There are two ways to read the Bible.
One is to read the Bible looking for passages and verses that confirm, bolster, strengthen, prove or otherwise seem to support our already held ideas and beliefs. Someone who reads Scripture this way usually has a concrete stance on something and is looking for ways to argue their personal perspective in a more effective, powerful and authoritative way, so they seek to rally God’s Word to their pet cause. This is using the Bible as a tool to accomplish their own ends, which is an unbelieving and unfaithful way to employ the Scriptures. Reading the Bible in this way is reading it the wrong way.
The other way to read the Bible is to receive it. The Bible is a tool (though not merely a tool), but it is one that God wields on us long before we can turn around and wield it for any outward focus or goal. The Bible is a gift which God has given to his people to be received. It is a sword to be wielded, certainly, but before anyone can draw this sword and point it at anything, they themselves must first be worked upon by the sword in the hands of the Spirit. Rather than using the Bible to prove our preconceived ideas and pet interpretations, we must submit all those ideas and understandings to the scrutiny of the Word itself. The Holy Scriptures are what is true, what is first, what is foundational, what is ultimate, what is absolute. We are the works in progress. We submit to God’s Word, not it to us. We must not seek to bend the Scriptures to our preferences or employ them to our purposes. We must seek to be formed and shaped by them, for that is God’s purpose in the Scriptures for us. Only when we are first shaped by the Scriptures can we hope to be used by the Spirit to employ the Scriptures to shape anything else.
Too often Christians handle the Bible as though it were a block of marble and we go to work on it with hammer and chisel, hoping to show everyone else that it is shaped the way we imagine it to be. Instead, we must approach Scripture as though it is the tool in the hands of the Sculptor and we are the slab of marble which that tool is forming into a shape that conforms to the vision and purpose the Sculptor has for us. The Holy Scriptures are a tool not to be worked by us until they have first worked on us.