God has been dealing with me greatly on the approach I have with my daily devotions. I don't know about you, but too often I let my busy day get in the way...you know, I have a to-do list and I'm ashamed to admit, but many times, my quiet time gets put on my to-do list.
Got Philip's coffee made....check
Load of laundry in the wash....check
You get the picture, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one that falls prey to that.
I've been experiencing a lot of chaos and frustrating moments (sometimes days) in my life lately, and like any "good child", I went running to Daddy crying, "What's wrong?? Why does everything seem to be falling apart! Everything is so crazy and out of control!" And like a good Father, He answers. He lets me gently know that I've not been spending real time with Him, that all I'm really doing is checking Him off my to-do list.
In order to try to understand my Father/child relationship with God better, I find myself comparing it to the relationship I have with my own children. Beth, our oldest, is a Senior in high school, working part time, has a steady boyfriend and is incredibly active in our church drama team. Her free time is extremely limited at best. In the midst of her busy lifestyle, I have to call a family night, or let her know that we haven't seen too much of her lately...remind her we miss her and would like to spend some time with her. So, she hangs out with us, all the while texting or reading or playing with her DS. She's checked us off her to-do list. She's not being mean or trying to hurt our feelings, she's just doing what we want...maybe trying to clear her conscience.
I think that's what I do with God from time to time..clear my conscience. Thankfully the Holy Spirit has called me down on that one and is trying to keep me focused on spending real time with my Father.
So I've started a journal. I've kept a prayer journal for a couple of years. If you don't do that, I'd like to encourage you to start. It's amazing to sit back and read over them and see the way God has worked and answered prayers in my life and in the lives of those I've prayed for. I've started another journal though and what I do in this one is write down what the Spirit is saying to me in the Scripture I've just read. Writing my thoughts down, first of all, keeps me accountable. If I get busy with the world and miss a few days spending time with my Father, the date on the previous page reminds me that I'm putting too much of the world first. It also causes me to really stop and think about what I've just read. How does it apply to my life? What is the Holy Spirit saying to me?
If, like me, you've put your quiet time on your to-do list, how about taking an eraser and removing it. Put it, first thing, on your Want to Do list. Trust me, you won't be dissapointed.