I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Proverbs 8:17
God promises that when we seek Him, we’ll find Him; when we knock, the door will be opened to us; and when we ask of Him, we will receive. He wants to help us, to be our guide and friend - and the way to get to know any friend is to spend time with them.
But sometimes it’s hard to set aside time for devotions and worship. Sometimes when we do, it’s not fulfilling, and we question why we’re doing it. I know what it’s like, and I've found a few things have helped me have regular, enjoyable devotions:
1. Have them before getting distracted.
For me that means spending time with God first thing in the morning – before breakfast, before social media, and before exercising (on those mornings when I do it!). Perhaps evenings work better for you, but whatever time you choose, I’d encourage you to set aside that special God-and-you time, and don’t let any distractions get in.
2. Keep a journal.
I use my journal to write verses I've found, points I've come across and would like to study more, prayers, lessons from the Bible or life, things I'm thankful for, and my thoughts as I read different passages from the Bible. It’s helpful for remembering what you've read and learned, and it’s also encouraging to read back and see how God has led in the past, and the prayers He has answered.
3. Make it personal.
It’s easy to have the Word of God open in front of us, while our minds are busy making plans, or remembering experiences. Searching for promises applicable to my current situation or trial (as I mentioned here), and looking for lessons relevant to my life in passages I read, makes it more personal. I’d also encourage you to continue reading until you’ve found something you can claim or apply to your situation, something you can own. Another thing that makes the Bible very personal, is to insert your own name into Bible verses where someone or some people are being addressed. I forgot about doing this, until recently I was paging back through my journal, and a sentence leaped off the page, and stayed in my mind for the rest of the day: Be of good cheer, Jessica. Replace my name with yours, and say it to yourself. The Bible is real, personal, and powerful.
4. Change things around if you need to.
Don’t be discouraged if you get bored with devotions; instead, try changing something. Perhaps you’ve been reading through a book of the Bible - try researching a particular topic, or memorizing a favourite passage, or jump to a different book in the Bible. If I’m feeling low, I turn to Psalms. Many of the Psalms express doubts, and share the questions we all have, but they also offer the assurance that God is there. If you’re still lacking direction, try working through a devotional/study book. A couple of years ago, I was feeling bored with my devotions, and I started working through A Young Woman After God’s Own Heart. It was a real blessing to me, and made me look forward to devotions again.
5. Share what you’ve learned.
When you find an encouraging promise, pass it on. If there’s been something God has been teaching you, share it! It’s always encouraging to hear other people’s experiences, the lessons they’ve learnt, and the trials God has brought them through. It makes it more real for us when we share, reinforcing the lessons and promises in our mind. Share what you’ve learned, but - don’t learn to share. It’s easy to hunt for a promise, share it on social media, and look super spiritual, but the most important part is your personal relationship with Jesus. Don’t let finding something to share become a priority over letting God speak to you through His Word.
Think of having devotions as spending time with a friend. Talk to God; keep your appointments with Him. You've arranged to meet up, and God’s looking forward to spending that special time with you. If you’re going through a place of drought in your spiritual life, I want to encourage you: you’re not the only one to experience that. Press on, and be reassured, friend, God is waiting to be found by you.
*Hope you enjoyed reading this guest post from Jessica. She blogs over at Apples of Gold and she is an amazing writer so do check out her blog. Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you all have an amazing day and God bless.*