A Habit Worth Cultivating

If there’s one habit that I want to not only keep but cultivate this year, it’s reading my Bible. Every year it seems that I start off strong, reading and praying every day in the mornings. But as the days turn into months, I start to take my foot off the gas. I’ll read my Bible every other day, then once a week, and then every once in a while. And before I know it, I’m stressed out by life and bogged down with to-do lists, and I haven’t spent any time with the Lord.

We were created to be in communion and connection with the Lord. He formed our bodies, and His breath is in our lungs. We are physically surrounded by the Holy Spirit, but sometimes our brain chooses to ignore Him. We fill our days with easy distractions, and our nights are consumed by running away from worry and anxiety. We’ve perfected the art of ignoring the Lord’s voice without knowing it. We chase money, relationships, and success, and at some point we stop to wonder where God is in all of it. We’ve spent such a long time tuning Him out, that we’re unable to hear Him whisper in our ears. We wonder why God isn’t speaking to us while our eyes are glued to screens and noise is pumping through our headphones. God doesn’t have a fragile ego; He won’t bust down our door and demand our attention. He’s a patient father. He’s going to keep waiting, keep poking, keep niggling at our hearts and minds to remind us that in Him is where we find our worth and our rest.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Matthew 11:28-30 MSG

Our hearts crave time with the Lord, but we try to satiate that yearning with the pleasures and praises of the world. Which will only ever leave us feeling alone and less than others, and that’s not how God created us to live. We need to bring our hearts and our minds back to Christ. We must intentionally spend time with Him because that’s the only way to learn to hear His voice and follow His leading.

It can be hard to spend time with God. You sit down to read your Bible, and suddenly you’re thinking about what you need to pick up from the grocery store. Our minds will always get distracted because our flesh wants to live according to the whims of the world; it doesn’t want to surrender to the Lord. It can feel like a battle to spend time with God… because it is. Satan would love for nothing more than to distract you so completely that you put God on a shelf and only visit Him on Sundays and holidays. Your devotional times are an act of rebellion against the enemy, and it’s time that we started seeing them for their importance. Meditating on the Bible and talking with God is how we train our hearts and minds to remain steadfast in the faith.

Don’t let your schedule or to-do lists get in the way of spending time with the author of your life. Block off fifteen minutes to sit and read a Psalm and pray. Worship the Lord while you commute to work. Silently pray for the people you pass in the grocery store. There are countless ways to weave spending time with God into your life. Don’t let busy become an excuse for why your Bible is collecting dust. You will only ever regret the time you wasted doing meaningless things when you could’ve been connecting with God. Let’s choose to open our Bible instead of our phones and reconnect with the Creator of our life.

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