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Jump Start Your Devotional Life

Alan Parker


Alan Parker

Professor of missions and evangelism and director of Pierson Institute of Evangelism at Southern Adventist University




  • July 15, 2010
    9:45 AM
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I finally got we want to thank you for being with us for the new guidance and blessing through WIC already and we pray that you continue to lead us as we think about how to get on devotional lives back on track too many of us would have experienced on the frustration of not being able to connect not been able to be consistent with the Lord we pray that you will show us away beyond that help us to get through this value of a cord to the door of hope we ask this in Jesus name and while we're talking about how to jumpstart your emotional lives of real talk about some practical things in these of some of the things that I've learned even experienced I just don't seem to get much out of my devotional time have every been periods in your life when you said that I certainly have I keep promising to get ability of but it doesn't happen yeah that's that may be more recent than some of the otherwise and then I do well for a few days but I seem to slip back into a few Russian minutes before I get out the door known until he met those kinds of devotional experience that read something like this home I has it that time or a chloride once we got to figure out what he did and it will adopt these are be with me on site has been much time with you today that you are rested his and I really would love to scalable economy later in the day we could get back together jihad is so allowed is a little as I like to remember right now I know I might nor by power but by my spruces looked and I believe it goes through will be provided at the minor without you and you and your experiences and then when you get down and the day is going miserably if you have this and you get to the end of the day and you kept promising yourself you have the most members just hasn't happened and then you do the loses prayer at innovating on enjoyment ten o'clock at night dear Lord what a miserable day I'm so sorry will tomorrow all that I have been so those kinds of experiences tell me that something is going wrong in our devotional life I want to suggest to you a number of things that I believe will help us we have a deal little more philosophically at first and then very practically right at the end Festival is an emotional life I had a friend who said to me you know in the Bible I don't see a whole lot about a devotional life is more corporate worship and so I don't think it emotional less important when you think about that way obviously wasn't a good thing because even she left the church sign up to follow his strategy but has some reasons look at gospel with his page one hundred God what jealously your house will notice the three things same anatomy for a right Bible study at what self-examination any you have ever had something on self-examination that means meditation thinking about how it applies to life one of us ought we got the prayer Bible study but we don't know how to apply tell lots of these of the three things God jealously you'll minutes away your hours for prayer Bible study and self-examination and set aside a portion of each week is no each day for a study of the Scriptures and what communion with God notice those two things that you will obtain spiritual strength and will grow in favor with God Bible study praises of examination are extremely important for having a strong relationship with God so why is our devotional life broken when the suggest you that these two basic reasons number one we have the wrong motivation and number two we use ineffective methods so very simply absolute I can't let some other nation and what methods of using and how could we use more effectiveness is likely in the past so motivation what drives you to do a tab of emotional life but tragic figure you can accelerate beautiful microphone address knowing you have to write you know I read that consists God jealously hours and so I have to do it it's written somewhere in the fundamental beliefs I can commingle with but you have to have a devotional life so that's one reason White House designed to get to know God better so you like getting it and I got an interesting time with it yet are active what else alright so this is the practical pragmatic reason I don't have a bad day bar I said okay what else is you know it's it's hypocritical when you got into the day putting on the face I am a Christian this is wonderful but I have graded in illegal weeks now effectively and so you have these all visa motivations if I want to be real I want to be genuine and we could listen a number of other motivation some of which are good and some of which are not as good so the right reasons I would suggest you that the right motivation is that the goal of a devotional life is unbroken intimacy with God to read unless writings she tends to use words like Jesus had a constant communion with his father continual communion close communion pray without ceasing so the goal of the devotional life is an unbroken intimacy with God when you get to that point and you can walk right into you have an address enough to because you have this unbroken intimacy you discontinue the conversation and have that intimacy is a result of love not fear or guilt and imagine what it would be like if I told my spouse Nicole Louisa White spending time with you is I feel it's my duty we were going on a date because that's my duty as you think should appreciate that the reason why buying you flowers is because I feel obligated to or because I'm I'm afraid that if I don't even be mad at me or if I don't have to feel guilty so he wanted to me not to feel guilty of buying you flowers okay that