Science says it takes 21 days to build a habit. And by science, I mean: society has accepted this statement as fact and everyone from preachers to school teachers have used it to motivate others.
A recent article from Today.com disputed the 21 day idea by concluding that the process of forming, learning, and adopting new habits is totally unique to each individual. For some people 18 days is key, while others needed practically a year to transform new behavior into an effortless act.
In the same way we teach ourselves to adopt any behavior, making your quiet time a habit takes work. Becoming more committed to the faith requires discipline, motivation, obedience & persistence
2 Chronicles 16:9
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”
As believers we tend to wait around for God to make the first move…
- “If He would ignite that fire in my soul I would do a quiet time.”
- “If He would show me a sign of His will then I would start to trust.”
- “I don’t feel His presence right now so I can’t connect to Him.”
- “I want to desire that time with God, not do it because I’m supposed to…”
We make excuses as to why our attempts at intimacy with the Lord continue to fail…
- “I can’t get into it.”
- “I can’t remember to do my quiet time.”
- “Every time I try life gets in the way. I do really good for about a week then I fall off again.”
We search for ANY excuse that takes blame and responsibility off of our shoulders…
- “If the Bible wasn’t so boring and hard to understand then I would read more.”
- “If I liked to read I could do a devotional…but I hate reading.”
- “I’m too busy taking care of everyone else, I don’t have any time for ME as it is.”
- “God loves me no matter what.”
While there is truth in many of these statements, and I am GUILTY of saying nearly ALL of the above, there is no good reason to neglect your relationship with the Lord.
All relationships go through ebs and flows, times of honeymoon and times of distance. Your relationship with God is no exception.
We don’t throw away a marriage or a friendship when things grow a little stale. No, we fight for that love, that special relationship that residence in your heart. I URGE you to fight for intimacy with Jesus even harder than you fight for human love.
So what’s holding you back from being fully committed? Cmon, no more excuses. Take the plunge & you’ll find your heart overflowing with joy as you grow closer to Our Creator.
Here are 8 ways to make your quiet time a habit:
1. Think of time with God as a non-negotiable.
Your quiet time is something that has to make it into your daily routine just like eating, sleeping, bathing or working. Stop thinking of devotionals as an option; they are vital to the survival or your soul.
2. Write it into your schedule.
If you’re someone who relies on a planner, agenda, etc. to get through the day, you may need to write in time for God. Though you don’t want intimacy to feel like a chore that may be the only way to make it happen…and that’s okay!
3. Find your spot
Maybe a comfy place in your home next to a window with a view puts you “in the mood” to connect with Jesus. Or, sitting upright at a desk where you are alert & focused might turn into your place. Wherever, however you can get into the right headspace- go there! Find what works for you and dedicate yourself to that sacred spot.
4. Write and sign a contract with God.
In the same way that a contract legally binds two parties to an agreement, a formal contract with God may be just what you need to hold yourself accountable. Write down your promise to spend time with him, on ____ days for ___ amount of time. Then sign! Put your contract in a spot where you’ll see and be reminded of the agreement.
**allow yourself Grace…there will be days when your promises don’t happen…that’s okay, just do your best. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect.
5. Set a reminder on your phone.
No explanation required.
6. Have a plan.
7. Accountability partner
Have a trusted friend or family member keep tabs on you. Click here to help find your partner.
8. Set up a reward system.
Much like training a child (or a pet) you may need a tangible reward system to get you started. Maybe you decide to complete your quiet time before you allow yourself dessert, evening TV, your workout, social media etc.
The more time you spend with God, the more you will crave Him. Don’t set yourself up for failure by thinking you should be on a spiritual high the second you draw near to the Lord. Over time, however, I pray that your desire for closeness with be strong enough to lead you to the cross everyday. By your own motivation, by your own free will without expecting a reward.
As you continue on this weekend, I pray that you’ll employ some of these strategies as you cultivate a faith with purpose and commitment to Jesus Christ.
What’s your favorite time of the day to connect with God?