When it comes to daily time in the Word and prayer, we have a lot of reasons why it might not happen. “I know I should read my Bible every day, but I get distracted and forget.” “I meant to spend time in prayer but the kids just never give me a minute.” “I’m too busy.” We may not say these things out loud, but either we think them or we unconsciously believe them. What comes next in this cycle? Guilt, regret, lament. We are pitiful creatures that way.
As a lifelong rule-follower my natural tendency for years was to execute my Daily Checklist of Holiness. I felt good if I did the right things. But what was my goal in this? Whether I realized it or not, I was trying to keep the scales balanced so I would be “good enough” for God to not punish me. Is that really how I saw God? Ouch.
What if instead, I chose to spend time in His Word daily because it meant getting to know Him better–learning more about who He is so I would not only know Him, but I could seek to grow more like Him? What if drawing near to Him wasn’t about following the rules or fulfilling an obligation but about growing my faith?
I’m a reader and lover of books, and I’m often asked how I find time to read so much. The implication is that I know some magic secret, or maybe they’re implying that I have too much free time?? The truth is, you have time for what you MAKE time for; or as a friend recently said to me, “what you TAKE time for.” I carry a book with me everywhere I go. I always have an audiobook on my phone. I keep an extra book in the car. I read a ton of books every year because I make room for that in my life. I read 60 to 70 books a year because I make reading a priority. That means I have to take time away from something else. And if we’re honest with ourselves, we have time that we fritter away here and there on mindless things. Now, full disclosure, I wasn’t reading that many books when my kids were babies and toddlers because I’m human, but I could still squeeze that time in there somewhere because I was looking forward to it.
So the bottom line is that if we say we don’t have time to read our Bibles or pray, we are full of bologna. It’s simply not true. We can take time, even if it’s just a few minutes to start. What needs to change isn’t our calendar but our hearts. What needs to change is our perspective that sees daily time with Him as an obligation. He longs to comfort us, grow us, change us. We don’t need daily devotion time because we feel better or less guilty after we do it. We need daily devotion time because the more we know Jesus, the closer we draw to Him, the more He fills us, the more His way becomes the natural way we respond. He has amazing joy and relationship that we are missing out on when we don’t take time.
“But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find Him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29