would not be a good motivation and so often what happens in a devotional life because we tend to be driven by fear guilt I didn't just do it otherwise what if I die today if I get run over by car and I haven't done my demotions you may be going the wrong direction so so we driven sometimes by fear or guilt 's these do not provide the atmosphere for good devotional intimacy must be protected from the kids of what you want to have unbroken intimacy with God then you have to be careful about Oracle spiritual Snickers bars if you want to move sure what you do you get a snack corrected a Snickers bar you enjoy that snake is bothered in the food comes and you really not ready for that fruit I remember one time Deutsche Bank would have given thought to banquet where they take forever to bring up the food and split the head roles they these cheap white roles that we were so hungry we began to eat those roles in acute bringing the rolls what's it like an hour and a half of the fifty top and it was this incredible food honey vinaigrette he was a lavish it was this impressive vegetarian food that just make your mouth water that I had had eight roles by this time and I look to the food and I nibbled at it I wasn't even hungry nothing collected emotional if your emotional life is a quick little devotional for Seattle a little I feel good when I sing this piece of music of a job I listen to I listen to Michael Kahn song and that's really need tonight I do these little little sanctions on brief intimacy with governing never going to fit in when it comes to really getting down and study my Bible I'm not ready for that just been feeding on this these little bits and pieces drop at a listen to a settlement or out I watch something that I'm not really willing to go deep for myself is elemental connection these will rob a deep communion with God intimacy grows best when the best time energy and gives are invested so win-win intimacy flourishes is if I spend time and energy and gifts on it isn't that what happened so you're not spending time and energy if you are sacrificing for God is unlikely that your intimacy will grow it will follow that point so you want a deeper walk with God you motivation am I willing to invest what it will take to grow my intimacy with God so many of us have seen emotions as a duty rather than what it should be devotion what is the word emotion dedication commitment yet what if I went to my wife and I said honey I am totally devoted to all that the appropriate response so because it it shows on porting my wife out to so because how devotions are more of a duty instead of pouring my life out they came to be dead because they don't have that motivation behind that should make them powerful you can force yourself to do devotions whatever it is it's not devotions when you forcing itself emotion should spring from an attitude of love and a desire for worship and would follow the idea of motivation to you we examine the motivations why my doing this is because I want an unbroken intimacy with God because I love that drives you so I noticed just how do you stop right when you change it from the negative to the positive begin with a prayer no life is consecrate yourself to God in the morning make this your very first business so when I began I don't rush into Bible study the digging on my computer log into that in a moment I begin with because please send this prayer enables me to connect with God free and clear as my mind and I I I deliberately do that I try and cast out all of it thinking that's been dominating my mind and I go to God and I open myself up to him and I what's the keyword at the beginning consecrate what is consecrated to set apart for a holy purpose and so on rooted in the election applied for a sacred purpose it means to just say I end up with myself aside from you today for if you wanted to begin with that motivation and emotional life will change just that simple parade when you prayed meaningfully not just as a wrote pre- changes you I've also found that music can be an important transition for me not have to be careful spiritual 's snake is boss that music helps me to transition from the rest of my life and you can use whatever it is if you can get on nature listen to the birds but you need to find some way to break out of the routine of your mind is what happens when you try to have a devotional life as you get down in your opening a Bible but you will be sports rushing at you about this one about that have you decided what you do today and you can have you thought about yeshiva right one for you and you and you thought about what happened yesterday and how you saw embarrassed in the situation you released a fresh energy and helping what a garbage can concentrate because you're being bombarded by these sorts of my guidelines at the sun got to release all those thoughts and allow the Holy Spirit to begin change my mind and and suddenly I'm down to my needs and forgot some things of the Sprint just put myself in that position is a God I will chase those both the ways that I can concentrate on what you want me to do with Bible says Jeremiah twenty hundred fifteen you shall seek me and find me when you seek with me with half of your heart not with all of your heart it means that business and highest seeking after God and you know the takes as the deer pants for the water so my soul longs for you so that means our motivation is gone I desire you connect with that in the first so the hot attitudes are hot of surrender we mention consecration hot appraiser and a half seeking God when you have these motivations and changes the way you approach your devotional life now I became anadromous and I quickly fell into something I notice evidence do we did devotions to get knowledge so I'd open my Bible and study to get knowledge and end even the lesson correlates with you the same kind of thing is