Why do you do devotions? What motivates you to spend time with God?
Maybe these questions feel a little silly to you. God tells us to study His Word and talk with Him, which gives us a pretty clear reason to do so. Along with that, the only way we can really come to know God better and grow in our walk with Him is—shockingly—by spending time with Him.
While all of that is true, it is critical that we remember why we’re sitting down to spend time with God. If we aren’t careful to be intentional about that time, it can easily become an insincere action that is no longer directed at strengthening our faith.
Are devotions something you have to do or want to do?
Doing daily devotions is such an important aspect of our lives. Spending time with God will deepen our relationship with Him, and reading the Bible arms us with God’s truth and teaches us more about Him.
If you’ve already turned this into a habit, you’re well on your way to strengthening your relationship with God—but you’re also facing a danger which can distance you from Him in new ways.
Sitting down daily to read our Bibles or pray can quickly turn into a repetitive routine if we are simply “going through the motions” instead of seeking a growing, real, and intentional relationship with God. We can fall into the trap of doing devotions out of habit instead of out of a desire to know God better.
Have you fallen into a rut?
Several months ago, I fell into this trap. I was in a rut as far as my relationship with God was concerned. Even though I was devoting nearly an hour a day to reading the Bible and praying, my heart wasn’t in it.
Although I was spending all this time with God, my mind was always somewhere else. I may have put time into reading the Bible, but I wasn’t carrying a God honoring attitude with me in the rest of my life. I was spending time with God, but getting nothing out of it.
Perhaps you feel like I did— you’re doing devotions, maybe you want to be closer to God, but your relationship with Him seems to be going nowhere. You sit down to spend time with God, but you feel nothing. Your heart isn’t invested like it used to be.
Look through your life. Have you let your time with Him turn into just another thing you must accomplish, instead of a sincere relationship?
It can be really frustrating to realize that, despite all the time we’ve spent doing devotions, we’ve been doing nothing for our relationship with God. How does this happen? How do we go from loving God and eagerly learning more about Him, to merely skimming a chapter of the Bible or rushing through a few prayer requests?
Search your heart
This distance from God usually points at a condition of the heart. There is something in your life— a sin you’re afraid to admit, an idol that has taken God’s place, or an influence pulling you away from Him— that is distracting you as you spend time with Him.
Finding that thing may be hard, but it’s an essential part to growing closer to God. Analyze your life, and look for what is distracting you from Him or discouraging you from doing devotions.
“For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.” Matthew 13:15
When our hearts are hardened, we often don’t realize it. We willingly— or sometimes unknowingly— close our eyes in order to block out the fact we’ve grown distant from God. Open your eyes, Roses, and look at your life! Find what is blocking the progress of your faith.
Of course, identifying what’s wrong is only one step in the journey. Once you’ve done that, how do you grow closer to God? There’s no exact answer for that, because it’s going to be different for each person. But there are many things you can be doing in order to strengthen your relationship with God.
First of all, work on changing your mindset. When you sit down to do devotions, make sure it is intentional, not just out of habit. Change things up a bit so that your time in the Word is something you look forward to, not a chore.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8
Make sure that you’re still spending time with God. Even if it’s just a few minutes a day, seek to spend time fully focusing on Him. Draw near to Him. You can’t deepen that relationship unless you actually devote time to it.
Most importantly, make sure God is a part of your entire day. You shouldn’t only be talking with Him or focusing on Him when you sit down to pray. Talk to Him all through the day. Whatever you’re doing, let your mind still be focusing on God and thinking about Him.
We aren’t just Christians when we’re reading the Bible; we’re Christians for our entire lives. Let that show in your life— your entire life.
Give God your heart
“For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.” Hosea 6:6
God doesn’t just want big, flamboyant actions from you. He doesn’t require sacrifices and fancy ceremonies. He wants your heart. He wants your sincere love and attention. Give that to Him, Roses.
Strive to live each moment seeking God— not only when you sit down to read His word, but in every second of the day.
Ever since she was little, Julia has loved to create things with words. As she’s grown in life, she’s seen and experienced how God’s love can restore and give hope. She writes with the goal of shining God’s light for others and pointing them toward a greater hope. As a contributing writer for the Wilting Rose Project, she hopes to encourage other young women, reminding them of the one who gives us our worth.