So you’d like to begin spending time with God daily? It’s a noble goal and one that every Christian should strive for. Whatever it is that has moved you to act, you’ll have a better chance of developing a daily habit of time with God if you follow these seven tips for nurturing a daily devotional time with God.
1. Pick a time. Make it a priority by calendaring it as you would any other important meeting. We set appointments for much less important things like oil changes, haircuts, and lunches. Set a specific time to meet with Him daily and stick to it.
2. Pick a place. I have a favorite recliner in my home … it’s “mine.” I love to begin my day by sitting in this particular chair with my Bible near me, my copy of Stand Firm (a men’s devotional), and a cup of coffee. I find that meeting with God in the same place each day is helpful and helps me to build memories of what God says during my daily devotional time with Him.
3. Pick an accountability partner. When you are trying to establish a new habit, it helps to have someone hold you accountable. I want one or two people to have permission to ask me how my daily devotional time is going, what God is saying to me, and whether or not I’m keeping my appointments with God.
4. Tell others. Let your Bible study group, spouse, or close friend know what you are about to attempt. It is amazing how much more devoted you will be to having a devotional time with God when you know others are watching you to see if you are really serious about it.
5. Don’t skip a day. This is not to be legalistic, but to make sure that you don’t give yourself an “out.” You may be tempted to skip a day and spend extra time with God the next day, but making up lost time rarely happens, and once time is lost, it’s lost.
6. Reward yourself. While meeting with God is its own reward, of course, consider giving yourself small incentives for consistently having your daily devotional time. For instance, at the end of your first seven days of consistently meeting with God, take yourself out for coffee or a special dessert.
7. Persist. Let’s face it, our schedules are busy and we lead “time compressed” lives. If you do miss a daily devotional time, don’t give up and count yourself a failure. Forgive yourself, recommit, and begin again. Don’t stop having a daily devotional time. That’s exactly what the enemy would like you to do … so don’t.
You have every possibility of growing closer to the Lord than ever before as you get to know Him through prayer and the reading of His Word. Your time with God will be motivated by your deep love for Him and the grace He has poured out on your life, not just keeping an appointment so that you can check a box. Allow yourself to experience the blessings of spending time with your Savior and allow Him to transform your heart so that you reflect the image of Christ to others in your family, neighborhood, and workplace.
Ken Braddy is manager of Lifeway’s ongoing adult Bible studies, magazines, and devotionals. He regularly uses Stand Firm, Lifeway’s men’s devotional, in his daily time with God.
This post is adapted from an article that originally appeared on Lifeway.com. Want more articles like this one? Go to Lifeway.com and click on the “Articles” button.