studying to get knowledge to find out something I wasn't studying I was having a devotional time to praise God I was having a devotional time so I can gain more knowledge to beat up my non- envious friends with everything that I'm here and now instead this changes things I started to seek God with all of my difference how can you change me how can I become more of who you want me to be so what are you hoping to get out of it here are some things that I messages are not the biggest things to try and get out of your devotional just a feeling of intimacy I send emotions on the intuitive unbroken intimacy but there's a difference between unbroken intimacy will communion and a feeling of intimacy and maybe you're not old enough for this but maybe you are then you can experience intimacy with a person that you are totally not connected to your unit is sitting in a presence of a hot speeding fast that you feel this feeling of intimacy you look in their eyes but you are not really connected to I remember having that experience and asking a girl to date I looked in the eyes and I felt like music playing in the background and was picture-perfect look at as soon as I said would you go out with me it's like so we stop playing the wrinkled encryption the picture cracked him and us I like what am I doing it was broken just a moment because it was founded on feelings was founded on a feeling and says that feeling disappear I realize this is not going to that but she's fearing that any young I'm going I think that's so interested to browse anyway the metadata that you don't want to get into and with God we can great feelings of intimacy I don't speak about worship in one of the lifestyle once but if we can discover feeling without the real thing sometimes we just trying to open your countries yes I found something Sunday I can go and say to let you know I found today's most incredible things but it's more hidden knowledge that it is like transformation since of the compass with James changing like one lady she told me I've read through my Bible and seven punch was the meeting grass field may get what I want to do that but I got it recounted in the right order to do that I'm unit it shook my faith but the way she read it was just as a checklist five chapters chick five chapters check and pretty and an active sporting the Olympics of a meeting of Leviticus you find that as an assurance of salvation if I don't do it I want to say all of these reasons are essentially selfish would you agree Bill about me one minute to get out and I'll motivation I believe should be God 's glory revealed in our lives so that motivation is gone I want you to be glorified thank you a fascinating study for me those are the book of John and find out what it was that motivated Jesus you just take a chapter by chapter you say what was a federal Jesus why cannot you find you to find that Jesus was driven to glorify as far that's what motivated his life and so you have these incredible devotional times he had these unbroken communion with his father because he was driven to glorifies QB was no selfishness involved so Bible says she has how you can be a good Bible seasons what is the Tellis Briand 's excavating this eleven these were more noble than those in Thessalonica in that they did what receives it would have to with all readiness of mind that's probably not eleven o'clock at night and did what such descriptions how often daily to see what they those things was so in other with they were able to checkout so it as part of your emotions you have Bible study noticed some of the key elements of what we learned yet the attitude was readiness of mind that tools they have the ability to search the Scriptures so they had a way to really get into the Scriptures and figure out how to do it and then they haven't was a daily study and the purpose was they were seeking truth it was seeking to find out what God was calling them to do what is it that's true then we will do so as you approach Scripture with these four things you have the right attitude you have the right tools or methods you have a daily habit annual purpose is to have God glorified by his truth revealed in your life then you will have and how emotional experience I know you disable practically how does that work is not a good question one of identity practically because that's all fine in theory but I'm struggling just to get up every morning and I don't know what to do so what we want to movement in the next section is to take a look at how can we move practically to vibrant powerful devotional life and if you slip in your devotional life in the last year anyone even not slipped your devotional life in the last year okay when you're in the rights that subject is an and that that was my experience to infect I remember how I felt like integrated really helps and women at the present is because you can present on some inherent doing my I can say hey yes I jumpstarted the most a lot about three yes it's a hoax is not a work I have to tell you that this works but there was a time when I was really busy I just moved to seven and my devotional life was being squeezed up on my busyness and I was presenting a class on in a classical Christian spirituality and my devotional life as they are terrible that felt so when I went to tell you is this has to do an enemy to share with you some things that work but nothing 's perfect because it depends not only on methods but on what the Holy Spirit and the right motivation and so you have to open yourself up to what God does so he hasn't won one way that we can move beyond a boring devotional life and ministry several things that you can do on the current paradigm of Bible studies casual haste in superficial reading Bible reading plans five chapters in the day but I want to suggest you based on the ingredients that a new paradigm is in that spiritual studies it