Daily Devotional Time.
The Real Me
“I can’t believe you can’t tie your own shoes,” I grumbled impatiently as I tied my kindergartener’s shoes. “You are plenty old enough to be doing this by yourself.” I finished, glaring at him as I stood up.
“Nolan, don’t just stand in front of the mirror. Brush your teeth! Can’t you understand that we are late?” I yelled.
Waking up an hour late had not helped my already foul mood when I got out of bed.
With time at a premium, I had made everyone’s morning as miserable as my own by nagging, criticizing, and scolding anyone within earshot trying to make sure everyone got out the door on time despite the late start.
Breakfast finally over, lunches packed, backpacks ready for school, my husband ready for work, his briefcase in hand, they headed for the door.
“Boys? Where are you going?” I yelled in exasperation. “You don’t have your lunches and where are your backpacks?”
Retrieving their lunches and their backpacks, they made a beeline for the exit. I followed them to the door still scolding and shaking my finger at them.
My husband, with his hand on the door, stopped and looked at me. In the midst of my tirade, with my accusing finger raised, he asked,
“What happened to you?”
And without waiting for a response, he turned and left.
Holy Spirit Conviction and Daily Devotional Time
There I stood, with my mouth open and my finger still pointing at the closed door, and the Holy Spirit’s conviction hitting me hard.
“You haven’t taken time to pray and read your Bible in three weeks.”
Suddenly, the vague notion that had been slowly forming in my mind over the last couple of years snapped into focus.
Suddenly, the vague notion that had been slowly forming in my mind over the last couple of years snapped into focus. Click To Tweet
Connecting the Dots with Daily Devotional Time
I had been making an effort to be more consistent with my devotional time. But when pressed for time, it was still a negotiable item on my agenda.
After all, God would understand. If I didn’t have time to spend with Him, it was because I was busy doing what He called me to do: be a mother and a pastor’s wife.
At least that’s the way I rationalized it.
However, there was a growing awareness that on the days that I took the time to pray and read my Bible, I was a more patient mother, a more loving wife.
That morning the link between my devotional time and the way I treated my family became crystal clear.
I realized that none of my self-help books, New Year’s resolutions, or white-knuckled determination had been able to change me into the mother and wife I wanted to be.
However, when I connected myself to the source of love and patience each day, His power made me more loving and patient.
On the spot, I committed to a consistent daily devotional time. And my family can attest that it is the single most transformative habit I have committed to in my entire life.
Quick Tips for Real Connection and Daily Devotional Time
However, rote prayers and a 5-minute devotional reading were not enough. Instead, I learned to pray to God as I would talk to a friend, sharing from my heart and praising Him for all the good things in my life.
I focused on getting to know Him through my Bible reading. This required taking the time to meditate on what I read and listening for God to respond or expand on it.
Finally, I learned I needed to be willing to obey the impressions of the Holy Spirit.
When He impressed me to apologize, I needed to follow through. Even when I thought it was the other person’s job to apologize.
When He warned me not to say something, I had to shut my mouth. Even when I thought it needed to be said. I had to learn to obey in all the little things throughout the day to be sure I stayed tuned to His still small voice.
The Difference It Made with Daily Devotional Time
All of that took time to learn, but the rewards have been more than I ever imagined.
God has slowly transformed me from a lifestyle Christian who was perfectionistic, exacting, and volatile, to a loving, patient mother, wife, and friend. (Not that I am perfect, but I am much improved.)
And even better, I now have an authentic, growing relationship with the triune God.
All my life I searched for the magic formula that would give me a real relationship with God.
However, it eluded me, until I began spending time daily with Him in prayer and Bible study. Then, it naturally grew over the years.
Hebrews 4:12 and 2 Corinthians 3:18 explain this amazing phenomenon by telling me that the Word of God is “living and powerful…. a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
So that as I behold the “glory of the Lord as in a mirror” (the Bible) I am “being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
That hectic morning, God blessed me abundantly when He taught me that my devotional time is not an optional item on my daily agenda.
All my life I searched for the magic formula that would give me a real relationship with God. Janet Salazar. Click To Tweet
About the Author of this Guest Post
Janet Salazar is a recovering Pharisee striving for an authentic, personal relationship with God.
Her passion is to inspire others to grow their relationship with God and learn to hear His voice during their devotional time by sharing what she is learning.
She is a pastor’s wife, mother of two young men, teacher, and published writer currently living in Maryland.
Connect with her at janetfsalazar.com.
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