Photo

How to Get Your Spiritual Life Out of the Drive-Thru Lane

By: Kristen Clark

Another day was over and I had done it again. With sleepy eyes, I reached for the lamp on my nightstand and turned off the light. I fell asleep to the familiar feelings of guilt and regret.

I had intended to spend some quality time with God that morning. I had pulled my Bible out and found a nice comfy spot to sit on the couch. I intentionally made coffee ahead of time…so I already had that in hand. I even set an alarm to remind me to get started. So what in the world happened?  

Sadly, what happened this morning was what happened to me many mornings.

Millions of little distractions.

One click on Instagram here. One “quick” email response there. One little squirrel moment over there. And…oh yeah. That text message. Yep.

Distractions had stolen my attention yet again.

But even worse, these little distractions were slowly robbing me of my time with God.

If you’re anything like me, you know the feeling. You’ve been there. Instead of your personal devotions feeling like a rich hearty meal, it feels more like a fast food drive-thru. Quick and on the go.  

Girl, I am going to be really honest with you here. This is a seriously battle in my life and I have not totally conquered this problem. But in my heart, I know that I don’t want to live in the spiritual fast food drive-thru. I want something more. Something spiritually nutritious. I’m guessing you want the same thing.

Over the years, through trial and error, I have learned some helpful tips for staying focused and consistent in my devotional time.

But you know what? These tips won’t work very unless they’re rooted in the right motivations.

First, it starts by recognizing that your “daily devotions” aren’t simply a good Christian habit to check off the list. Instead, your personal devotional time should be just that — devotion. This is a set-apart time of the day where you humbly come before your amazing God to worship Him, praise Him, study His word, and seek His help through prayer.

This isn’t simply “devotions”…but an intentional time of devotion to your Savior.

With that mindset as your foundation, I want to share some of the practical tips with you now.

1. There’s no shortcuts to loving God.

If you’ve ever thought, “man…I wish I had a deeper, more passionate relationship with God!” you’re not alone. But the truth is, there’s only one way to get that. Quality time with God.

The more time you spend with God, the more you will love Him and worship Him. The less time you spend with Him, the less you will love Him and worship Him.

Your relationship with God will only be as deep as the time you spend with Him. If you want to love God more and develop a passion for Him, then you must spend quality, daily, and intentional time with Him.

2. Get into a consistent rhythm (put it on your calendar).

In life, we have a lot of natural rhythms throughout our day. We typically do similar things at similar times (i.e. breakfast, lunch, and dinner to name a few). Instead of “hoping” to get some solid time in with the Lord, pick the time of day that you’re going to make it happen.

Don’t squeeze God into your life, plan your life around God.

Everyone’s schedules are different, so for you it might be right before breakfast. Or maybe it’s the very first thing you do when you wake up (highly recommended). Or maybe it’s a block of time you set aside each night before bed.

Whatever it is, be intentional to carve out specific times and stick to them.

3. Ask for accountability.

Personally, I am most consistent and faithful in my devotional times when I have accountability in place. As Jesus Himself said to his disciples, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). My flesh is weak. Your flesh is weak.

Let’s be real — rolling over in bed typically sounds a lot more appealing than getting up.

Having personal accountability in place will help you as you seek to be faithful in your time with God. Ask a mature friend, a parent, or a godly woman to hold you accountable on a weekly basis to your quiet time schedule. Ask her to text you (or email or call) once a week to see how you’re doing.

It’s time to ditch the drive-thru method. 

Instead, make intentional decisions to spend quality the with God in order to build a personal relationship with Him. Choose to make your devotional life a priority every single day.

The more you do this, the more you will grow to love your Savior. And the more you love your Savior, the more passionate you will become to live your life for His glory.

I’d love to hear from you below.

  • Where do you struggle the most in your personal devotional life?
  • What have you found to be personally helpful for you in growing closer to the Lord?

Photo Credit

Girl with coffee

images images images
  • Jemima Biddinger

    Wow! I really needed this! My daily walk has definitely been struggling with consistency. I might pick up the Bible and read a chapter, say a quick prayer and leave God alone the rest of the day. But at the end of the day I’m empty. I never really got filled properly. I went for the fast food drive thru and not a 5 star restaurant. Well, God is a 5 star restaurant and I don’t want to settle for less anymore. Thank you for the encouragement. I’m now going to set a time that I spend time with God every day, not hoping I have the time, but making the time…Plan my life around God. He does deserve it. ❤️❤️ Thanks so much!!