becomes ingrained in our daily practice so instead of just hastily reading we got a new index so you don't need to go to much and in deeds of it I want you to see what Ellen White says about hasty superficial reading and you can apply this to movies to win the men's title printed matter constantly pouring old and young form the habit of reading what hazily and superficially and the mind loses it's power on one of these keywords connected and vigorous thought now you just think about this we live we don't live in the Gutenberg world we live in the Google wants and in the Google Wells everything is sound box I read a page quickly and I click on something I read in your page when you listen to a TV show that giving you an use program they just give you soundbites of what somebody said you read you scanning just to see is the any relevant piece of information and because we live in the information age the Google age so instead of doing in-depth reading we are used to scanning forming a quick judgment and moving on that is that correct so how we got to get back to the power of connected and figures for the uneven lottery the Bible notice yet even fiction which contains no suggestion of impurity in which many intended to teach excellent principles is what harmful and encourages the habit of hasty and superficial reading nearly for the what story is that Summit movies thus it tends to destroy the power notice these woods again are connected and vigorous thought it fits the salt to contemplate the great problems of duty and this energy to do that you try and do a whole lot of skimming on the Internet or watching a movie and then you going to try to Bible study it doesn't work well because our minds are not prepared to contemplate you really think and this is one of the reasons why our Bible study and emotional life is not working is because we haven't prepared our minds to do that in this kind of work some portions of Scripture on indecency claim to be misunderstood but there are others whose meaning does not lie on the surface to be seen at a glance Scripture must be what content description in the speak careful research and prayerful reflection I was supposed to elements of February one hundred devotional time you never have to have both elements involved there is little benefit derived from a hasty reading of the Scriptures none on this one analyte recommends instead one passage how many one passage studied until its significance is clear to the mind and its relation to the plan of salvation is is evident is of more value than the perusal of many chapters with no definite purpose of youth and no positive instruction Jack the checklist so you really want to have powerful devotional time you do that to study letters and get more so après life same thing and I met a beginning with prewashed lettuce are not spent much time in it but operate like it's a superficial selfish ritualistic rushed a one-way demand was that a sense of duty that operate like that and I noticed this the same things he said about I wasn't need great people we need to pray more often when my lecturers was a guy who Professor Krishna from India and he did it class for me in my Christian spirituality was in college and some of his Democrats he settled us down he says when I went to pray for the next forty minutes okay that's classiest that class so we'll started to pray until you have the fifteen minutes it was uncomfortable one we didn't know how to pray for one fifty after was over he said you struggled in cumulative years she is as I pray and two to three hours every day is denied to train my mind I know how to spend time in concentration that's something that people in the easy know-how to do but in the waste you so used to flashing images enter short little things that you don't know how to spend concentrated high Karen Mayor however should be the width of the soul the secret of spiritual power Jesus prayed for his disciples to pray and he commands us the bread so prayer is important Bible studies and when we know it's important the question is how do we do it and I'm good I have to skip this section how do we get into a regular devotional habits I want to deal with the practical issues that you may be facing in a timely answer only hassle thirty minutes from our we will be good how do we get into a regular devotional hat you needs to get into a habit what is I have some need to over and over again give me examples of habits eating lunch at one o'clock everyday showering in the morning brushing your teeth just to think about brushing your teeth did you go home I have to brush my teeth today what does it think and what you have to think about you have to think about getting your food at lunch time I really don't remember too much of what some you get really busy you probably did but most of any given to have it used to doing it every day what about the exercise and if you haven't gotten dollars yet it was more difficult is it because it made a lot of promises out on the theogony exercising like one out every single back at it less like three days answer how do we get into the habit what we've got to develop some rituals rituals make the habit work so you but it's just one of your rituals select a specific time 's going morning or evening at electronic size program you know when you may get the same time every day more likely to do the same with devotions so whatever time you said stick to it although I perform mornings because I don't want to pray the loses Pereyra mentioned at the beginning loses prison at the end of the day when you missed the highlight of this print the beginning of the day before I go out into the day that I can pray for God 's strength but some is no function well in the morning my wife is an Alan Imus fell enough I like to get up early in the morning and she likes to go to bed late at night and so we found a compromise