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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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.
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"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
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