Overcoming Procrastination In Our Devotional Time

Remember above all, this is a relationship – God asks us to come to him authentically as we are, no false pretenses or acts and just us.

We all know that it’s important to spend time in God’s Word. We probably even want to spend time reading His Word, listening to Him speak afresh to us and enjoying a loving relationship with Him. Why then don’t we do it as often as we should? The simple answer is procrastination.

Procrastination usually happens when we sense negative emotions — anxiety, boredom, frustration, overwhelmed — the list goes on. It’s always the same narrative. We want to spend time with God but end up doing something else in that moment.

So why do we procrastinate?

The importance of having one on one time with him isn’t lost on us. The question is then is why do we procrastinate? Really digging deep to understand why we keep on pushing our devotion time away, we will be one step closer to unravelling the problem and creating that much needed time.

1. The absence of structure.

‘Whenever there is a collapse of the delay between impulse and decision, the impulse is inevitably favored’

I once heard a saying, “Whenever there is a collapse of the delay between impulse and decision, the impulse is inevitably favored” (for example - checking Instagram instead of doing work); it really opened my eyes to the fact that our easy online access makes sudden urges easy to gratify.

So how do we combat this?

Let’s start by creating an environment that makes your desired goal more likely to happen. For example, create a God chair or space in your home where you meet with him– this gears your mind to prepare for the downtime you’re about to have and keep you focused.

The truth is, intentionality is key to success. If we are intentional take time to prepare, we will enjoy the accomplishment we made.

Structuring your devotion time daily is significant; because unfortunately If you have not decided what time or how long, you may never find time for it. The goal here is not to put God on a schedule, but to create habits daily that will carry you through as second nature years from now.

2. Anxiety

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Anxiety arises when you are confused about a challenge in your life or a crucial decision you must make. The worst part is that as a result of anxiety pushing you away from your devotion time, it destroys the chance to find a lasting solution in the word of God and hear from our creator himself.

When we decide to spend our entire day thinking about our problems, instead of God’s faithfulness – we magnify the bigness of our problems and give it more weight. So, I challenge you, instead of focusing on our issues and increasing the heaviness on our mind; would we start focusing and magnifying the greatness of our father and allow him to give us peace in our hearts.

3. Overwhelmed

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalms 42:5, NIV

Let’s be real, we have all at some point been so overwhelmed that they do not know where to even start reading the bible from. There are so many books and chapters, that without any context we don’t always resonate with the words that stare back at us ( pretty intimidating ).

But, I wonder if many us of neglect picking up the word because we fear actually speaking to him and hearing back?

Or is it that maybe we are so overwhelmed with life that we don’t know where to begin?

We can learn a lot from David, even though he was downcast & feeling discouraged he spoke to himself and encouraged himself to keep on trusting that God would turn his story around. He never allowed external factors to overwhelm him for too long.

I challenge you to do the same – when you feel the most overwhelmed run to him anyway. Trust the only one who can fulfil all your needs to do what he does best, care for you!

4. Lead by emotions

This one is my mantra all day long!

If you have any siblings, the truth is you cant rely on your feelings to have a healthy relationship with them. I can wake up tomorrow and feel like I know longer want him/her to be my sibling – doesn’t change the fact they still are. The truth is still the truth.

In this same way, let’s be led by truth and not how we are feeling that day. I don’t mean ignoring the feelings you have, but more like laying those feelings at his feet and not holding it hostage in your heart.

Remember above all, this is a relationship – God asks us to come to him authentically as we are, no false pretenses or acts and just us.

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. Matthew 6:5

If you need some guidance on where to start, I have put what I do in my private time. But please remember, your devotional time is personal to you and there is no right or wrong way!

1. Start with a prayer – Ask God to speak to you as you read his Word

2. If you like, sing or listen to a worship Song

3. Read a passage of Scripture/ or bible plan on you version app

4. Mediate on what you’ve just read – I study alongside a commentary bible/ and have different versions open to compare and dig deep into the context

5. Write down some reflections – What did I learn from this? How will I apply it?

6. Pray again asking God to help you apply what you’ve learned.

7. Give thanks to God for his goodness and answered prayers

8. Pray for others or situations

Hope this helps, if you have any other suggestions please share!

xx Tom xx


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