but early in the morning it's like a carnival in stock the neat neat neat neat neat yeah she's just getting going supplement to try new in this Bible study at six o'clock in the morning is not a workout just in his sputtering sounds enough of the bitch sucks so she may do some in-depth study at night when I'm on history of my brain shut so computer has stopped functioning please try again eight hours at so you want to figure out what works for you but whatever time you sits stick to it remember that quality is better than quantum rather have fifteen minutes when I really get in depth with something that have in our win I'm what I don't know what I'm doing so remembered quality rather than quantity shall you need a special place we found that when people sit in the same shape when they listen to a piece of music they and they do every time this adventure they listen to a piece of music they can just sit in the chancel was like the music stops the plan in mind when we stopping people from when helping people to give up smoking we tell them to sit in a different chair why because it breaks the happen so you want to build a habit when you meditate you choose the same place and I try and find one that has meaning for you it was outdoors when we you can eliminate distractions that could be difficult thank you so if you're if you're having challenges with you got roommates will something like that it's hard to get away from the distractions it could be hard but the more you eliminate the distractions the better now tell you one distraction I had to computer I cannot do my devotions with my computer open Anita first was really neat I had juveniles go in I was already good but this is a couple of major problems with using the computer for devotions but other the answer that right because e-mail is like holding down the automated messages Google anyway that is if I cannot have it all Kevin Kevin you never know an impulse behind Mrs. and I think you just visited dying of curiosity one of those five messages you could be sending really important and it when you get to e-mail what's next Facebook Facebook Skype meaning could be a status update happening right now just gotten again how would you know is you are on Facebook writer hiding it Ms. Amy Wheeler embarrassed because we went to visit someone and she was engaged when it happened like three days ago don't you read Facebook I like not the last three days I do so you might miss a status update and it's gone you know once a status update after while the original scroll through like five thousand and twenty one as I can read those little status updates so I needed to I you might miss something so you ask is there waiting for you and you and when you when you open the computer is all of these other things this project should be working on this is how appliances were visible universe are universal your process but I mean look at things but they distractions so for me I don't open my computer to have my devotions I don't know what would see it now later on a major study on my computer but I don't want I don't want to have my devotions made up of that study because because it's just too inviting I follow a simple plan and I you you can spend as long or as short of this as you need to the simple plan is before I begin I have to pause I have to pray to clear my mind I consecrate myself to Ghana begin with the right attitude if I don't pool as I find I don't get as much out of the reason I didn't when I paused and prayed and I had sufficient time disconnecting with God then I read an unfocused in my reading I know I like to read through books of the Bible and every not again out I'll shifted up because I may be reasonable to just realizing this is intentional in my life is right now and then I think the one book of the Bible would be better for where I am right now not based on a new book ISOs I used devotional writings to help me out but I'm good I have something to read and understand sometimes really meeting and asking what does this mean that's why reflectors next so what what does this mean and there's some questions that are good to ask number one what is the Sabbath what is said about yahoo miss you what am I learning about God from the speakers remember devotions to give glory to God 's will my money back got sick in question what is it tell me about humanity what is it tell me about you that is I see so unreacted that it's distorting the Bible maybe it's how the people in Corinth how they related to spiritual gifts I'm looking forward to telling documented in a my third question is what difference does it make a so three simple questions but when I go to the take someone's looking was Tommy what God was telling much humanity has taken a change while I found that even those three questions help me to to really change things considered I affect reflected then I got a application or a laminate of the enough that this equitable remedy of this mighty mighty motions without asking one of them again putting on a halfway so most people David on ask when identity so that emotions that impact on their life like the lady who rented for seven years old and I know she is an impact on my life because his never say when I got to do as a result of reading this and then I I write it down I need to go and apologize to so-and-so will look to read to me I need to change this will change that I need to get to bed early tonight so those help me make a real end I end with a time of putting enough as long as all as or as short as I will view more with premade or a very simple formula but it helps the habit means that under the go through the same things everyday maybe switch up a little but I know to have those things drilled into me my mind was prepared for the so if we had time and maybe when we're done with the presentation we will we will ask you see we can do a little bit of this right