Forget Having A Devotional Time, Instead Pursue God

I have always been a strong proponent of a daily devotional time.  It is known as “quiet time” with the Lord.  It is a time that you purposely set aside to spend with your Heavenly Father. 

It typically consists of reading the Bible, spending time in prayer, maybe journaling, a Bible study or even some praise and worship music.  I have been taught that a devotional time is something we should all be doing and I have been doing it for many years.

Recently, however, I have been reconsidering the whole idea of a “scheduled” time with God.  Is time with God really something that we have to schedule in?  Do we schedule time with our family?  While we may sometimes put a date night on our calendar or a planned family event, the spontaneous moments with family are not scheduled.

Isn’t that what our relationship with God is supposed to be like?  Filled with spontaneous moments? 

I know many Christians who battle with guilt because they are not getting their daily devotional time in.  Or perhaps they do get it in but they feel guilty about the amount of time they are giving.  They hear of others who spend an hour or two in the Word, yet they can barely squeeze in five minutes.

I am beginning to think that the problem is our focus.  If we put our focus on scheduling it in, we feel obligated.  Obligations are nothing more than a check on our to-do list.  Our relationship with God should go deeper than that.

What if we took the pressure off having a “quiet time” or “devotional time” and instead put our focus on pursuing God.  As we focus on our relationship with God, pursuing a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him then I believe that out of that will come a desire to spend time in His Word or communing through prayer.  It won’t have to be scheduled in because it will become part of our everyday life.

If you have been feeling guilty, pressured or obligated to have a devotional time then perhaps you need to change your focus.  Don’t schedule God into your life.  Pursue Him and He will become intricately entwined into your life. 

3 Comments

  1. DavidPhelps said:

    Here is a hard choice: The discipline of devotions without faith versus seeking God without the discipline of devotions. Of course you are arguing that right motive precedes right action in devotional life, while others may argue elsewhere that the discipline of devotions sometimes is used of God in producing right motive. The chicken-and-egg problem is solved in one sense when God causes our devotion to Him in both discipline and motive, while the Bible arguably also affirms our responsibility in the discipline of devotions with right motive. At the end of the poultry dispute, I for one would argue that if I ever do anything right, it is God’s “fault.” And as a father, I prefer the devotional life in my children that I can measure to an unmeasurable, undisciplined seeking of God in my children, though God’s view is more nuanced than mine can be.

    October 31, 2010
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  2. It’s simply another angle for those who struggle with having a devotional time. Instead of feeling pressured or “bad” or guilty…if the focus gets put on God, the devotional time just might follow. If something isn’t working one way, try it another.

    October 31, 2010
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  3. leana said:

    This is exactly what I am starting to do,, I was spending 2/3 hrs a day in ‘quiet time’ and wondering why people who didn’t have set times but just chatted with God while driving, showering and picking up the bible whenever we’re growing spiritually and I wasn’t so I would just keep upping my time. God has shown me lately that bible study, church service, devotion time all are good but they are ment to come out of a relationship with Him not BE our relationship with Him! He told me to forget everything I have been taught I ‘should’ do and just have fun getting to know Him.

    April 24, 2016
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