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What Do I Do When My Quiet Time Just Becomes Routine?

Updated: Jun 15, 2023

Have you ever fallen into a routine of Bible reading? If you’re like most of us, it’s easy to view our set aside time with the Lord as a to-do list. Being consistent is a great thing, but what happens when the consistency leads to complacency? Lack of motivation can feel like a hindrance in your relationship with Jesus, but there is hope!

Consider this scenario: You and a good friend visit the same restaurant every day at the same time. You order the same meal, pay the same amount, and discuss the same things. Although you are consistently spending time with your friend, you will eventually view your meetings as a routine, and your relationship may start to feel distant even when you are in his presence. Why? It is because we need the balance of both quantity and quality in our relationships. In this situation, you are no longer pursuing the connection to your friend. You are not listening to learn new things about them, you aren’t invested in their lives, you aren’t growing through your experiences together because they are the same daily encounters. The same is true in our relationship with Jesus.

If the routine is interfering in your spiritual growth, here are some tips to rekindle that fire for the Lord:

1. Switch it up!

If you know anyone who has tried to lose weight, you may have heard them say that they hit a “plateau.” This means that they are no longer dropping weight; their bodies have adjusted to the new habits and are now maintaining the weight. When this occurs, it’s highly recommended to switch up the routine—to change the exercises and add variety. The same is true in our relationship with Jesus.

You do not have to read 5 passages of Scripture every day and pray for at least ten minutes. It’s crucial that we fill our minds with God’s Word and communicate with Him. I encourage you to continue reading Scripture and praying consistently, but you could switch up the method! You could incorporate a sermon into your devotional time. You could sit at a park and share with God your gratitude, listen for His voice, and rest in awe of His vastness and beauty. You could write a journal to God or start a new Bible study series. You could blast your favorite worship music for awhile. You could reflect and recognize personal applications from your Scripture reading. Memorize a scripture relevant to your circumstances. If you’re artistic, you could draw as you read to help you better understand the meaning. The options are endless!

2. Remember it’s about living life with Jesus!

Our relationship with the Lord is built throughout every moment of every day. We do not only grow in our quiet time. Our faith is about walking with Jesus. We grow the most when we operate in our gifts for God’s glory, serve others, and search for God in the small moments, seeking Him first in trials or uncertainty or excitement. We often value church attendance and a 10-minute devotional over living life with Christ. While these practices are super important in our Christian lives, they aren’t the basis of our faith—they are the fruit of our faith. Our faith rests in Jesus alone.

3. Shift your perspective!

So, if you were trying to find motivation in growing your relationship with a friend/significant other, what would you do? How would you pursue them? How would you come alongside of them in a way that enhances your relationship?

You may get more involved in their world. You may invest time in their passions and responsibilities. You might listen to their heart as they share personal experiences with you. You might be more intentional with talking to them.

You can do all these things (and more) with Jesus! To find motivation, remind yourself of who He is and what He has done! Fall more “in love” with Jesus than ever before! Long to know Him more deeply. Shift your perspective from living in the world and making time for Jesus to living with Jesus and making time for the world. Don’t just communicate your needs…listen to His heart. Sit in gratitude and praise for awhile. This intentional time helps us connect to Jesus even more. Ask God to show up in small ways throughout your day. From personal experience, He loves to do that, and it makes me feel even closer to Him when He quickly answers those prayers!

4. Don’t shame yourself for feeling this way!

We have all felt this way in our relationship with Christ. Because we can’t see Him with our eyes, it can be difficult, but we need to remind ourselves that He’s closer than those right in front of our faces. This feeling is just an indicator that it’s time to switch things up in your routine! It’s time to learn about Jesus in a different way. If you shame yourself for these feelings, you may end up distancing yourself even more, which is not God’s heart! His heart is for us to know Him deeply and love Him fully, just as He does for us (on a much deeper level).

Make it a fun journey! There’s no perfect way to have a relationship with Jesus. Reflect on how you relate to others and build relationships with them. God made you that way…He’s not offended if your quiet time looks different than it did two weeks ago or if it looks different from your pastor’s. He just wants your heart and your life!

Blessings to you!

~Ally Boland

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