Another day was over, and I had done it again. With sleepy eyes, I reached for the lamp on my nightstand and turned off the light. I fell asleep to the familiar feelings of guilt and regret.
I intended to spend some quality time with God that morning. I pulled my Bible out and found a nice comfy spot to sit on the couch. I intentionally made coffee ahead of time, so I already had that in hand. I even set an alarm to remind me to get started. So what in the world happened?
The same thing that trips me up so many mornings. I got caught up in millions of little distractions.
One click on Instagram here. One “quick” email response there. And . . . oh yeah. That text message.
Distractions had stolen my attention yet again. Day after day, these little distractions were slowly robbing me of my time with God.
Avoiding the Drive-Thru
Maybe you know the feeling. Your time in God’s Word gets interrupted by millions of little distractions, too. Instead of your personal devotions feeling like a rich, hearty meal, it feels more like a fast food drive-thru. Quick and on the go. It gets the job done, but it doesn’t fill you up, doesn’t satisfy.
To be honest, this is a serious battle in my life, and I have not totally conquered the problem. But in my heart, I know that I don’t want to live in the spiritual fast food drive-thru. I want something more. Something spiritually nutritious. I’m sure you want the same thing.
Over the years, through trial and error, I’ve learned some helpful tips for staying focused and consistent in my devotional time. But you know what? These tips won’t work very well unless they’re rooted in the right motivations.
First, we must recognize that our “daily devotions” aren’t simply a good Christian habit to check off the list. Instead, our personal devotional time should be just that—devotion. This is a set-apart time of the day when we humbly come before our amazing God to worship Him, praise Him, study His Word, and seek His help through prayer.
With that mindset as your foundation, I want to share three practical tips for setting aside millions of little distractions in exchange for consistent, quality time with the Lord.
1. There are no shortcuts to loving God.
If you’ve ever thought, I wish I had a deeper, more passionate relationship with God! you’re not alone. But the truth is there’s only one way to get that: quality time with God.
The more time you spend with God, the more you will love Him and worship Him. He’s that irresistible. The less time you spend with Him, the less you will love Him and worship Him and the more time you will spend devoted to distractions.
The more time you spend with God, the more you will love Him and worship Him.
Your relationship with God will only be as deep as the time you spend with Him. If you want to love God more and develop a passion for Him, then you must spend quality, daily, and intentional time with Him.
2. Get into a consistent rhythm.
We all have a lot of natural rhythms throughout our day. We typically do similar things at similar times (when we wake up, when we eat, when we watch TV). Instead of hoping to get some solid time in with the Lord, pick the time of day that you’re going to make it happen.
Don’t squeeze God into your life; plan your life around God.
Everyone’s schedules are different, so for you it might be right before breakfast. Or maybe it’s the very first thing you do when you wake up. Or maybe it’s a block of time you set aside each night before bed.
Whatever it is, be intentional to carve out specific times and stick to them. Put those times on your calendar or they won’t happen.
3. Ask for accountability.
I am most consistent and faithful in my devotional times when I have accountability in place. As Jesus Himself said to His disciples, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt. 26:41). My flesh is weak. Your flesh is weak.
Let’s be real—rolling over and staying in bed typically sounds a lot more appealing than getting up and opening God’s Word.
Having personal accountability in place will help you as you seek to be faithful in your time with God. Ask a mature friend, a parent, or a godly woman to hold you accountable to your quiet time schedule on a weekly basis. Ask her to text you (or email or call) once a week to see how you’re doing.
Savor the Feast
It’s time to ditch the fast food approach and feast on God’s Word.
It’s time to ditch the fast food approach and feast on God’s Word. It won’t happen by accident. The millions of little distractions will keep ringing, and pinging, and chiming. Choose to make your devotional life a priority in your day.
The more you do this, the more you will grow to love your Savior. And the more you love your Savior, the more passionate you will become to live your life for His glory.
I’d love to hear from you below.
- Where do you struggle the most in your personal devotional life?
- What have you found to be personally helpful for you in growing closer to the Lord?