A few weeks ago, I posted a few pictures
on Instagram of some of my notebook pages from my morning time with God. I was
going through a hard time and felt such encouragement from certain things
people had said to me and scripture I read. I figured if I could benefit so
much from it, others will too. I got so much response to those posts. Turns out
A LOT of other people were (and still are) going through the same things or
even different things, but had found hope in those words.
I also had many of you comment or message
me asking questions like:
“What devotional do you use?”
“How do you do your time with God?”
“Where do I start in the Bible?”
I thought why not do a blog post on it?
let’s define “daily devotional.” Or maybe define what it is not.
Growing up, my dad was always in The Word
every morning. He would wake up at about 5:00, before the sun was even up, so
he would have plenty of un-hurried, uninterrupted time to spend with God. (Of
course sometimes I might be the interruption, but that was ok with him, because
then he had the perfect opportunity to teach me and show me what he was doing
and why it was important. I can remember being about 4 years old, and he would
give me my own cup of coffee…(which I happily drank with it being ¾ French
vanilla creamer and ¼ coffee!) One of dad’s favorite things to read was “Our
Daily Bread.” When I was old enough my Dad encouraged (made) my sister and I
have our own devotional time. He would get us our own “Daily Breads” and put
our names on them. And we would read them, almost every single day, and we
But I was missing
something…I was treating my devotional time like it was just something I needed
to do in order to check it off my to-do list. I didn’t wake up before the crack of dawn like my dad. I
was rushing every single morning to get ready for school and I was also rushing
my devotional time. I mean I could literally check off my “time with God” in 5
minutes….and I thought that was ok, because I had done it! But somewhere between
now and then I realized God is NOT just someone we can check off. He’s not an
item on our list. And we are not going to benefit from checking Him off. It’s
important to let what we read sink in and then apply it to our own lives. If
we’re not doing that, it’s pointless.
My definition of “daily devotional”: time we intentionally devote full-heartedly
to God every day, talking with Him and studying His Word.
and how often should I do my daily devotional?
Well part of the definition is “daily,”
Try to set some specific time aside from your
daily routine to spend with God. Don’t try to just squeeze Him in and work Him
into your day, but work your day around HIM. We have to be intentional about
this, and honestly this is something I am still having to work on, because
where I have been in my life lately- my routine is always changing. Especially
being in college now…with early, early, EARLY, mornings, and late nights, it’s
hard, and honestly sometimes I get off track and skip a day or two. But I am
quickly reminded when I didn’t devote that time to God by how my attitude
starts to change. He fills me up, so when I am not spending time with Him, I
feel depleted…I feel empty. I personally enjoy doing my devo time in the
morning because I feel like it gives me a firm foundation for my day to be
on…it helps me to get my attitude started off right BEFORE the enemy starts to
attack. But for some people, they find it easier to find time and focus at
nighttime. You figure out what works best for you.
should I do my devotional?
mind, I’m just telling you what I do and what works for me! I enjoy devotional
books, but John Luke likes to start at the beginning of a book from the Bible
and read straight through it. I
like to have something to guide me when I don’t know exactly what I want to
read. In the past I have read “Jesus Calling” and I love it so much. Sarah
Young writes it so its as if God is speaking directly to you. It’s a year-long
devotional book with dates on the pages and I always thought it was crazy how
it always seemed to be exactly what I needed to hear. Talk to anyone whose read
that book…it can really be weird how perfectly it lines up.
Something else I’ve done lately and
really love is “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers. It has a lot of
depth to it and brings up many things I have never heard of before.
If you want to do a particular study, perhaps
on specific topics such as Ruth, hospitality, or books of the Bible, I would
suggest the website SheReadsTruth.com. It is so great for women and simply
takes books of the Bible and breaks them down. LOVE IT. They even have an app.
of apps…apps on your phone can be great. John Piper’s “Desiring God” is
fantastic. He is really deep and really, really good. The Bible app also has
plans on it. Many different kinds for any stage of life you’re at.
But when it comes down to it. Nothing is better than your Bible. All
of these resources are fantastic and are people breaking down The Word. But
never forget how wonderful it can be to let God speak to you directly from His
words. One of my professors told my class that she has a lot of people come up
to her and ask what books she recommends, and she always tell them “The Bible.
After you’ve read the Bible then you can start reading other things.” So I think
it’s important to keep that in mind when it comes to devotionals as well. Never let your devotional become your
Lastly, don’t forget to pray. Before you
open your Bible pray that God would speak to your heart and help you to be in
tune with His voice. Then, pray
that you would not only store up His truth in your heart, but apply it in your
To be honest, I tell you all of this because
this is something I constantly have to tell myself as well! To spend time with
God is a decision you have to make everyday and Satan is going to try and
distract you and put things in your path to keep you from spending quiet time
with God. But even if the feelings aren’t there, do it anyway. Even if you’re
too tired, too busy, too angry, too sad, etc., just do it anyway, because
nothing is going to be of better help!