September 1, 2006

Devotions

Every morning I get up a little before 5:30am to spend about an hour "doing devotions." I hate that phrase, "doing devotions." "Time with the Lord" seems just as bad. But I really don't know of a better term: "Private Worship"?

I get up at 5:30am in order to utilize the quiet of the apartment and because my mind would wander all over the place any other time of day. I equally divide this time between Scripture reading, prayer, and journaling. As per my previous post, I now include time for memorization.

It has taken me almost 12 years to develop some sort of consistency. That's right, 12 years! You know what I learned that helped me develop consistency? I learned that I had to choose a time and then make myself show up. Spiritual growth wasn't just going to "happen." There was no lightning bolt from that sky that was going to make me magically more consistent. I had to decide that I wanted more of God than I had and then do my part to show up.

How many times are we going to use the excuse, "I don't have the time"? Let me say that if I, of all people, can get consistent you can get consistent.

I struggled for three months when I first moved back to Dayton. There was a change in my setting, my schedule, my entire life. But after three I got tired of my excuses. I set my alarm and made myself get up. I sat there in a haze the first few days, but I showed up.

How many times have we seen "revival" fade after the meetings or the emotions are finished?

What if by consistent practice of the spiritual disciplines you could actually have a stream of living water flowing from within?

I often use the illustration of a marathon runner. In order to run a marathon, the person must put in hours and hours of running. Mile after mile after mile after mile after mile... But, in order to run to the best of their ability, to have the freedom to run a marathon, that practice and discipline is needed. In the spiritual life, we are often ill-prepared for the spritual battles that we have to face or to do what God needs us to do because we have put in the time practicing the disciplines.

Too often we are content to sit around eating our Spiritual Cheetos and getting fat, rather than "beating our bodies" and disciplining ourselves to grow. As we show up to "do" and "practice" the spiritual disciplines we find that God is there giving the grace.


2 comments:

  1. Oy. Okay so why do you have to be the confirmation I needed? I mean God has been waking me up at 5am for a while now... but I swore... I'm NOT a morning person... (and really, I love sleeping in and staying up late)... but "real life" has me going to bed at 11 to get up at 6am... but I know I need to get up earlier. I pray on the way to work (25 minute commute with traffic), I listen to teachings and worship music all day (and lipsynch along... lol), and spend time listening too... I just don't get enough "word" time for me... I like to sit down and read for an hour or so... and I think God has been trying to get me up early. Oy.

    This whole adult responsibility thing just cuts into my free time! (kidding)...

    Yet one more thing I have to be obedient to. I'm seeing a pattern here... lol

    Thanks Eric. ;)

    Keep on me about this, this has been a long pattern... 12 years? Oy... pray I can do it!

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  2. It has been a battle for me as well. I was not a morning person. In fact, I am still not a morning person. If I had my way I would stay up till about 1 or 2 and get up about 10 or 11. The problem is that even if you do that because it "fits" you, it is hard to get going.

    I had to force myself into this (and still force myself into it), and I take a lot of flack for going to bed at 9pm so that I can get up at 5am.

    There are some people who can stay focused and on track using their own schedule, I couldn't. It has made me more disciplined and starts the day off right.

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