ROSE WRITES: Sometimes I get into a good rhythm of reading God’s word, praying, memorizing Scripture, and the like, and then things come up, life gets busy, and I fall off the wagon. How do I get and stay more consistent in my walk?
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Ok, so this is definitely something I struggle with, a lot especially during the summer. What works best for me, is finding a time to have my quiet time when I won’t be distracted by people, technology, and even my dog. (he likes to be the center of attention) Usually this means getting up about an hour early. I get my tea, Bible, devotional, and journal. I usually like to go outside, because that’s where I feel closest to God.
I’m not a morning person, so getting up at 6 am and sometimes even 5 am is not my favorite thing to do, but if I don’t get my ‘Jesus time’ I’m a mess.
Eventually, you’ll probably find that you love your devotional time so much you will look forward to it and be disappointed when you miss it. It will get easier with time and you will most certainly be blessed for making your spiritual walk a priority.
Wow! Liana really had it on point, so I don’t have tons to share. What I find helpful is to have my time with God, but to also continue talking to Him throughout the day. He’s with you, He loves you, and He will always listen. He might not answer immediately,or at all, but that doesn’t mean He’s not there. Just exercise the muscle of talking and listening. Trust in Him, and be faithful.
I think the best way to do this is to be consistent with the church. You need the reminder and encouragement that you can only get around other believers.
Hey Rose, great question!
I find that there are 5 things that really help you stay consistent (and strong) in your walk with the Lord:
1. Getting up early on time every day and not turning on your phone, computer, or any distractions, until a set time in the day. (Say, for example, if you get up at 6:00, take a shower and get ready by 6:30, then you don’t turn on any distractions until at the earliest 7:00. This gives you enough time to get your devotions done, and actually helps deal with stress.)
2. Having a balanced mixture of prayer and reading in your Quiet Time.
3. Going to church a minimum of once weekly. The more the better. 🙂
4. Getting accountability from a friend, parent, or youth leader.
5. Writing your commitment down and saving it / printing it for future viewing.
I hope this helps Rose!
In Christ Alone,
This was very well said, Trent, thank you for your advice! 🙂
Top Notch, sir!
These are really helpful ideas, Trent. btw it’s good to see you around a bit more 🙂 I hope you’re doing well!
In addition to everything other people have said, I find it very helpful to have an “open prayer” with the Lord daily. I start my prayer in the morning and then as the day goes on, I continue on with the same prayer and do not say amen until the end of the night. This way I find it much easier to jump on board the prayer train. When you feel you are constantly in the middle of a conversation with God, it is simpler to speak to him.
Oh cool! I totally agree that we need to “pray without ceasing” but I usually think of it as a bunch of short inter-connected prayers, it’s neat to look at it from a different perspective. 😊
Yes, I have found this really helps! Prayer helps us recognise our utter dependence on Him. When we see we really NEED God, we are more likely to spend time with him, and in his word. Pray that he would help you grow into these habits, of praying unceasingly, of always meditating on his word. You’ll get into these habits over time and after a year or two you’ll eventually do it without thinking every day- it’ll be a daily joy and routine blessing 🙂 Of course you won’t be perfect and you’ll always want to spend more and more time with him, memorise more scripture etc- BUT, as I near the end of my teenage years, I’ve seen the ways God has been faithful and grown me in holiness. I’m so thankful to him that I’ve grown in him through these daily habits, the practice of being godly so to speak. I’m not perfect and I don’t rely on my own good deeds by no means, but they begin to flow naturally because of God’s grace, and are a delight to God because of this grace. You’ll see evidence of his faithfulness over time as you grow in dependence on him, and turn to him daily.
So I had the same problem as you for years. I was a Christian, but I usually forgot to open my Bible until Sunday morning. I had big dreams, but I was frusterated when I couldn’t figure out how to fulfill them. Then I was at camp last year, and the guy that led our evening session asked us, “Are you guys consistent in your walk with God? I know a lot of you have big dreams of what you’re going to do for God. You want God to give you big things to do for him. But how can he trust you with being faithful in big things if He can’t trust you to be faithful in little things?” That really struck a chord in me.
Also, I would just advise setting aside a certain time in the morning for your devotions, and get up that much earlier every morning.
Hope this helps!
Wow! That is quite the quote, definitely something I needed to hear. Thank you for sharing!
Same here. I really needed a reminder that I must be faithful in he little things; thanks!
Thanks 🙂 Something else that also helped me is I started wondering, if I was witnessing to someone and they became a Christian, I would tell them to read their Bible right? But how can tell them to read their Bible if I don’t even read my own?
Well, here’s the thing: We’re human, and it is natural for people to go from highs to lows in productivity of any kind, emotionally as well. So you’re probably not going to “feel” like you love God all the time or as much, and you’re probably (unless you’re one of those types who can stick to a daily routine for years on end) not going to be consistent in how you worship God.
