2003-06-23 - Summer Questions
John 8:36 If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.
I want to thank the many of you who sent in summer questions. I have more than I can use, but feel free to keep them coming. I am still getting them so don't hesitate. I am doing today's both because I think it is a good question, but also because it was the first one sent. Thus I am giving it some priority. Here it is:
"Here's my question: I know you're suppose to do the Lord's will above your own, but lets say, for example, you wanted to eat breakfast or make your bed (silly I know, but lets keep an open mind) before maybe reading your Bible or praying. Is that wrong? I guess that's where I happen to be the most confused right now. Where does it become during your will before the Lord's? Thanks for helping me with this! It's been really bothering me."
I want to start off by saying that I don't think your question is a slight one. I have met many people who wonder if they have to have their daily devotions in the morning before they start their day, or if it is OK to have them at night before they go to bed. This can be for any number of reasons. Some people just don't function well in the morning, and others want to go to bed having just spent time in God's Word. It is no matter really. Others, like me, have no scheduled time for what I call my TAWG time (Time Alone With God). My schedule is so abnormal that I require some flexibility.
What I think it comes down to is that it doesn't matter if you make your bed first, or coffee first, or if you end the day spending time with God. The important thing is to continue to grow in your relationship with Christ. A lot of people have a set hour to spend time cultivating that relationship, others do not. It doesn't make one any more or less spiritual than the other. Sometimes I will spread my TAWG time throughout the day by doing some at one time and some at another. I might read a few chapters at one time, pray at another, and work on Scripture memory at another time.
I want to take this time to talk a little about a devotional life. Do you know that you can pretty much read through the Bible in a year by simply reading three chapters every day? Many people have never read the entire Bible, yet it is only about a 20 minute a day commitment. If you simply start in Genesis, Psalms, and Matthew and go one chapter a day, not getting discouraged, but pressing on, you will cover most of the Bible in a year.
Another important component to a devotional life is prayer. Prayer, of course, can be done at any time of the day, but it is also needs part of a devotional time. There are lots of methods to developing a prayer life. One thing that has worked for me has been to get a notebook and write each day of the week (Monday, Tuesday...) on one page and then fill in the things you are going to pray for each day on each page. This provides some order to our prayer times and reminds us of things that we want to be praying for. The lists can get long quickly, but, nevertheless, I have found this to be a useful aid.
Lastly, something that I think is part of a dynamic devotional life is Scripture memory. I will not try to reproduce my system here. I'm not sure how to explain it. I find that many people use 3 X 5 cards to aid in hiding God's Word in their hearts. Simply writing the reference on one side and the verse on the other and then repeating it over and over again until you can say it through completely is a method that many use. And a 3 X 5 card is small enough that you can carry it with you. When, throughout the day, you have some down time, it can be pulled out and read. This repetition will help to memorize the verse faster.
I did try to answer your question in at least some of what I wrote. Thanks for submitting it and feel free to email me if I didn't address what you were looking for.
Soli Deo Gloria,