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4 Keys to a Successful Devotional Time

Ok, let’s begin by defining ‘Successful.’

For the purpose of this blog post, a ‘Successful’ devotional time is one that actually happens and is intentional. It also lays the foundation for us to more easily experience something God has for us that day.

Here we go…

Eliminate distractions | I’m a little ADD, so it doesn’t take much for my attention to get notifs offhijacked. If you can relate, you might want to try some things that have worked for me. Listen to instrumental music using headphones. Use a room or space where others are not present. Mute your phone and set it face down. Or if you use your phone for your devotion time, turn all of your notifications off. Set it to ‘Do Not Disturb.’ If you’re using a laptop, close all tabs for things like email and Facebook. They alert you when a new message arrives.

 

Make a plan | Treat this like an appointment. Set a time and stick to it. I’ve even placed calendarit on my calendar before.¬† And if you plan to journal, will it be paper or online? What will you journal? Planning ahead before your devotional time helps it to occur more smoothly.

 

Come prepared | Determine in advance what scriptures you will be biblereading. What Bible translation will you use? Do you prefer using a physical Bible, or an App like Youversion? Any devotional books or podcasts? Oh, and don’t forget your favorite coffee!

 

 

 

Include prayer | Woman with bibleThis may sound unambivalent, but I’ve found this piece to be something that can be easily overlooked. I almost always try to open my devotional time with God in prayer. Asking him to speak clearly to me through the passages I’ll be reading and for his Spirit to guide me to the areas of scripture I need to reflect on that day. Doing this also helps me to focus my attention on the things of God and away from the issues, errands, and concerns I’ll be facing later.

All 4 of these keys have the makings for a strong, successful daily habit of spending some valuable time with God. Now, this list is obviously not comprehensive, it won’t guarantee your salvation, and it’s not going to ensure a euphoric connection with God every day!

But here’s what it does do!¬†It provides a basic foundation for us to grow in our relationship with Jesus that otherwise becomes virtually impossible.

I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. РPsalm 119:15

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. – Colossians 3:2

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. РRomans 8:5

What KEYS would you add? Has this been helpful to you? Feel free to leave a comment or DM me.

You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!

 

 

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Priorities vs. Distractions

The woman was scrolling through her Facebook feed while driving.

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And she wasn’t just sitting at a red light either. ¬†It was after dark so I could clearly see what was on her oversized smart phone. ¬†¬†It’s not like she was dialing 911 to report an accident, or was using GPS because she was lost. ¬†It was Facebook, people….FACEBOOK.

This isn’t a personal rant against phone use while driving. ¬† This incident did, however, remind me of the dozens of ridiculous distractions we face every day.

For followers of Jesus, distractions can be quite costly.

Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead.  РProverbs 4:25

I’ve experienced this in my own life just this past week. ¬† I love my early morning habit of reading God’s Word and meditating in prayer. ¬†It just creates a solid kickstart to my day. ¬†It frames my thought life. ¬†Well, that didn’t happen for 3 consecutive days this week (insert pouty face).

Why?

I’ll give you one guess. ¬†Distractions! ¬†Gmail…Evernote…social media…my task list…incoming texts and random thoughts. ¬†Why did these things keep me from the most important habit of my day? ¬†Because I allowed them to. ¬†I could have (and usually do) taken measures to guarantee this didn’t happen, but I didn’t. ¬†Call it being lazy or losing focus. ¬†The fact is I didn’t make it a priority on those days.

Where are you losing focus?

  • Your marriage
  • Work
  • Personal goals

Recognize what is distracting you.

  • Screen time (internet and T.V.)
  • Voices around you
  • Unhealthy habits
  • Negative influences
  • Lack of sleep

Once we have figured these things out we can start making appropriate changes.  This might involve better time management, reading a book on a specific subject, or limiting the time we spend around certain people.

What does this look like for you? ¬†Join the discussion below. ¬†I’d love to hear from you.