here with such then we'll see if we can fit that in so doesn't take up the time on the ointments right next to what if you have some problems with the devotional plan under the deal with the 4G city in eighty four forty fifths inches rack when the younger theaters that's great so these are is that these are four things that are a problem in our devotional life and I want to help you overcome these problems we going to go through them one by one the first one is the problem of discipline the problem of discipline I have just some simple suggestions that I believe will really help you now if you're like me you sometimes struggled with discipline how to use our in college or high school all right so you know about the problems with discipline because you're just too busy so it's very simple you needs between seven to eight hours of sleep so how do you know when you should go to bed well when you want a wake-up when would be a good time I really like layups and six o'clock RX anyone the awake at six o'clock in the morning so we can account back seven to eight hours that means she really should be in bed by ten theoretically so what happens is we know that was supposed to be in bed early but we just don't make a priority and then we pay for the next morning to begin the night before what is anxiety as I pray for God to wake me up I believe that he does do that so I can say to him Lord please wake me up and is going to the point now where I don't need analog clock to wake me up unfortunately this morning there was also Chickasaws wake of seven on Eastern time I because you know there I like at least I can access signal down awake at around about six and so this morning I was I was up yeah sorry as red as for August October seventy 's and four o'clock this farmhouse away have a print article view and so what you can do is have somebody to you is your accountability pardon the cliché has it most like loose our younger greatness in us you may want to I just have been help you in enforcing thinking of your morning devotions for the next I get excited about tomorrow I can't wait to get into the next chapter we pay trucks profits or reading the Bible I can't wait to get bank that will help you get excited and this one is the critical one get up immediately your greatest motivation for getting up as when you first wake up it diminishes after that review notice that they've even built now to help people out they built these alarm clocks that can run away from you I have been running wheels and when you press sneers in moves to spend moves across the room so you have to get out of bed to ten ago also exhibited you ever been able to roll out of bed and an hit snooze button evaluating a dentist for you all right so you get a community that the city did the easier it is an Estes with if in fact in an interest themes study that they did they found that people who go back to bed wake up more time when you wake up you with and for some reason it doesn't work with everyone but it's better to if you can skip now suspended to skip two hours of sleep is to skip one out is an homage refectory you get it to do the evens the odds for something anyway Psalms five Mrs. one two three getting into my woods alone consider my meditations Harken unto the voice of my crime I came I got for unto thee will I pray my voice shalt thou hear in the morning so you would if you look at video main emotional time in the morning I believe you still need great time in the morning for Lord in the win morning when I direct my prayer unto thee and will look at David's example was the lookout was to connect with God thirty all was saying is that the study shows that that if you're going to see if you going to skip on your sweet you will be more grog if you skip one hours and if you skipped two ounces don't ask me why but your biorhythms do better in even even tigers like six hours or eight hours if you're an eight hour sleep medical subject was in-house because that would be five thousand years to rejuvenate our sleeper into the lead going to the odd numbers was for you to go into the even numbers are not savings and extra out of sleep now but what I'm saying is that your biorhythms are really important in your concentration levels and going back to sleep for hours about the worst thing that you can do for you concentration I I is the here and it is really helpful for you your holes the way to whole system operates to have a schedule of rhythm that's why want again one was things you can do is sleep in on the weekend because it throws you a whole biorhythm now and so you will end up being groggy of the weekend interview experiences during the week your operating neurons has to in the weekend is the bed and the role groggy and you get nothing done all that and and you're not really operating efficiently and what inadequate up on sleep disorder biorhythms so the better way is to just have consistently said winking at the same time of the weekend is right after we that's the ideal this is an God 's plan was that you begin with sleep three to begin with sleep and the new ready to face the day and if you've ever not have sleep you know what happens so that's one from his discipline so some good suggestions for discipline what about the second problem distractions any of you ever get distracted what is yes so we are all little ADD because the television these days so if you get distracted one way to solve the problem distractions and mine can concentrate is the again to get out a bit now why have as when you are in bed with eyes closed in a prime you think you're praying that your body which is already sleep deprived it of things and eyes closed sleep so you can focus because your your brain is producing everything it needs the sleep and you're trying to pray and it doesn't work so as a result of that I get out of bed and sometimes undergo the time I opened my