Enjoying the Journey
Has your devotional life become dry? As far as you know there is no unconfessed sin. You are reading the Bible and going through the mechanics of prayer, but it seems like mere motion. We have all been there!
People often think that preachers must jump out of bed in the morning, always excited about their quiet time with God. Nothing could be further from the truth! We all battle with flesh. Even on our best days there is a struggle to keep the devotional life fresh.
Permit me to share a few practical suggestions that have been of help to me…
- Sometimes it is good to “switch things up.” All of us can get in a rut – our souls can get so accustomed to the routine of a devotional life that we are missing the point. Take a break from your schedule. Don’t feel guilty about it. That does not mean take a break from the Bible and prayer! Introduce some variety. Read a good devotional book. The writings of F.B. Meyer have been a great help to me recently. Oswald Chambers is another favorite. Meditate on a great hymn. Write out prayers and praises in a journal. Change your pattern and it will help to keep your soul fresh.
- Don’t put undue pressure on yourself. We put expectations on ourselves that even the Lord does not put on us! Years ago I read a book by James E. Duncan, Jr. entitled Relax and Let God. It helped me to realize that I don’t have to perform for Him or work something up. Accept that every day is different. There are moments when God seems to hide His face. According to Scripture, this is so that we will seek Him in faith and fervency. Faith rests in the sufficiency of God.
- Major on Jesus. Far too often our devotional life becomes so much about learning some new spiritual truth and not enough about the person of Christ. Return to “the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3). Meditating on the cross brings a tender heart. The love of God melts coldness like nothing else will. It is not enough to read longer, pray harder, or try more. Begin saying to the Lord throughout the day, “Jesus, I love you.” That’s all. Express your love to Him and think about His love for you.
- Keep on. When the famine comes, don’t quit. Usually those times come just before the blessing. God is about to show you something special or take you to a new level in your walk with Him.
This season will pass. Refuse to allow the enemy to convince you that it is not worth the effort. Draw nigh to God and He promises to draw nigh to you!