5 small changes that have BIG spiritual impact.
Just like a person can’t build a great physique without putting in the work, neither can a person build a strong faith without putting in the work. Trust me, I tried to be a christian in my 20’s without doing the daily grind of being in the Word and the result was weak faith that crumbled when I faced adversity.
You can’t cheat the grind.
There is no substitute for spending time in the Word of God to grow strong faith.
A couple of years ago, I started treating my devotional time in the morning like I treat my workouts and the results were pretty awesome. Once I made bible-reading a priority, got consistent about reading it and developed a plan for understanding it, I started to see big growth happening in my life.
1 Timothy 4:8 “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and the life to come.”
I take that verse pretty literally and make sure my best effort goes into godliness training. It has paid off – I love and look forward to my time in the Word.
But it wasn’t always this way. For most of my life I didn’t find the Bible very exciting or relevant.
If you struggle to get excited about opening the good book or just don’t know where to start when it comes to cultivating a meaningful devotional time, here are 5 small changes I made that had BIG spiritual impact.
- Read the bible every day. I make bible-reading as essential as coffee in my morning routine. I read a psalm, a proverb and a chapter in the New Testament as my minimum. I don’t miss – even on the weekends. I also purchased an NLT translation, which is a pretty conversational version to read.
- Do devotions first. Before everything else. I open my bible before I get on my phone, scroll through social media, work out, or get ready for the day. I make the Word my first priority. If I run out of time in the morning, it’s not my devotions that suffer.
- Pray. Before I end my devotional time, I pray and surrender my life to God’s will. I ask the Spirit to guide me and empower me to do his work. Then I pray for my list of people. Walking out faith is not something that I can do in my own strength!
- Consult an expert. I have learned so much more about the biblical text by studying the writings of some great bible scholars. The richness and depth of the scriptures is truly astounding. My favorite resource to use is here.
- Take notes. When I read the bible, I jot down important ideas and themes that I find. I also journal when the content corresponds with circumstances in my life. Writing it down helps me process and also helps me to remember scripture passages. Plus, it’s really encouraging to back through my notes and see all of the ways that God has worked in my life through answered prayer and clear direction.
This is by no means a magic one-size-fits-all formula, but it has worked for me because these are practical and easy-to-implement steps. Your needs might be different than mine, and that’s ok! I would encourage you to be intentional and make a spiritual workout plan that is practical, obtainable and consistent.
You can’t cheat the grind.
Noteworthy: I implemented this system with my big kids and they have benefited from it as well. It’s not just a workout for adults! It’s never too early to train kids to be spiritually fit.
As always, I love hearing from you. It’s an honor to get on my knees and pray for you every morning. Send me an email or comment below and I will pray for you. Don’t forget to sign up for my email list – just look for the little black box on the right side of this page. AND… help me spread the word! Share, email or post about these blogs if you feel others could benefit from their practical encouragement. I so appreciate your help in chasing Jesus with reckless abandon! Let’s do this faith journey together!
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Aminta, thank you for sharing your “in the word” success. Please expound on what you do with your favorite resource highlighted as “ here”, which leads to John Pier’s Desiring God.
Oops! I got auto corrected again!!! John Piper (Not Pier)
Thanks, Marla Petersen
PS I am Candy’s sister-in-law.
Hi! I sent you an email with more info. Let me know if you didn’t get it! Blessings
[…] If you need help getting started, I wrote a blog a few months ago with some practical tips. You can read them by clicking here. […]