eyes are important because I intend to write some upgrades now so this way I can actually look at what I've written down a five prayer requests often reading the Scripture sometimes we description up for it with my eyes open now the reason why people prayed with eyes closed was for to get rid of distractions of your bosom of your eyes open you get this reckoning Iraq reviewer of listening to get sleepy when you close right and advantage of your eyes all day and focus on something and that might help users should be written down some things then keeping a permit jungle or diary you know when you write some things down if you go to print journal I find that that's really helpful in my wife and I keep a bridge and only write things into but maybe we see how God has answered operators but we get to trace his activity in alliance of the time and when I write things down I find it focuses my thoughts as I can think random nothing sorts you probably would've the fact that men have there been mind is like boxes and one of the boxes they have is a nothing box and so we can just sit and think about nothing so what we need sometimes in order to focus me I write it down and it focuses my thoughts and it helps me to concentrate I will pray about everything that distracts things I feel like I'm the devil sometimes going it can think about this think about your money finances and each of your bank account but what about sense of humor what so those very things that are coming into my mind I don't like it one of the judge on game and I pray about everything this is for me because I think a lot of rain so thoroughly distracted if I was automatically and it works well and then particularly Muslim time you don't have a lot of things that can distract you like phone and computer and other things available dates trying and get rid of those distractions to you the Bible and if the line wonders and alliances we must bring it back and by persevering effort habit will finally make it easy messages to young people page one fifty so you can learn the habit of focusing my even if you feel like you're eighty it can happen I know people in my classes who said the experience improvements in their ability to focus and concentrate so we had discipline we had distractions not dryness in a and that the discipline is is kind of the battle of the blankets this is the battle of applause you know you just reading your Bible and is not coming along and you have that experience your reading and it's like what it doesn't touch me at all in all linked your mutual children become orphans and maybe his be crushed against the stones that doesn't connect with me today and so I I would even go or out when I get into my you know I'm reading the so-and-so begat so-and-so and I have some great things in the begets eventually but at a certain time in my life you are crying out to God and saying God I need your mind and I'm reading so-and-so begat sons of the big episodes of you beget sons and beget sons of an end was a prostitute divinity gets on subjects on Seth 's boundaries and and I'm just like what what's going on here looks away you go to do so when I went there was dryness before I I blame the word of God a will look at what other things are going on number one my physical condition when I was sick I noticed that I couldn't concentrate and so your physical condition really affects the ability of your mind to focus so I look to my physical condition is this only I can do to improve my physical condition to get maximum concentration if I'm disobedient to God I find I don't really get anything out of my devotions have to surrender to God the mighty motions like I don't have to make myself right before I come to God by sin you have to surrender men on a new rushing like anyhow I expect to get a lot out of it if it's five Russian minutes with ten rush minutes of beginning of the day not expected to get sung out of my relation with my wife is Labor Day I needed you did you take care of the kids did you pick up this figure by this it are you writing the closing washing the dishes was the food if I decided a man list for my wife to think I have an intimate relationship with no but this way when I spend time when I when I'm willing to take the time when I waste time with God is great eight what is seventy run a vocal time while waste of time that's a time with guns while waste of time but it's the best kind of what a waste of time and again because it's with the King so you just spending time not not in a rush say this is more important than anything else nothing I found that was my dryness is different unshaded sites with others I giggled to myself is just not a meaningful when I go out and I share what the Scripture means to me and I get insights and I cannot shameful should I have that opportunity many times it just makes the Scriptures life now having said all of that what should you do one of these things are okay but you still not getting a lot of your devotion what should you do become pregnant what else you will have at I think with what I've done is I switch things up sometimes I'm into it I'm into a rats not have been as good but Iraq is not it's like in Alaska that got some places with his choose your right to be in the next hundred and thirty miles this you know I is sometimes I get into ruts are switch things up and I will change books sometimes I will go to reading a devotional book of gun hit me if it is the Bible and reading the Bible in that particular section is just a witch with mean in our house which are encoded emotional book and I likes their proxy is with me back to the Bible and finite I get back into the Bible other times I will say again to stop what I'm doing and I just got to pray and after I prayed and I spent some time in Paris then I may put on a piece of music and then I stuck in a guide to stop talking to God and SL right I'm