Let's be honest - it can be really difficult to find and/or make the time to spend with God each day. With the thousands of things we have to do, it can easily get swept up in the busyness of our lives and forgotten about. Even after all these years with the Lord, I still find myself missing my time with Him, getting distracted when I make the time and sometimes - just completely lost in the middle of it all!
Don't get me wrong - we all have good intentions. But sometimes it is just plain hard to make it happen. If we actually find the time, sit down and open up our Bibles, we often have no idea where to start, what to do or how to move forward. We get easily distracted by the other things pulling at our attention (that Instagram notification that just popped up on our phone) and end up feeling like failures in our devotional life with the Lord.
Here's a few things you can do to help yourself find the time to spend with God and make the most of it.
SET ASIDE A SPECIFIC TIME & PLACE
If we don't prioritize our time with God like an appointment that cannot be missed, it most likely won't happen. Make a date with God - set a time and place that you will meet with Him and stick to it. Are you a morning person? Get up early, pour yourself some coffee and carve out a good 30 minutes - an hour with Him. Are you an evening person? Go for it. Neither is right or wrong - just make sure you stick to it. Get rid of distractions! Put your phone away - close yourself in and away from the stuff that's trying to get your attention. Get specific on the place too - make sure it's somewhere you can focus in and be still before the Lord!
COME UP WITH A GAME PLAN
I know this sounds silly, but as someone who is passionate about fitness and personal training, I can tell you that working out our spiritual muscles can be incredibly similar to working out our physical muscles - you've gotta have a plan before you get into your workout! What does this look like? Come up with a format for your prayer time: 15 minutes or 2 chapters spent in the Word, 10 minutes in prayer, 5 minutes in worship. You can even create a few different templates to shake it up. Some days, I'll spend only in prayer - other days, only in the Word. Let the Spirit lead you but come up with a plan so that you don't find yourself wondering what to do!
KEEP A JOURNAL CLOSE BY
Journaling has always been hard for me for a couple of reasons: I have horrible handwriting and it takes SO LONG TO WRITE. It's much easier to type - but I have found that by taking the time to hand-write in a journal, I give myself lots of time to slow down and process what I've been thinking through. It's also incredibly powerful to be able to look back through different seasons of life and see what God was speaking to me then and now. Get a journal and try to write in it consistently. Record what God is speaking to you. This is another activity you can add into your devotional time.
LET THE HOLY SPIRIT LEAD YOU
Like we talked about before. it's really important to be able to have a plan - whether it's a Bible reading plan, a devotional book or prayer points. However, our time with God should never be void of the Holy Spirit's leading - that's really the whole point of why we're doing this! Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you before you even start. He may have something completely different in mind for you than you had planned. Before your read Scripture - ask Him to bring it to life. Allow God to speak to you and lead you in everything you do.
PROCESS IT OUT
I'm an external-processer - which means I can write down stuff in my journal all day but the only way I'm going to be able to make sense of what I'm going through is to talk it out with someone who's close to me. I have to speak it out. Maybe you're an internal processor and need to spend time alone to process. Whatever way you process information - do it. Take the time to go over what God spoke to you... what you read and what you're walking through right now. I'm a big believer in letting people into your process - God never made us to live life alone. There's strength and understanding in sharing and learning from others. This is a great way we can measure our growth. The only way to know you're growing is to be intentional with it. Take some time to see how God is moving your forward!