I have several devotional books to choose from each morning. When I want to be hit by hard truths, challenged to linger and grow, I turn to Walk With God: The One-Year Devotional. I found this morning’s reading most convicting:
“Most of us…measure our spiritual maturity [this way]. We assume that the heights we’ve reached indicate the level to which we’ve grown. Many Christians…let our spiritual highs determine our self-image, and we live off of their memory while neglecting daily growth. Think of the inconsistency of that. Do we feast one day and then decide that we need no more nutrition for a few weeks? No, our bodies pester us with their need for daily sustenance… Our souls are more subtle. We respond to their hunger pangs with memories of past meals and expect them to be satisfied. But…true discipleship is consistent. The blessings of discipleship and worship are found only in their consistency. Measure yourself not by your highs or lows, but by who you are in between them.”
I have friends who commiserate with me about our lack of daily discipline because we are not in the Word every day. Knowing others have this struggle somehow validates it in my mind; if [insert name of godly friend here] isn’t in the Word every day, then I must be okay even though I am not.
I can have my daily snippets of quick devotional readings and be reminded momentarily of Who God is and inspired to live for Him. But if I’m not reading His Word, His actual Word, every day, then I am backsliding whether it’s apparent or not. My inconsistency makes me an unreliable disciple. No wonder I still struggle with temper and overeating and laziness; little daily snacks don’t satisfy a soul.
As an inspiring writer, I have this sign posted by my computer: “Writers write. Daily.” I continually remind myself that thinking about writing is not writing. Reading about writing is not writing. Planning to write is not writing. If I really want to call myself a writer, I need to write. Every day.
Tonight I’ll be adding a new reminder sign: “Disciples study the Word. Daily.” If I’m going to call myself a Christ-follower, I actually need to follow, to learn, to study, to seek Him. The Amplified Bible (in the book of Acts) repeatedly restates “believe in Him” as “believe, adhere to, trust in and rely upon Him.” The state of mind is not enough. It is the actual doing, the daily discipline of sitting at Jesus’ feet, that makes a disciple.
Disciples study. Daily!
Do you spend time reading the Bible each day? If so, how do you motivate yourself to ensure it gets done?
*(This post by literary agent Dan Balow is excerpted from an article that first appeared on The Steve Laube Agency blog. It is used with his permission.)* ...