My greatest fear for you is not that you fail, but that you succeed— to succeed at doing the wrong thing! Many Christians will spend their whole life chasing their dreams and carrying out the goals of their life, but many will find that the ladder they were climbing was leaning against the wrong wall.
Proper observation, interpretation, and application of the Word of God will become a compass that will lead you in the right direction in life. However, unless you make it a priority to study the Bible, you will not do it. Like one wag said, “If you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time.”
That is why there are 6 questions that you need in your toolbox when you come to read the Bible: Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How?
Let’s look at the third question: WHERE?
As you ask this question, you need to have the set of maps (located at the back of your Bible) at your disposal. When you are reading the Bible and come across a region or a city, you need to look at the map to help you locate the place. Or when you are following the journey of someone (for example, the missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul), trace out the journey on the map.
Along with the maps, you also need to ask the following questions: Where is the narrative taking place? Where are the people in the story? Where are the people coming from? Where are the people going? Where is the writer? Where was the book written?
Don’t be afraid to bombard the Bible with your questions. Ask, ask, ask! You may not be able to find all the answers but the only way to become an astute student of God’s Word is to examine the text at every angle.