  • V Kiran Bedi

    I had the same issue as well. I made a commitment to God to wake up every morning and spend quality time with Him but since day three it has become a very big struggle for me and when I fail to do so, the guilt drags me down and my priorities are out of order. Sometimes I give up and sometimes I want to start again. It’s a struggle, m thinking to change my timing to evening or some afternoon but deep inside I want God to be the first person to talk to me every morning, and yes when I do it everything falls in place. M a student and studying hard to get a government job in my country, India. Please suggest me some ways to handle this situation. Thank you so much for this post, it’s a blessing 🙂 God bless you.

    • Angie Garcia

      Very good! We need more goddly people in governments

  • Olivia

    Wow, this is such an amazing post and so encouraging. I feel like I really need it in this season of life, because while I’ve formed a devotional routine I stick to relatively well, there are so many times the quick reading and prayer time feel rote and and I don’t come away fulfilled. Thank you!!

  • Schylie

    Thank you for this great post. I have been desiring that my spiritual life would change and be more passionate, devoted, and rich. My personal devotions is an area I struggle with and have struggled with for a long time. The flesh is indeed weak! It is so hard to sit down, open your Bible, read, and pray. But then again, even if you get through your devotions and think, yay! I did it! Was your heart really in it? Were you worshiping and communing with God today, or were you just getting it out of the way? So there’s really two parts to it: actually doing your devotions, and doing it with your heart. This post really encouraged me to put more effort into my devotions for the good of my soul. Thank you.

  • I struggle with the same issue, though it’s usually a computer game or novel that distracts me. One of the best ways I’ve found to devote to God is to spend time early in the morning, and then again right before going to bed. It kind of sandwiches my days and nights – waking up with God, and going to sleep with Him, too. I also like to get out in nature, which is a really good time to connect on a personal level. Thanks for addressing this – I think it’s a big issue in our age of ubiquitous distractions.

  • Saira Esther Thomas

    It’s a rewarding that you spend time god in the early morning and praise him, praying and spending bible reading and all. I truly love to do this on a daily basis. Somehow, the struggling part for me is waking up during the morning time. In this season of life, I see that there are people who truly passionate about god and are struggling to live as the Bible has recommended. Considering to change the aptitude and devoting much yourself to God is essential in the spiritual life so that you’ll be nourished by the Holy Spirit.

  • Jesus loves you

    Well here’s something I give Jesus credit for….Idolatry is a word that begins with I (self) and ends in a WHY???

    I-self
    D-isatisfied with Jesus
    O-verstepping boundaries
    L-usting after stuff (fame riches love etc)
    A-citing upon those desires
    T-reason to Jesus
    R-realizing the sin
    Y-Why? Why did I not worship Jesus.

    I’ve had idols for a long while. I keep feeling like God is saying that He loves me the way I wished a guy would love me, but also even deeper. Like who doesn’t want to be seen heard known loved…etc. Reading the Bible is like discovery. You learn more about Him and more about yourself.

    Worship. Means intense love/devotion.

    Wholly devoted to Jesus
    Obsessed over Christ
    Really into His Word
    Submitting your life to Jesus
    Helping others seek Him
    Intimately (deeply)knowing God
    Praising Him in all you do

    And get this: Jesus knows your dirtiest/darkest secrets/thoughts and still loves you. He wants us to confess our sins and be forgiven. And He can give us the strength to not do whatever again. Really fall at the feet of Jesus as if He is right there with you…and be completely honest.

  • CM

    I really needed this! I have a question. So I have recently started reading the Bible for me. Not for church, just my own personal time with God. I was wondering what is a good amount to read everyday? It seems like reading multiple chapters is a little overwhelming. Like I am not able to meditate and get personal meaning out of the Word. Any suggestions? Thank you!

    • Hannah B

      Sometimes I only fit in a verse on one day, and sometimes I go on for chapters. I think it can vary, but typically I read a chapter a day and study it, just going by what book of the Bible I feel like reading that day. Hope this helps! God bless!

    • I agree with Hannah. Sometimes a single verse will give me enough to think about for hours (Micah 6:8, for instance). Other times I’ll read several chapters at once, like with Elijah and the Shunnamite woman. It varies. Sometimes inspiration happens quickly, other times it takes a lot of reading to find that connection with God. I think, try not to be formulaic about it. The holy spirit moves on its own time. Let it. By reading for you, for your connection with God, you’re starting at the right place. 🙂

      • Brittany

        One question . . .

