Devotional time can, at times, feel daunting. You sit down with a hot cup of coffee, the sun is just coming up and the rest of the house is sleeping. Peace to start your day. Or perhaps it is the afternoon nap time and you finally have a minute to sit and think. Or maybe it is bedtime and the day has just been one thing after another and finally you have a minute to read... or sleep?
If you don't have a plan as to where to open God's word, you may feel stuck. You may even feel too exhausted to even bother trying to figure out where to start. So you either open the Bible at random, pick a quick passage, pray and move on with your day. Or maybe you find a passage you know well, read it, pray and again move on with your day. Or perhaps you feel too overwhelmed to think about where to read and so you don't even bother.
You need a plan.
There are so many awesome devotionals out there, which I am sure many of you know about (If you need any tips on these give me a shout). But there is something good and something righteous about coming straight to the Word of God; Letting Him speak to you through His words directly. While devotionals are great guides, it is the Word of God that needs to be penetrating our hearts more than anything.
It was when I read through the Psalms that I really began to read God's word in a way that had a huge impact on my life.
I used to have a difficult time reading through the Psalms specifically. While the writing is incredibly beautiful, at times I felt I could not relate. How wrong was I! Once I started reading through the Psalms differently I saw how relatable they really are, and how much God uses them to speak to us. God opened up my eyes to see the beauty of the words written.
How I really began to see the Psalms differently was by praying the Psalms. Whether it be a Psalm of praise or of crying out to God, this is how I saw much of the Psalms beginning to have an impact on my every day life. Once I began reading the Psalms this way I started seeing more of how God was speaking to me through the text.
Here is an example of steps I now take when reading a Psalm (or any passage in the Bible):
1. Pray that God would reveal to you His will, His desire, and His love for you through the Psalm.
2. Read over the Psalm once.
3. Go back through the Psalm and underline every word that describes God. Use this to be reminded of the truths of who God is and how you can praise Him that day.
4. Go back again through the Psalm and underline (in another color perhaps) any word that may describe yourself. This isn't always applicable but it can help you to see yourself and your current situation in the text.
4. Pray that God would show you those truths and remind you of those truths in whatever circumstance you are in. Often when praying in this way God would reveal to me something I had been missing or had forgotten about His truths in either a specific situation or simply in my every day living.
God's glory has been made known through the Psalmists and it is incredibly beautiful to recognize and be able to relate to in our own lives. I challenge you to pick a book of the Bible and begin an intentional study of that book, so that you truly begin to see God's words come to life in your daily living.
See my post Regular Devotions are NOT Easy for another idea of how you can make devotion time count.