by Julie Jaunese
Have you ever felt that you were running on empty constantly? You are doing for everyone and you are taking care of people in your family or circle of friends. You are fulfilling the call to, “love one another,” but you are feeling less than fulfilled yourself.
The first thing to ask is, “Am I doing so much that I am not finding time for devotions and meeting God one-on-one?” Sounds simple, doesn’t it. Some of you may even say you are reading through the Bible. But are you taking time to think about what you are reading?
For me, a “spiritual growth spurt” is when God’s word goes from “head knowledge” to “heart knowledge.” When I’m going through a dry spiritual season, I find there are several things that can be done to make my devotion time more fulfilling:
- In John 16:13 Jesus says, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of Truth….But when He, the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth.“ God has sent us His Holy Spirit – our Helper – to help make your time with Him fulfilling. He has sent you a guide because truth needs a guide. According to the book Divine Mentor by Wayne Cordiero, “God has assigned His Spirit to be our Guide – the Guide who will deposit God’s very wisdom into our lives.“
- Read a smaller portion of God’s word. Perhaps 10 verses or even less. Try reading in a translation that speaks most clearly to you. Both the New International Version (NIV) and New Living Translation (NLT) are written in plain English. If there is a name in the portion you have read, figure out why the name is there. If God has named a person in His word, there is a reason he/she is there. Read to find out the reason.
- Read the word in the morning and ponder it all day. Think about what you read. Pray, then read the same passage again in the evening.
- Consider keeping a journal detailing what you read. Writing out what you read not only helps you remember it, it also gives you a log to look back on months later. You may also want to write who or what you pray for that day.
- Get into a small group. A small group inspires you to read the word. It gives you reason to study God’s word, keeps you accountable, and gives you an opportunity to share what God has laid on your heart in your studies.
Our guide (the Holy Spirit) and what we read and memorize is important to our spiritual life. We can call on our guide to help us witness to others when we know what God’s word says. After all, we are all called to be self-feeding and when we make Him a part of our day we are re-energized and can handle whatever comes our way.
Julie Jaunese has been married to her husband Michael for over 40 years. She has two daughters and two grandsons with a third grandchild on the way. She works at Moffitt Cancer Center and hosts two women’s small groups, the Yada Book Club and the Fabulous Fems. Mike and Julie have been part of Grace Family Church since it began with 40 people in a house.
Thank you for your encouragement. I have never thought about a re-read later at night. That’s great advice.