It wouldn’t be very good for you if you did/were. People weren’t made to maintain a feeling on a high level, or live without change.
That’s why in marriage things get a little tougher after the honeymoon fades. All those super high feelings drop some. That doesn’t mean that the two don’t love each other anymore. They can still love with their actions even when the feelings aren’t as strong. That’s the kind of love that keeps a marriage together, not the fuzzy stuff.
And that’s also why people like to go on vacations, travel a little, eat something different from what they ate yesterday, and alter their style of living, etc.
God made us, so He knows this. It used to bother me a great deal that I could never be perfectly consistent in my habits, until I realized that. Some people are better at being consistent than others. My talents lie more along the lines of trying and doing different things all the time. A lot of consistency in my habits is just not in my nature.
So, sometimes, if I find myself on a low, real busy or just not “feeling it,” I try to do something small, like say a small prayer, or read a Bible verse, meditate for a few minutes, etc., whatever strikes me at the moment. Because it may not seem like much, but the little things add up.
You might have a day where you feel like, “Oh, I didn’t get hardly any worship in today …” but if you really think about it you may remember lots of small things you did that you hardly thought about at the time because they seemed so small. Those things matter too. 🙂
I’m not saying that I think you should never hold to a schedule or read lots of scripture and pray long prayers, but that it’s okay to do less sometimes. You don’t have to feel guilty about it. (guilt can drive us away from God and make things worse. We who are “free indeed” need not put up the curtain of guilt anymore.) I don’t hug my dad all of the time but he knows I love him, you know what I mean? 🙂
Still, sometimes I don’t need to do less of those things. Sometimes I need to stand back and reevaluate my priorities so I can cut back or adjust my schedule to allow more freedom for Bible study/long prayers etc.
I hope this helps!
Just another quick thought, realize how much you need the Bible. We know God through his Word, but if you don’t know the Word in the first place, can you really say you know God?
You can’t. Without the Bible it will only be a distortion of Who He is.
Writing this is uncomfortable to say the least because I’ve neglected the Word this week. Don’t think I have it together, but hopefully this will help us both as we seek God through his Word.
“Either sin will keep you from This Book, or this Book will keep you from sin.” — C.H. Spurgeon
What a great quote!!
That is true.
We all mess up and we all make mistakes. You’ll always have ups and downs because that’s just part of life. Just hold tight and do your best. That’s all. Do your best, and it will always be good enough.
Rose, that’s true for me too. And I find it hard to witness to someone if I’m not on track with God. It’s hard, truly, we are not perfect. I’m trying to make a difference in my small town and I want people to see Christ in me, it’s hard. But we all mess up, we are human and Jesus comes along and picks us up:) God is always there for us!! Don’t forget that.
Hey! I’m super late here (and haven’t read comments) but I was thinking about this question yesterday and had a couple thoughts:
1st: Have you ever thought of using audio Bible on a mobile device?? If you have an android or iPod touch or even an iPad you can download YouVersion (a Bible app) and listen to audio Bible. I’m an auditory learner anyway, so sometimes I find I retain more when I listen to people read Scripture to me. I don’t let my audio Bible take me away from opening my actual BIble; but sometimes if you’re super busy cooking in the kitchen or whatever; popping in some earbuds and listening to Scripture (or sermons!) is really nice! =)
2nd: Get some accountability! Have a friend you’re memorizing a verse with or a freind you’re working through a book of the Bible together with…or your parents or siblings! That always helps!!
3rd: set boundaries for yourself (you might need accountability for this as well). What i mean by that is say something like, ‘I won’t eat breakfast until I’ve read my Bible” or “I won’t check social networks before I’ve spent time in prayer” or whatever it is you want ot set for yourself. You can set reminders on a mobile device as well if that would help you!
Lastly, just want to make a point: Where does the Bible say we must read Scripture every day? God tells us to meditate on His Word and to bind in on our hearts…Therefore we must study it! But God isn’t some legalistic God who says, “If you do not read your Bible every day you are a sinner!” Some days we genuinely just may not have the time to sit and read…! Or at least, it would be very challenging…Anyway, don’t beat yourself up if you dn’t read one day.!! God knows your heart and he forgives! Think on His Word; and do be sure you’re praying! But like someone told me recently, praying isn’t just kneeling at your bedside and saying a long structured prayer with your eyes closed! Whispered breath prayers and thoughts of Christ are prayers as well!!!
Don’t get me wrong YES! Read, memorize, pray!! But don’t become too legalisitic. 😉
Hey! I need this I’ve been doubts that God exists and though I try really hard to push myself to believe in Him it always seem like it doesn’t work. What can I do?