I find myself getting stale in my devotional time. It seems like my study is piecemeal and “I’ve read this before.” My mind wanders. I am reading the Bible chronologically to try and get a different perspective. I read the Daily Bread and keep a spiritual journal. Use the First Five app. I pray for fresh insight and right perspective – this is His time, not entertainment for me. Help!
Hello friends! And welcome to the 2nd half of the answer to this question. Last time, we talked a bit about what can cause a stale season as well as some initial thoughts. It’s normal, it’s natural, and you’re not alone! Today, we will consider some more practical steps to help you through this season.
First, take a break from your regular routine. If you feel called back to it later, great! But for now, step away from the plan. Consider these ideas to bring some life back to your spiritual journey.
Look for God in everything you do, in every place you go, in every thought you have. He is with us! It’s easy to get caught up in our day-to-day spiritual regimens and miss this simple fact. God is everywhere and when we lose sight of him, we lose our way. Knowing Jesus intimately is more than knowing about him – it’s walking side by side, seeing the world through his eyes, trusting his plan, loving him no matter what is going on around us. When we lose perspective, it’s time to step away from the mundane and intentionally look for him throughout the day. From majestic nature to the miracle of new life, from simple pleasures to profound meaning, he is in it all.
Read the Bible with imagination. The Bible is not just a history book. It is alive and active and when we read it like it’s a history book, we will never know Jesus any better than we know George Washington. Feel the relief of Noah and his family when they saw the dove return with a leafy twig in its mouth, knowing that they would soon see the end to their seemingly interminable days on the ark. Feel the joy of Mary and Martha when Lazarus walked from his own tomb ALIVE. Consider re-reading the Gospels, entering the accounts as if you were there. Jesus lived to show us firsthand who God is. He died to take on himself the heavy punishment for the sins of all mankind. He rose to new life and lives today – he is not dead, he is here with us through everything we experience. Feel it all.
For this season, and until the Lord directs you otherwise, read just a small passage each day and put yourself in the middle of it, imagining what it would be like to right there, experiencing it as it happened. Then ponder the words deeply for the rest of the day. What is God saying to you in this passage? Is there something revealed that needs to be confessed to him? Is there something you need to act on? Something you need to share with a friend? These are not just words on a page, they are living and active and call for a response. God is using these words to speak to us – we need to stop long enough to listen, hear, and respond.
Only add more moving pieces (more isn’t always better, sometimes it’s just more) to your spiritual day if God directs. Less is more right now. Stop. Be quiet. Listen. Rest in Jesus. Do what he calls you to do. I’m praying for you!
For whatever God says to us is full of living power: it is sharper than the sharpest dagger, cutting swift and deep into our innermost thoughts and desires with all their parts, exposing us for what we really are. –Hebrews 4:12 (TLB)
Recommended reading: for a fresh look at daily devotions, read this.