A Consistent Devotional Life

Even as a pastor, I have struggled to have time set aside just for me and God

A Consistent Devotional Life
Photo by Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash

One of the things I have struggled with over the years is keeping consistent in my devotional life. Yes, even as a pastor, I have struggled to have time set aside just for me and God.  Many times, in ministry we say to ourselves, well I am constantly studying God’s Word for Sunday mornings, so I don’t need a quiet time for myself.  I have fallen into that trap from time to time. 

Over the years I have had to discipline myself to stay consistent with my quiet time.  I do believe there are many ways we can do that. I don’t think we have to start every morning with a quiet time or right before we go to bed. I don’t believe we have to have a special place where we go to have a quiet time. For some of us, it may work out great to start our day that way, or to end our day that way, but if you are like most people, you are probably busy.  Staying consistent in the busy is hard work.  So, I would encourage you to find a time in the day that best works for you. Find a way to stay consistent in reading God’s word or working through a devotional book.

So how do we stay consistent?

1.  Always Set Time Aside Every Day

Every day you have to set time aside to read God’s Word.  I know for me that is usually late morning, around 10am.  This year I am currently reading through the Bible chronologically. I set up a reading plan on my phone, through the Bible app, and it reminds me every day at 10am to read. I love that daily reminder because it is so easy to forget. Even with the daily reminder, if I don’t stop what I am doing right at that moment, I will never get to it for the day. So always have that time with God.

2.  Pray

As we are spending time with God in His Word, don’t forget to pray.  I can’t believe how easy it is to read God’s word, give myself the check mark that I spent time with God, and then go on with my day without praying.  Prayer is one of the greatest tools that God gave us to just spend time together.  Prayer is what we need every day of our lives.  1 Thessalonians 5:17 says: “Pray Constantly”.  Our life should be a prayer to God.  We need to be going as Hebrews says, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” We need that time with God, where we are just talking to Him.

One of the best ways, for me, is to go hiking. If you know anything about me, you know I love to hike. I love to hike with my family, but I also love to hike alone.  When I have a lot on my mind, I go on a hike for the simple purpose of just talking to God.  There is something about being in God’s creation and talking to Him. This last week I had a lot on my mind, so I went on a hike and before I realized it, I had hiked 11 miles. All those 11 miles were spent just talking to God. 

Don’t Forget To Pray!

3.  Figure Out What Works For You

There is a story told of John Wesley’s mother. Susanna Wesley raised 10 children, but she always found a way to spend time with God in Bible reading and prayer.  At a certain time, every day she would go to her favorite chair and throw her long apron up over her head, forming a sort of tent. When she would do this the kids knew that they could not bother their mother. She left a legacy of a committed devotional life for her children.

You must figure out, in your busy life, how you are going to spend that time with God. What works best for you? Is it early morning, before everyone else gets up or is it late at night when everyone is going to bed?  Is it on a break at work, or do you need to sit in your favorite chair and throw your apron over your head? You need to figure out what works best for you and commit to that every day.

We all need a consistent time in our life with God.  We all need a consistent prayer life, and we all need to be spending time in God’s Word.

Let me end by asking you a few questions.

·      What do you need to do to get consistent?

·      Do you spend time every day in God’s Word?

·      Do you spend time every day in prayer?