This week, I realized that “spiritual funk” was starting to set in. My quiet time was turning into a ritual again. I was reading to check off something on my list, but my heart and spirit were not connecting with the mystery and the glory of the page.
God’s Word is not something to be glossed over. I am not reading for information. I am engaging in relationship. My Abba Father has something important to say to me, and I don’t want to miss it because I am not fully present when I come to break bread at His table.
I have the Word of God in my hands. He speaks to me. I need to wake up and come before Him with a hungry heart.
Lord, give me ears to hear.
Have you been there? Do you find yourself in a rut during your quiet time? Maybe you need to shake things up and do things differently. Let go of your “usual” and ask God to do a new thing in your heart when you open up the Word of Life.
5 Ways to Get out of a Rut in Your Quiet Time:
1. Read less: That’s right. Throw away your 3 chapter a day reading plan and read less. Tomorrow, I dare you to just look at 3 to 4 verses. Read them slowly and pray through each word asking God to make that manna come alive in your heart. Insert your name in the verses and personalize the Living Word.
2. Read it differently: I know you love your falling apart NIV Bible, but you may need to say goodbye to it for a season. I dare you to go buy yourself a brand new Bible in a different translation. Read a fresh page with a pen in hand looking for the nuggets found when you look at something with new eyes.
3. Read it out loud: Believe it or not, reading the Bible out loud might just help you notice things you’ve never noticed before. Make sure that you pause briefly at each punctuation mark – don’t rush through. Read slowly.
4. Write it out: Grab an inexpensive notebook at the dollar store and your favorite pen. Don’t worry about your terrible penmanship – just get to work. When you are done, read your passage again and underline the key words that jump off the page.
5. Focus in like a reporter: Imagine you are writing a piece for the New York Times where you need to explain this passage to the masses. Put on your investigative hat, and ask yourself one or two penetrating questions:
a. What is the central message of this passage? (Narrow it down to one word, and you have a theme for your day.)
b. How does this passage help further define the character of God? What evidences do you see of His goodness and glory?
c. How should my thinking change as a result of reading this passage?
d. How should this impact my interactions with others moving forward?
Ask God to help you develop a fresh spiritual appetite. God’s Word is alive. He will revive our hearts as we purpose to come before Him with a surrendered heart that is ready to receive. Open your mouth wide, and He will fill it.
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Lyli Dunbar loves teaching. For 17 years, she mentored teenagers in the Christian school setting, and now she has serves as Associate Director of Curriculum at Trinity International University Florida. Lyli married her Prince Charming in her 40’s and has a heart for encouraging young couples and singles in God’s waiting room. She enjoys road trips with her husband, connecting with women through Bible study, and reading way too many books. Lyli writes about life lessons and faith on her personal blog. You may also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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8/28/2015 12:10:49 pm
Brenda, you are such a cheerleader! Thanks. I am so glad you were encouraged by this article. Hugs :)
8/28/2015 09:06:42 pm
Hi Lyli! Yes, yes! I've been writing this post in my head / heart for weeks now! #1 and #2 have breathed fresh life into my love for God.
8/29/2015 01:47:24 pm
Linda, are going through so much right now. I am so thankful to hear that God is refreshing your spirit. Praying for you. :)
8/29/2015 03:41:25 pm
hi lyli, i'm your next door neighbor at #givemegrace tonite. love this post! i've learned this the hard way but i'm not sure i would have been able to write the bullet points out so well. thanks:) one that i would add for a time of refreshing is listening to sections of scripture via BibleGateway or another version that you have available online or on CD. it is encouraging and uplifting at times when reading is sometimes difficult. thanks so much for a great post:)
9/5/2015 07:54:56 pm
Yes, my husband really loves listening to the Bible audio recordings. Thanks for suggesting that. Excellent idea! :)
9/5/2015 07:53:40 pm
I ended up buying a one-year Bible at a conference years ago, and when I got home, I realized it was in the NLT. I decided to "go for it," even though I normally would not read that translation on a daily basis. it ended up being one of the more fruitful decisions I've made in my quiet time in a while. I woke up in so many ways and ended up going back and forth from my NIV to the NLT quite a bit to compare.
8/31/2015 08:26:51 am
Wonderful advice, Lyli. Every single suggestion has worked for me in the past. It is amazing how just doing something slightly different can waken our spirits to God's Word once again. Grateful to have stopped here today!
9/5/2015 07:56:11 pm
I am a creature of habit, Joanne. But, sometimes, I need to break from my routine.
8/31/2015 11:03:48 pm
Oh how I need this right now. I'm going to use it with Psalm 145 because I need much more of Him and much less of me. Thank you, Lyli, for your insights that speak to me so often. ((Hugs))
9/5/2015 07:51:15 pm
I love the Psalms, Debbie. I go to them often when I am dry and in need of encouragement.
9/5/2015 07:58:20 pm
I learned that tip after doing an online Bible study lead by an old college friend. We looked at just 2 or 3 verses a day, and I was so surprised at how much more I noticed when I narrowed my focus down to less words. The verses came alive in a fresh way.
9/2/2015 05:26:07 pm
This was so helpful - thank you so much for the fresh ideas - yes sometimes we just need to look at and do things a little differently to get some fresh perspective - He is always there to meet us. Thank you again. Your neighbour this week on WFMW.
9/5/2015 08:27:21 am
Great suggestions! I've found variety to be the best way to stay connected to the Word and to hearing God's voice most clear. Love these suggestions for different ways to read the Bible. I'm just launching a guided prayer journal on different ways to engage in prayer - ways to change it up and reignite that passion and connection. Great post!
9/5/2015 07:49:59 pm
Love that, Kathryn. I think sometimes we make prayer too hard by overthinking it.
9/6/2015 05:25:21 am
Lyli, I love these suggestions and I'm going to put a couple of them into practice right away! It's so hard to get out of a rut when you find yourself there...and I've been there for a while. Thanks so much! xoxo
9/10/2015 01:32:51 pm
One thing I realized after writing this article is that I also need to help my brain to quiet down before I can hear His voice. I am praying and asking God to help me be a better listener.
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