.
For example: you might enjoy spending time with your spouse and children (I HOPE you do!) but there are SO many things pulling you away from that special time, that sometimes you just have to discipline yourself and say, “I am not going to accept that invitation for Friday night, because I need to go out with my wife/husband.” You enjoy doing that, but on the other hand you still have to discipline yourself to make sure it doesn’t get overlooked.
It can be that same way with the word of God as well. You may have that desire, that longing for the scriptures that I Peter 2:2 speaks of, but if you are not careful, other things in your schedule will crowd it out. So just like the husband who says: “I am setting aside Friday night for my wife”, you are going to have to discipline yourself and say, “I am setting aside 30 minutes at ____ time in the morning to spend time in the word of God.”
In this way, getting the word of God into your life each day should be both a desire and a discipline. If you are genuine Christian, you WILL desire the input of the scriptures. But that doesn’t mean you are not going to have to discipline yourself at times in order to get it!