The secret to living the Christian life is to live it every day. There was a time in my life when spending time with God was not a daily priority. I would go days, sometimes even weeks without opening my Bible or having a serious conversation with the Lord; but looking back I now see how anemic and weak my faith was during those days. The strength of our faith rests upon the intimacy and fellowship with the Lord. Too often we limit and confine our time with God to one hour a week in a sanctuary. We must be intentional and we must be consistent to develop our relationship with Christ- therefore we need daily devotions!
I have often been asked how to develop a daily devotion plan. There is not a singular way of doing devotions, but I would like to share with you a few thoughts about the way I spend my time with God. To have a consistent daily devotion here are few pointers:
1. Your Devotion for Today must start Yesterday.
What I mean is that you must always keep it in your heart and mind to spend time with God. Before I go to bed each night I stir my mind and soul about getting up early to spend time with God.
2. Your Devotion Should Have a Specific Time and Place.
I always have mine early in the morning before the light of day. I typically go into my home office before my family gets up. I have discovered that if I fail to do it before the activities of the day I will get distracted too easily. Someone has rightly said, “If you do not allow God to set the tone for your day, someone else will do it for you.”
3. Your Devotion Should Begin and End with Prayer.
This may seem unnatural to begin with if you are not used to praying very often; but the more you do it the more comfortable you will get. In Scripture Jesus typically started His day off this way- alone with God. Prayer should be the natural outflow of the inflow of Christ in our lives. Have a prayer list if necessary and call the names of loved ones, pray for an increase of faith, pray for the problems of others. If you don’t feel like praying- just keep praying.
4. Your Devotion Should be Filled with Worship.
With all the resources we have available, finding good worship music should not be a problem. I actually pull up a certain list of videos and songs through YouTube and Pandora. I typically listen to good worship songs or hymns (old and new). I have found a station on Pandora radio that plays worship hymns which is a good combination of Scriptural worship music. I like to keep the music on throughout the entire course of my devotion. For some reason we think we can only worship God on Sundays. Friend, we are to worship the Lord daily and throughout the day.
5. Your Devotion Should Have a Bible Reading Plan.
I use an app through my Ipad called Olive Tree. This app has a host of resources including of course the entire Bible; but it also has a daily reading schedule so that I can read the scheduled Scripture and check it off every day. Be careful, reading plans are great and everyone should read through the Bible, but don’t allow your reading to become boring and mundane. I have found that quality is better than quantity. Spurgeon said it was better to read three verses and understand than to read three chapters without any comprehension. Whatever course you take be sure to include God’s Word in your devotion. Prayer is our way of speaking to God, but the Bible is God’s way of speaking to us. (I also have 2-3 other books that I am reading during this time as well, but no book should substitute the Bible).
6. Your Devotion Should Have Meditation and Application.
Be still and then be studious. Don’t rush through. Ask the Lord to create in you a desire to spend time with Him. Take what He gives you (either through prayer, worship, and reading) and learn to apply it in your life- FOR THAT DAY. Grow daily!
John Maxwell said of leadership, “Leaders do not grow in one day, but rather they grow daily.” The same is true for your daily devotion. You should not expect to grow into some super-spiritual saint of God overnight; but you should expect to grow a little bit every day.