Joel has a powerful testimony of battling lifelong physical ailments. With the time God has given him far beyond what the doctors predicted he would live, he preaches, teaches and writes passionately about Scripture engagement, he even calls himself a “Bible reading junkie”. I know this is a timely word from Joel for all of us as we have time on our hands to dive into God’s Word during shelter in place. ~Rob
Lord, when you said to me, “Seek my face,” my inner being responded,
“I’m seeking your face with all my heart.” — Psalms 27:8 TPT
A marketing expert recently told me that the first rule of marketing is don’t be ignored. I immediately translated this into the first rule of devotion, which is don’t ignore God.
Even though we all know how important it is to spend time with God, it’s easier said than done. Because we are so easily distracted. And sometimes, devotion is the first thing to go.
However, with Coronavirus forcing us to shelter, we have the rare gift of time on our hands. I pray that we use this time to establish or re-cement routines that prioritize time in the Word.
Devotion is the hardest thing to establish, and the easiest thing to get away from. The more you go to it, the stronger that pull gets. So here are 5 things I’ve found that help move toward successful devotion.
- Set an amount of TIME- begin by making a REALISTIC commitment.
- Look at your past record- be informed about your potential for the future… if you have not been able to successfully do 5 minutes a day in the past then don’t try to do 30 minutes a day in the present!
- Look at your daily routine- schedule your time each day. Note: it does not have to be the same time, but it is recommended.
- Look at the year- dedicate daily time to the Lord that adds up to a sacred total amount for the year. 15 min/day = 75 hrs/year, 30 min/day =150, 1 hr/day = 300 hours to the Lord for the year!
- Decide your PRIORITIES- once you have your time commitment, you need to decide what will actually take place in your devotional time.
- What comes first? Will you read the Bible? Will you pray? Will you worship? Will you journal?
- What is your annual goal? Think of what you will actually accomplish over a period of a year. Don’t just see it day by day. For instance, do you want to read the entire Bible over the course of a year?
- Make it FUN– don’t allow yourself to be miserable in your pursuit of Christ. This misses the whole point!
- What do you enjoy doing? Start there! Are you a worshiper? Are you a Bible scholar? Are you an intercessor? Lean into your passion!
- How can you use your creativity? Writing, drawing, journaling, even painting or playing musical instruments are all ways to spice up your daily time with the Lord.
- Engage all your senses. Light a candle with your favorite scent. Listen to music that ushers you into the presence of God. Speak a faith confession over your life. Get a journal with great paper and a pen that’s a joy to write with.
- TRACK your progress- you need a record to look back and see how far you’ve come and all the Lord has done!
- Use your journal as the record of how you have spent time with the Lord.
- Print a reading plan and cross out each day.
- Post pics and verses online.
- SHARE your journey- with at least one other person.
- Devotion is the gateway to discipleship- don’t allow the golden opportunity of your devotional journey to go by without leveraging it to help others accomplish the same goal.
- People want to see a model and be inspired by a story!
Here’s what I’ve learned through it all:
Don’t give up; don’t be impatient;
be entwined as one with the Lord.
Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope.
Yes, keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint you!
— Psalms 27:14 TPT