There are a lot of things that are stressed to us as we grow up in the faith from or parents and teachers. Things such as praying everyday, staying pure, being respectful, not cursing, and loving others. Those are all good things and very important to having a close walk with Christ. But in my experience, above all, we have to be in the word constantly and live by what we read. Admittedly, i've gone a whole week and only prayed a few times. And through that, I noticed a wall between me and my God. But if I go a week without reading my bible or having devotions, I don't find a wall, I find an ocean separating me from my Savior. It really is a huge difference. When we aren't in the word, we aren't hearing the only direct form of communication that God gave to us. And in turn, we are trying to live a life FOR Christ WITHOUT him. Simple Logic tells us that won't work.
Anybody I talk to who says that they struggle with being close to God, also says that they do not have regular devotions or time in His word. I never judge them for this because it is something that I CONSTANTLY struggle with. I try not to give advice as if I am an example. I try to give advice with Jesus as the example. If anyone follows my example, they will fail. However, I have discovered several tactics to having more consistent devotions.
For me, I love music. I love listening to music, playing music, and making music. SO, in turn, I figured that I should combine my love for Christ with my love for music. I made a playlist of my 5 favorite CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) songs. They are *Rise-Shawn Mcdonald: Blessings-Laura Story: Whatever You're Doing-Sanctus Real: Praise You In This Storm-Casting Crowns: East to West-Casting Crowns* These are five songs that really encourage me every time I listen to them and are not very fast paced or exciting. They have a very calm feelings and put me in a contemplative state. With each song being roughly 4 min. long, that is 20-25 min. of good christian music. I start that playlist and put the volume on my I-home down low to where it is background and use that as a timer for my devotions. Once the music is playing, I spend the first 3rd of my time reading the bible *You can read whatever you want, but it's good to have a plan, either read a chapter of proverbs, or through the psalms. But don't just open and read, have a plan!* But I read whatever I am supposed to that day. For the second 3rd of my time, I read a chapter of a christian book that I have (Right now it is "One thing you can't do in heaven") A great book on witnessing. And then for the final 3rd, I pray. I pray for 5-10 min. Just until the music ends. Even though my prayer often goes over because once you start talking to God it's hard to stop. But that isn't a bad thing. I pray that I can apply what I read about. That I will be brave for Christ and for friends, family, health, and any other prayer requests. Its just nice contemplation time.
This is what works for me. And I hope it helps you as well, or at least gives you some ideas. This is my first blog post so if it is spastic and random, i'm sorry. I just type what I think. Am planning on adding another entry very soon.ENJOY :D GODBLESS.