        The Holy Spirit is God. . .so I hope you just made a mistake. . .by calling Him an it and didn’t mean He is just a force. He is part of the Trinity. Just curious of what you meant by that?

        • Actually, I was thinking of it in a somewhat metaphorical sense, i.e., as the wind, not as That-which-makes-the-wind-to-blow – so I think “it” works fine.

          However, your question does bring up an interesting avenue of inquiry. For instance, Gen. 1:27 states that “male *and* female” is created in the image of one God. (I use “is,” singular, intentionally.) If woman is created in the image of God, and man is also, then what is the gender of God? Wouldn’t that make Him either genderless, or bi-gender, or pan-gender?

          • Most of us probably agree the Bible is the inspired Word of G-d in it’s original language. I find it very interesting that even though Hebrew (the language in which the Old Testament was written) has words for both male & female genders, the pronoun used for G-d is always “He”. All humans are absolutely created in the image of G-d, both male & female, so I truly believe G-d is more than just “He”, but if G-d chose a masculine pronoun to identify himself, I am not about to argue with him. (I’ve never won any time I have tried to fight with G-d anyway! grin)- Penny (John’s wife who chooses not to have her own FB page.)

          • Actually, it’s my understanding that the original Hebrew of the Bible (Torah) had words for six different genders. If that’s true, it would be interesting to know if the words translated as “He” and “Him” related to the masculine gender in the same way that it does in English – or if it was another gender signifier altogether, and just got translated as “He” in our English, Latin, and other relatively modern translations.

    • Brittany

      Skip the multiple chapters idea. . .just stop that. Do it at your own pace. Sometimes I plan to study a whole book and I can’t even get past reading the first 3 verses, because I just want to stick on them. Everyone’s different. The point of reading the Bible, should be solely for discovering more about Jesus and getting closer to Him. . .so if reading tons of chapters stunts that. . .umm something is wrong. Just dive into the Word. . .and soak up verses. Ask Jesus to help you out.

    • I tell my kids to read until they get to a verse that REALLY speaks to them – then copy that verse down in their journal & write down why it was so meaningful. Write down anything they felt G-d saying to them personally or that they felt applied to their own life right now. I do this myself. Like everyone else has said sometimes I will read a few chapters. Other days only a few verses go by before something strikes me as interesting enough to want to remember. Sometimes I really need to hear from G-d on one particular subject that is troubling me so I go to my concordance (love the free online ones!) and search by keyword -like “forgiveness” and just read verses on that subject alone. (example; Recently I got all excited about the concept that G-d has a “mercy seat”. He has a special seat to sit in just to show MERCY! As a child of G-d, I know how much I need G-d’s mercy. As a parent – I was reminded how much my children need my MERCY in addition to my instructions & corrections. I wrote a lot that day! ) – Penny (John’s wife who chooses not to have her own FB page)

  • Hannah B

    This was just what I was needing to read today. My bible study time has been kind of dull lately, but this post made me get my fire back. I just wanted to tell you guys that I asked for your book as the first thing on my list for my birthday and I am SO EXCITED TO READ IT. I can’t wait! I’m sure it’s great with all of the amazing posts and videos you guys make. Thanks and God bless you!

  • Esther Wickham

    These blog posts are my absolute favorite! Thank you for all the wisdom you guys share!
    For me I struggle with finding the time, but what you said REALLY changed my perspective. “Don’t squeeze God into your life…schedule your life around God” but one thing I have found that helps me is having my bible sitting on the breakfast table, and as I feed my body I feed my soul too.

  • Princess Peaches

    This is just how I often feel when I try to get more God in my life, thank you for posting these helpful tips.

  • Jacob Pennington

    I just have to say,..brilliant post title, and a very true, much needed message. Thank y’all so much for sharing!

  • Eunice Flores

    So on point.Cause it’s real, “the spirit is willing but the body is weak.” We have this desire to draw closer to God and love him more, but the struggle is real. For me, it’s very important to make every effort to push yourself to do it, no matter how you feel.

  • Cait

    I love this post! It can be so easy at times to neglect God when he is most important. I often stigglls with trying to spend little bits of time. With Jesus rather than a lot of time. noticed a typo
    “Instead, make intentional decisions to spend quality the with God in order to build a personal relationship with Him. ” I think you meant quality time 😉


Free
e-book img
img

Sign up to receive our blog posts via e-mail and get a copy of our free e-book:
Reaching Beyond Myself
30 Day Devotional

Privacy guarantee: We will never share your e-mail address with anyone else