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Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 6 comments

A couple weeks ago I was at the gym working on the arc trainer. (Before you get too impressed, I must confess I had to look online to find out what that contraption was even called.) Looking over at the stats on my machine, the woman next to me commented that she didn't know how I could keep going for 30 minutes when she could barely manage ten. I didn't mention that the last time I was there, I was next to a woman who went for an hour, plus did it with no hands because she was also holding the book she was reading! What I did say was that I really wanted to fit into my jeans again. (The medication that had me wiped out for most of last year also gave me an extra 10 pounds - ugh!)

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Now, I didn't feel like going to the gym that day (or most days for that matter) and after what seemed like forever I looked down to discover I'd only been exercising for a minute. (It's amazing how long a minute can be when you're doing something you really don't feel like doing.) I persisted not because of what I felt in the moment, but because my focus was on the end result. 

Do you have a hard time motivating yourself to do the things you know you should, such as spending time with God praying and reading the Bible? Bible study, meditation and prayer are among the spiritual disciplines. They are called disciplines precisely because they don't come easy and aren't something we normally choose to do when acting in our own strength. 

Photo courtesy of Photobucket and crimson_burgandy_blue
If you want to get your spiritual life on track and develop these disciplines, the first step is to have the proper motivation. If you look at Bible study and prayer as things to check off your spiritual to-do list, it's going to feel like drudgery and you probably won't get much out of it. I can't imagine it feels all that great to God either. After all, how do you like it when you're spending time with someone who really doesn't want to be with you? 

"Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:7

I don't believe God wants us to give to Him begrudgingly, whether it be our finances, our time, or anything else. What He wants is a dynamic, intimate relationship with us, and He wants us to want it too! So rather than looking at devotional time as a duty, think of it as developing a relationship with the One who knows you better than you know yourself and loves you more than you can fathom.

Still not feeling motivated?  Never fear, the Holy Spirit is here!  One of His duties is to persuade you to desire the things God already wants to give you, and first and foremost He wants to give you an intimate, dynamic relationship with Him! So if you're having a hard time getting started, why not begin by asking God to give you the discipline to spend time with Him daily, and then to transform that discipline into desire? He wants that for you even more than you do!

It often takes a deliberate act of the will to spend time doing things that will benefit us, regardless if it's physically or spiritually. Just as with my time in the gym, the results aren't instantaneous, but we can be assured our efforts are making a difference! Remember, you don't need to do this on your own, nor should you. Invite the Holy Spirit to give you the supernatural boost you need!

Father God, it's hard to comprehend that You, the Creator of the universe, wants to spend time with me. I'm so thankful that You've called me to have an intimate relationship with You, and I ask that by the power of the Holy Spirit I would choose You over all other things.


This post is the first of a series dedicated to help you establish setting aside time with the Lord every day.  I invite you to continue by reading:

2.  Make Way For Jesus - Preparation

3.  Overcoming Obstacles - Press on!

 4.   Defeating Distractions - Small Change = Big Difference

5.  Set Up for Success - Construct a Conducive Environment

6.  Positive Peer Pressure - Growth in Groups

I've been known to link up with: Living Proverbs 31, Soli Deo GloriaInspire Me MondayTitus 2sdaysTell Me a StoryTeach Me TuesdaysCourtship Connection, Into the BeautifulGod Bumps & God IncidencesWord-Filled WednesdayWinsome WednesdaySimply Helping Him, Weekend Whatever, Spiritual Sundays, True Vine Challenge, Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday, The Beauty in His Grip, Playdates With God, Inspire, Thrive at Home, Knick of Time, Hope in Every Season, Funky Junk Interiors, Frugal Friday, Friendship Friday, Inspire Me Please, Feathered Nest Friday, What Have You Redone, Home Sweet HomeThrifty Things Friday, Make My Saturday Sweet DIY Sunday Showcase , Think Pink Sundays,

6 Responses so far.

  1. Jean Wise says:

    I am so glad you stopped by my blog and invited me over to yours. I think I have found a new soul sister. We have many of the same interests. RE your post, it helps me to remind myself we PRACTICE spiritual disciplines. That means I do need to do them consistently but forgive myself as it is practice, not perfect them. of off to exercise. LOL

  2. Faith says:

    the reader above said what i was going to say....the spiritual disciplines are things we need to put into practice...like the piano, or voice, or learning a new core workout, etc. Loved this post...thanks for sharing!!! I always get a spiritual uplift when I read your blog :)

  3. Thanks for sharing with us here at "Tell Me a Story." Your reminder to practice spiritual disciplines and enter in with joy and not just duty is so encouraging.

  4. "If you want to get your spiritual life on track and develop these disciplines, the first step is to have the proper motivation."
    That is so true. It starts with *wanting* to do it, or sometimes, just wanting to want to. God can take it from there, even though we have to cooperate with him at some point. Thanks for sharing that we're not alone in this!

  5. Hi I am a new follower to your lovely blog (Via GFC, Twitter & Pinterest)and it really feel pleasure meeting new awesome bloggers like you. Found you through Friendship Friday. I would love it if you follow me back

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  6. After all the Lord has done, I find it sad that sometimes I have a hard time doing simple things for Him, like reading the Bible and praying.

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