This last weekend Chelsea and I were able to attend a pastors / elders retreat at Indian Creek Camp. The emphasis was church planting and revitalization and we came away from the event with renewed dedication and inspiration. One of the things that was discussed multiple times was the need for devotional time in each church member's life. This, of course, starts with the pastor who should be leading the congregation by example. To be honest, I sometimes struggle with having a personal devotion time. That's not to say that I don't spend time in the Bible every day, but the majority of that time is spent for work purposes. It's easy to justify it, however, and say that my study for a sermon or newsletter or worship talk qualifies as my time with God. But, while it does help my walk with God, those things are studied with a purpose of sharing something with others, not specifically to hear what God is trying to say to me. I have made a new commitment to try and spend time with God each day completely focusing on my relationship with Him in addition to spending time for the purpose of sharing that relationship with others.
I know I'm not alone in my struggle to prioritize daily personal time with God. But this is something that we each need to make a priority. Several weeks ago in Pulaski, we were studying Daniel chapter six: the story of the lions' den. One thing that stood out to me was Daniel's faithfulness to his God no matter the circumstances. You know the story. The other governors and princes of Medo-Persia were jealous of Daniel, so they tricked the king into making a law forbidding worship of anyone but himself. "Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days" (Daniel 6:10). Daniel's personal time with God was so important that even being threatened with death couldn't stop him. Do you have that kind of commitment to spending time with Him each and every day?