ready to go back to the Scriptures and in as I say it it would times like Leviticus is always a place for you get stopped and so you may want to skip up you know you get ultimate sanctions that the time to make a part of my study time set apart my regular devotional and then I move over to the New Testament pick up the great stories get something out of it and then I go back to my study the same treatment Iran this is just what I do is I like to use what we call the literal translation for study but I will use a paraphrase to spot my thinking about what the text means I don't like using paraphrase by itself because I find that those woods get confused with what they threw me I never know it takes is actually say but if I'm using a liberal translation linking games of new King James I identify with its rich with study and the other like the message Bible clear Woodhouse need to bring out what the text could mean in the clear wood has a lot of nonwhite written into it so I like to distinguish right which part was knowing what the ad to bring it out thank you and so that's good for you so useful but I wouldn't use a paraphrase of I keep it separate for me because I find that I get to intellectual in my study time so my study time on ongoing things out of writing things down because of how I am I need my devotional time to be just devotional so it it depends on on the person before me that's what's with the same diligence which is not consistent enough what we do so I like to be a gaping seventy nine while I make a covenant all data going to make this realistic I don't like making promises I can keep dear God I get a preview in our every day come what may less probably not happen since then I say God I choose today I will continue to choose everything to spend meaningful time with you that way tomorrow I make the same commitment you understand what I'm doing now I'm doing it because I realized the me and I may sometimes tell my sophomoric in the next three weeks I really want to focus on this particular aspect of God 's character with this particular Buc book of the Bible but is not a hot infesting my commitment is every day by making a vow that I never spent time with God and I schedule it on my daily calendar I righted it to go to my office to see my devotional time written in cellulite looks at my office knows I have scheduled devotional time with it I'm prepared to face items excuses you know Cyrene tell myself when I go to bed at night and I know tomorrow not that I want to get out of bed fishing in the middle of winter so I need to face it when I get to do so I prepare my mind defenses excuses any of you done this with exercise yeah you got it you don't get yourself in that same frame of mind and then I mentioned before leaving the Bible of the night to the passage for the next I get excited to have an open ready to get into the some dolls Don gets what discouraged because you will have days when it doesn't go well just like when your marriage when the days when you don't speak to your spouse in a meaningful way it can happen it doesn't mean that you divorced praise God it just means you have a day when you were too busy to connect and you can change that the next day dawned put away your Bible don't give up on that don't ever give up no year the CNET little cartoon with the frog being swallowed by a stroke or something has got its hands around the neck because it's not giving up and is not as likely go down without a fight so you can't let the devil win by a devotional life that's not what working well remember it takes two weeks to become familiar with the task but it takes six weeks before becomes a comfortable happen so you need to spend at least six weeks in this habit-forming routine before you before it's got to be consistent enough for you to say okay now now it's happening every day and of course you can always slip so it is good to be something that you make a focus when it comes out of left the more you do it the more you love relationship with God drives and the more drives of the list of the duty it becomes and God can honestly take a poor devotional life into the room I remember when I was in college a second-year theology student I hit a brick wall in my devotional time I was reading I was praying but I felt like my praise of bouncing off the ceiling I felt like a Bible study wasn't coming alive and I guess and this was the commitment I made I think God I don't understand why this is happening but I am determined that I'm not going to let you go to your place and it was three months like three months of praying appraisal bouncing off the ceiling of the Scripture is not coming alive and I guess it I'm not giving up and praise God it was about three months later I was on my knees I have a Bible open and honest pouring my heart out to delegate and suddenly I felt his presence and an eye I look back at my Bible and I understood what it means the woods were coming alive and I felt job in the room and I have felt in my phrase is like like I had five angels just carried in writing and shall do is open cargo and I began praising out I think my roommates and I become Pentecostals but do nothing to I just had that moment this grew expense when I reconnected and in my emotional life is back on track so I'm not things was that easy but God will respond you faceless you will find me when you seek for me with what old you are that's pretty funny got we pray that you will indeed guide of this that you will help us to seek for you with all of our hearts and your help is not to depend on human wisdom which human methods that will give us the right motivation help us to use more effective methods to make commitments that we will be faithful to you and God we don't have the strength so do what we cannot help us to have unbroken communion with you Jesus


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