By Inside Out with Courtnaye
As we prepare to take on a new year, it’s a good time to look back on what we did that worked and what didn’t work throughout 2019. If I look back on this year, I had a great year - thank God! I'm so grateful to the many prayers that He answered, but also understanding of the ones that He didn’t answer in the way that I may have wanted. Father knows best, right? Right. But as we go into 2020, let’s develop a plan for our devotional time that is even more impactful than 2019!
With that being said, what does your current devotional time with God look like? Do you like the method? Is it a good location? Is it enough time? Are you getting all that you want out of it or would you like a new or improved layout? If you’re open to doing something different or adding on another helpful technique, I’d like to share with you a few suggestions of how to create a devotional time layout for 2020. Remember as we draw near to God, He will draw near to us (James 4:8).
The first thing that I would suggest is to reassess. Look back at what worked for you in 2019 as it relates directly to your devotional time with God. If something good worked, keep doing it. Remember, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. 😉 However, look back again and write down a few things that didn’t work for you and get ready to try something new.
Okay, let’s dive into this layout!
Location, location, location! Mix it up! You don’t have to do your devotional time in the same place all the time. Switch it up sometimes. Jesus spent time with God on the mountain (see Matthew 14:23). He spent time with God in the wilderness (Luke 5:16). He spent time with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:44). Catch a few points here.
Jesus talked to God wherever He felt led. What a great example! There wasn’t any one place. We see that Jesus spent time with the Father when He was on the mountaintop. Before He went into His ministry, He spent dedicated alone time with the Father in the wilderness (that was a time when He needed the strength of the One who sent Him to see Him through).
You and I will need the Lord when we go through our wilderness and preparation seasons as well (especially when we’re fasting and praying). Another point here for us to grasp is that He spent time with the Father when doing His will was going to be difficult (i.e. Garden of Gethsemane).
So in your devotional time layout for 2020, be sure to carve out time to seek God when things are good and normal, but also when you need strength for the dry times, preparation, and when He’s calling you to say “yes” to something that may be difficult.
Next, by all means layout a time to spend with God daily, yet don’t box yourself in. Schedule it when it’s best for you and be open to divine appointments. Remember, God is supernatural and Spirit, so as He leads, simply follow.
He may lead you to stop what you’re doing and just pray. He may lead you to pick up a particular book and read a direct passage that He knows you need for the moment or season you’re in. He may intervene and deposit a word of knowledge or wisdom just at the right moment (that you were never expecting). So be open to His interjections, interruptions, or schedule changes. Trust me, it will be all good!
Ready for another suggestion? Okay. Take a day with the Lord. Yep! One day out of the week for Him. Meaning, spend a few hours with Him alone. Go away to the park, pull up to the lake, or sit on a restaurant or coffee shop patio (I’m at Starbucks right now as I write this post - sitting on the patio under the open sky in His Word, reading, praying, and writing). Whatever getting away looks like for you, go for it, sis! Do something different! Do something fresh with the Father!
Here’s one more for the road! Layout what you want to read or study in January. Don’t just jump into the year without a plan. For me, I’m reading the book of James. That’s my focus!
Sure, there are other books and resources that I would like to read or watch, but I don't want to be wrapped up into too many things at once. I want more structure. And I want to be more focused vs. scatterbrained. So again, how about you? What can you focus on in January during your devotional time?
That’s really it! I hope that these ideas bring you even closer to our glorious Father. He longs to spend time with us. Whether that’s the moment we wake up, in the middle of the day, or late at night, He longs for it! And He loves it and us, because He’s all about relationship!
So if you’ve noticed that some things didn’t work last year, do something different in 2020. Again, if something you’ve been doing works, keep at it! The key here is to layout a devotional plan that will impact your life and the lives of others around you because you've spent dedicated time with the Father. So take some time before January 1st to lay it all out and jump into 2020 ready!
Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!
QUESTION: Are you ready to take on 2020? Have you laid out a plan yet, especially as it relates to your devotional time with God? Let me know, sis. Also, do you need prayer today? If so, write it out here or you can email me directly to join you in prayer on it @ firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you and praying for you.
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