Wake up. Eat. Get ready. Go.
Some of us don’t even have time to eat.
The how to of this post isn’t going to be just another lecture on waking up ten minutes earlier or setting your Bible on your pillow so you have to read it before falling asleep.
I’ve had times where my schedule has been jam-packed and I’ve also had times where my mornings were free.
And on those days where my time was open, the excuse of busyness fell flat. And I still didn’t make time for God.
Why don’t we read our Bibles more? Why don’t we sit down and fervently pray more?
We have been convinced that we don’t need to. We have learned to rely on ourselves in the day to day.
I didn’t realize how essential devoted time with God was until I started devoting consistent time surrendering my heart to my Savior.
I was blessed with a time where busyness faded and quiet ensued. My schedule allowed for flexibility and my mornings were open.
And what did I do? I slept in. I went for runs. I met friends for coffee. All good things.
But finally, my excuse of busyness was gone and still, I filled my schedule.
I thought I could make it. I thought I was okay.
But the stress of trying to manage my heart became too much. I was wearing thin.
So after running out of steam, I started sitting down and surrendering each morning. And I haven’t stopped.
Yes, sometimes it is the discipline that carries me through. But there is one thing that has become so essential to this consistent time with God.
My motivation had always been to check it off my list. I’d never really felt changed or inspired after reading my Bible each morning. I knew it was important, so I tried. But my motivation never grew past my mind to settle into my heart.
How do we discover the deep and pressing desire to spend time with the Lord each day?
We have to pray and continue praying for the desire to keep coming back.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. -Jeremiah 29:13
A heart fully surrendered is a heart open to transformation.
[bctt tweet="A heart fully surrendered is a heart open to transformation." username="NicoleAKauffman"]
When we ask God for the desire to be with Him, He hears our prayer. When we continue to ask Him, He will answer.
We must also pray to delight in the Lord. When we spend time with Him, getting to know Him intimately, naturally, we will begin to delight in Him.
The Lord is all-powerful and just, all-merciful and forgiving. He is the creator of all things and we can’t help but delight in Him when we get to know Him.
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. -Psalm 37:4
Pray for that desire. Seek that delight. This is the first step to developing the motivation to spend time with the Lord each and every day.
It wasn’t until I committed to reading through the New Testament that I found a way to keep it up.
Before I would sit down with my heavy Bible in my lap and think - where to begin today?
Sometimes, I'd choose something random, and sometimes try reading through a specific book.
But eventually, I’d finish that and not know where to go next. And as inspired and changing as flipping to a random page and reading can be, that only lasts for so long.
A plan is so essential. I now sit down each morning and know exactly where I’m opening my Bible to. On busy days I open and just read one or two chapters. On days with more time, I read several.
When I finished the New Testament, I went to the Old.
I also created a prayer journal. Inspired by the movie, War Room.
Lacking a closet to clear out, I created a journal where I could sit down and go to Lord in prayer.
This journal accompanies me almost every morning. It has prayers that I pray daily, Scriptures that I speak to the Lord, and a list of requests and praises.
Having a plan when it comes to spending time with the Lord, creates an openness for our souls to reach out and the Lord to reach back.
When we don’t have to sit down and draw up a plan each morning, we are more likely to develop a motivation that lasts.
[bctt tweet="When we don’t have to sit down and draw up a plan each morning, we are more likely to develop a motivation that lasts." username="NicoleAKauffman"]
I encourage you to find a Bible reading plan, buy a Bible study or choose to read through the New Testament or the Old.
It begins with commitment. It continues with desire. It holds fast with discipline.
The biggest roadblock to a heart that desires to spend time with the Lord, is the reluctance to surrender.
When we surrender, we allow God to enter into our hearts. When we slow down and release control, we learn to trust the One who is truly in control.
If you are trying to spend time with God each day to check it off your list, you are still holding onto control.
When we grasp at control, we wear our hearts thin.
The day-to-day may seem controllable. But we’ve all experienced a moment where something devastating has ripped away that sense of control.
We’ve all had the choice of what to do when our lives were out of control.
[bctt tweet="We’ve all experienced a moment where something devastating has ripped away that sense of control." username="NicoleAKauffman"]
I encourage you to surrender your heart, every part of it, to the Lord.
It isn’t easy. And it doesn’t happen all at once.
It has taken me years to slowly release my grasp on the painful parts of my past.
And some of them, I’m still working on.
But as I’ve surrendered my heart, I’ve learned to delight in the One who cares so deeply for every pain in my past.
As I’ve surrendered my heart, I’ve found peace, hope and joy that keeps me coming back.
A heart surrendered is a heart at peace.
What is keeping you from total surrender?
If you aren’t sure, ask the Lord to reveal it to you.
He will. And as you work to surrender, you will find healing.
Time with God each day can be the most beautiful and delightful time of your day.
I encourage you to seek that out this week. I encourage you to begin praying for that desire and delight in the Lord.