It scares me when Christ followers let things like devotion time get "cliche." This time to set apart with God is not designed for just obligatory BIble reading. It is a time of devotion, be it expressed through reading the Word, music, painting, drawing, reading, sitting, focusing, contemplating... It's covering yourself in God's truth and lingering in the nearness of His presence. Why do we think that the two pages in the tiny devotion book read yesterday morning will sustain us while we are in the middle of a life or death battle between evil and good forces?
I am not good. I am not good. So why do I think that without the help of a grace-filled Savior I could be good today? What makes me think that I can conquer the grumpy, jealous, prideful girl within me without my Jesus who whispers, "I died so that you can be the sweet, patient, trusting, happy, surrendered woman you really are." I need Christ's blood to cleanse me every moment of every day, and this is done within my concentrated efforts of devotion time with Him. Here are 6 reasons why you and I need this time:
1.} You will eventually live in the fruits of that moment with God.
There will always be seasons where spending a concentrated time with God feels mundane, and quite honestly like a waste of time. We don't always feel swept up by the Holy Spirit, and this is okay. You're not doing it wrong or an unrighteous person for not receiving some Heavenly revelation everyday. I actually believe it is intended to be this way. Choosing God and choosing to be in His presence even when we don't necessarily want to is a valuable expression of love and devotion. Even when it feels like a waste, every moment in His presence will be used in your life. That moment, the mundane, silent moment, where you choose to be still, read the Word, or pray that prayer, will produce fruits. The fruits of that moment with Him will be pulled out like a sword to be used in the future, equipping you for every need ahead.
2.} If you don't spend time with God, it will hurt your loved ones.
(These aren't my words but His, 1 John 4:8). To love others the way we are called to, the way people (be it family, friends, significants, or neighbors) need us to, we must fill and fill and fill ourselves with Jesus' love for us and then pour it onto others out of that overflow. This is the only way. You cannot pour water out of a cistern without filling it first. You can try loving them with your finite, human love. You can try -- and if you succeed, let me know. But I have tried and I cannot. When I am not filled with Jesus' love for me which comes from spending time in His presence, my "love" either becomes selfish, manipulative, or an idol; and it makes me -- honestly -- a freak. And that does not get the job done. We cannot love without Jesus' love for us flowing up inside because 1) without it, we are an insecure people and insecure people cannot love others fully, and 2) without it, we judge people by their sin and forget who they really are, who their identity is in Heaven and in the eyes of God.
3.} If you don't, you will stop loving.
You will stop loving others, you will stop loving what God is doing in you, and you will stop loving anything and everything life has to offer. Sound romantically melodramatic? I guarantee that taking the Giver of life out of life, makes things a little less interesting and exciting. Taking the Giver of your passions out of the equations quite simply leaves you without any passion or motivation for anything.
4.} Without daily devotion time, you will forget who you are.
Not spending time with God allows our minds to get cloudy. And just as you will judge others by their sin and forget their identity in Christ, YOU will forget who YOUR identity in Christ is. Sin and shame will silently slither in and it will steal the sweet whisperings God gave you about who you are. Your talents. Your gifts. Your dreams. Your personality. Your strengths. It will all fade into the dark until you are left with no sense of self, and because you are a powerful being God has plans to use, that is exactly what Satan will want to steal from you to disarm you.
5.} If you don't, you won't reach your calling.
The things God once put on your heart for your future will slowly become distorted or fade away completely. What was once steps being taken forward in the right direction will turn into walking in circles until you become tired and stuck and sit down where you are. Without passion, without remembering who you are, and without regular conversation/connection time with God -- the future God wrote for you, to Glorify Him and fulfill your soul, will be out of reach.
6.} If you're not clinging to Him in His presence, you will cling to SOMETHING else.
We are dependent beings. We need something to make us feel good, feel whole, and feel hopeful. If we are not filling ourselves up with His presence and depending on God, we will depend on something else (from a sin to a person), something that will fail us and hurt us. It will not work and make you so insecure and afraid to a point that will ruin the relationships closest to you. Cling to Who will fulfill your heart, overwhelm your soul, and make you feel alive. Endlessly pursue His presence.