Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions (or set goals) for this new year?
Two of the most common goals people set are…
1) Attend to my spiritual life more consistently, and
2) Attend to my physical life more consistently (usually meaning exercise and diet).
Whether you are still on track with your goals, or have already fallen behind in the first 10 days of this year (which is more common than most people think), here is one suggestion I’ve found helpful over the years that has helped to increase my consistency in all areas of my life.
Starting is half done
Many times, half the battle is just getting started.
I enjoy long-distance running, but unfortunately, I don’t always feel like doing it on my scheduled days. On the tough days, I’ve found that if I simply tell myself to “change into your running clothes and put your running shoes on… and walk out the door” (I run on a trail in my neighborhood), 99% of the time I actually end up running.
The same could be said about personal devotions.
Make a plan – determine a time, a place (your desk, a comfortable chair, your office, etc.) and what you will do during that time each day.
- Bible Reading (15 minutes) (read three chapters in the OT and one chapter in the NT).
- Prayer (15 minutes) (use the C.T.S. acronym to guide you as you pray – Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication). Make a simple prayer list of things you want to specifically pray and thank God for each day.
Then if you want to add writing in a journal or Scripture memory and meditation (which I highly encourage), you can do so.
This will give you a plan of what to do when you sit down to have your devotions.
Also, as a side note, I would discourage having your digital device(s) on (or even near you) when you have your devotions.
We live in the most distracted culture in history… we need to push against the prevailing winds of “always on technology” in our world today.
If there is ever a time when we should truly “disconnect” digitally, it is when we are seeking to enjoy God’s presence and refocus our heart and mind.
A healthy spiritual life comes as we make small daily decisions to interact with God and His Word and seek to apply what we learn to our lives.
Sit down in your “place,” at your “time” and open your Bible…and start.
Starting, many times, is half done.