So many people do their devotional and read their Bible, but they don’t write anything down. Before they even leave their house, they have forgotten the reference, the message and what they are going to do about it. The act of simply writing down what we are reading changes everything.
My experience has been when I commit to write down what God is saying to me and what I should do about it, my life starts to change. I almost guarantee that if you do this for a month, your life will change more than from any encounter or conference you could experience.
So why don’t we do it? First of all because it takes a long time; it can double or even triple you devotional time, thinking what you’re going to write, then putting pen to paper. Most people don’t have the time to spend the whole day writing. Then there’s the whole, “Where’s my notebook” or
“Who took my pen!” when you’re right at the point of writing down the greatest revelation God has ever given… but it’ll have to wait.
So what is the solution? I think I have it. Over the past year I’ve been waking up at 4:30am every morning to beat the kids and have that quiet time with God, and it got me thinking what and how can we write down our devotional time with GOd in a way that’s memorable, easy to write and effective.
Plan what are you going to read. Before you write anything down you need to have a plan of what you are going to read. There are tonnes of plans out there that can help you get started. There’s topical plan, time plans, chronological plans, theological plans, you name it. A great place to start would be the Bible App but YouVersion. This app has a multitude of great Bible resources and all free.
Plan what you are going to write. This is where most people fall down, they either get bored of an over complicated writing plan or they don’t have one at all. So why don’t you try the following, a little something I came up with when trying to redeem the time with three demanding kids, but still get the most out of my relationship with Jesus.
- Memorize: Pick the key verse that really spoke to you for the day, that sums up what the passage is saying and that will help you remember you message God has given you. Then learn it. Find creative ways of learning verses, hand signs, songs, or backwards memorizing
- Meaning: Write down as short as possible they meaning of what this passage is saying, and also what it means to you. Imagine you are preparing a message, or getting ready to tell someone in your family what God has spoken to you, but they only have 5 minutes.
- Mirror: James tells us that the man who reads the word but doesn’t actually do it is like a man who looks at himself in a mirror and then as soon as he leaves, forgets what he looks like. This part is for you to write down what you are going to do about it! This is the most important part, but without an action point, the Bible has little meaning. So many times we read, nod our head and think, that’s nice, but don’t do anything about it. Don’t be that man who forgets what he looks like. What are you going to do about it TODAY!!
Simple, short and effective. Once you have a plan, then
Plan out what you are going to pray! Yes, make a list, so many people just pray whatever comes into their head, but don’t end up actually praying anything, they just end up thinking for the time they’ve set aside. I find that it is imperative to plan out what you are going to pray every day. You can even come up with different days to pray for different things. Monday Worship day, Tuesday is the day for my family and the Promise, Wednesday, Spiritual Warfare day etc.
This is really step one but I’ve put it here as the last thing to consider. Find a good journal and the perfect pen and always keep it in the same place. You could even store a special Bible just for your devotional in the same place, find a good box with a lid and a label. When you come to do your devotional everything will be there and ready.
I challenge you to follow these steps for the next month and see how your relationship with God will change.