I don’t know about you, but I have been ready for Friday since about the start of this week. This week just seemed to d r a g along. My schedule all week has been pretty busy and this weekend is looking just as jam-packed.
I mentioned last week that I have really been loving reading some devotional books by Joyce Meyer. Before I got these books, I was following the set up of my devotional Bible. The way it is set up in my Bible is that I would read one scripture, anywhere from a few verses to a chapter. Then the devotional content tied in with the scripture. And then there were about 3 questions to go along with it, as well as related readings.
For a while, this devo system worked really well for me. I got to read passages of the Bible I wouldn’t otherwise read. The devo content was interesting and the questions helped me probe deeper in my faith. The related readings lead me to more scripture that I found interesting or helpful.
The only problem is that this specific way of doing my devotionals has become very time-consuming. Just to do the steps listed above & pray about it afterward usually takes upwards of an hour. And while I like the thought of spending an hour with the Lord, spending an hour on devotional stuff and only a little bit of time in prayer has become exhausting to the point of not even doing it anymore.
My devotional time has really bounced around this summer because trying to fit an hour-long thing into each busy and sometimes unpredictable day is unreasonable for me. My relationship with the Lord got a little scattered because I wasn’t putting the time in. But I also started to realize I felt trapped by the way that devo system is set up. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that Bible. It’s just the way I think about it.
Because I had been doing that system for over a year, that’s all I thought I could do to spend time with the Lord. And if that didn’t get done and I knew I didn’t have the time to later in the day, I felt like I had failed at “faith.”
Before, my time was waning, sporadic, and generally unexciting to me. When I would do it, it was out of obligation, not love or devotion. However, the past two weeks have been a breath of fresh air for me as I’ve found a new rhythm for my devotional time.
Now, I’m not going to make some ridiculous claim that by getting one of these devotional books, you are going to have life-changing amazing things happen or that it’s the only book you ever need for the rest of your life. Certainly, God and the entirely of faith is not found in a single devotional book.
But what I will say is that I’ve found a way around my too-long devo time that wasn’t working for me before. I read Starting Your Day right first thing after breakfast and spend some time in prayer. It can take me as long as I have time for. Some days, I do have an hour to read out of the Bible or pray. Other days, I don’t, though. This system allows room for either case. I also read The Confident Woman devotional in the afternoon when I need a little pick-me-up.
Both of these books are highly interesting to me. They are so quick & to the point. A lot of what I’ve been reading through these lately has been spot on with what I need to hear, so I really feel like the Lord is speaking to me through these books. Both of them are quick enough to have a sit down check in with God, but both are also interesting and Biblically based enough to prompt me to pray for hours.
I feel renewed by using these books as tools to remember to spend time with the Lord. I feel energized by the scriptures I’ve been reading. And most of all, I feel excited & willing to crack open a book and sit in His presence as I read it & pray. Being excited about my devotional time is something I didn’t realize I was missing until I felt excited again.
I also feel centered. I mentioned that this week has been busy and busyness usually leads me to get a little cranky or overwhelmed. But I have actually caught myself feeling like the Lord is my very best friend because we spend so much time together that I can turn to Him with anything & everything – just the way it should be.
Questions for You:
- Is your devotional time something that excites you or does it need some changing?
- Do devotional books help you stay on track with daily reading or does it deter you from spending time with God?