I changed the way I do devotions and it has absolutely revolutionized my life! That may sound like an overstatement but the things I feel like God is showing me now in my quiet time has jumped exponentially.
I would have people tell me that they wake up early in the morning to spend time with Jesus and I would think, “That sounds like some kind of religious activity to make yourself feel more spiritual than everyone else.” Then I decided to wake up early a couple of months ago and doubled down by starting to journal as well! Journaling was something else that seemed so foreign to me when people would say it is good to write things down in your quiet time. I am not a writer by trade and even the fact that I wrote a book is more of a miracle than it is a simple obedient exercise of retelling what I went through with my eye. And now that I think about what helps me be the man of God that he wants me to be I could never think of my life being WITHOUT getting up early to do devotions and journaling. Even my journaling is something that works for me. I don’t sit and write multiple pages in a book but use intentionality with meaningful things that I feel God reveals.
I always read something in scripture and then ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate the Bible in some way. I also write down the names and needs of people every day and sometimes God uses that exercise to write something.
Even though I now do television, I have been a licensed pastor for over 25 years and so my devotion time went the way of prayer, reading the Bible, God sharing something with me in that time and then I would instantly equate those ideas and thoughts with new and ground-breaking sermons to share with the world.
After about a month of doing my devotions with journaling, I felt like God told me that when I only think of others when he shares something with me that I actually CHEAPEN my time with Him. That doesn’t sound very spiritual to “keep things God shares to yourself and not share those things with others.” I would actually say that ALL the things God shares with me would make a bunch of great sermons but that those words he shares in my quiet time are for ME. They are not just for my impulsion to share what Jesus says to me with others. Growing up in church for so many years has possibly programmed me to think that the obvious process is God shares something with me, I package it and then share it with whoever will listen to change their lives and get them to ask Jesus into their heart. There is NOTHING wrong with sharing Jesus with lost people who don’t know how much God loves them, but we need to realize that when God shares something with us in our quiet time we need to first meditate on it and hold it as a precious gift. Now I am not saying that everything God shares with me in my quiet time never makes it out of my devotion time but that I always honor what God tells me as a holy moment between me and Him.
The form or timing of your personal time with Jesus may look different than mine, but I will say that it is necessary and that there is certainly something to setting your day in the right direction and writing down deep impressions given to you by God. The point is that I believe a contributing factor to the anemic Godly actions of Christians in our culture today is not from the Bible losing its power or Jesus’ concern for the lost waning, but a lack of a MEANINGFUL personal time with Jesus in the lives of believers. We each need to be spending that time with Jesus so that we can know our personal part in bringing the Gospel to the people around us but also bringing vibrancy to OUR relationship to Jesus. How can we tell others about a relationship with Jesus if we cannot be that example in our relationship with him?
Praying for you to have INTENTIONAL time with Christ that not only changes you but everyone you come in contact with today.