You would not have to spend much time at Greenhill before you would, in some context…whether the Sunday morning worship, or a Bible study, or some other meeting, hear me make a remark about how the most important thing any of us can do is spend time in the Bible and prayer. Call it whatever you want: devotions, quiet time, Bible study, getting with Jesus. My point is that there is no substitute for our own personal time with God.
The next question that logically follows is “Why?” Or as some fledgling actor might say, “What is my motivation?”
Some possible answers:
Duty / command / being obedient
Grow in faith
Keep from sin
Most of those are actually results of time with God, in my opinion. I would argue the best answer is "Because I love Jesus and want to connect with Him."
For some people, whatever you call it (devotions, quiet time, etc.) is like a duty or a chore or another thing on your to do list. How many chapters should I read? How many minutes in prayer? Now those are not horrible things by any means, but they are not the same as truly connecting with Jesus.
Imagine you run into an old friend you have not seen for years and decide to go out and catch up, and pretty soon two hours have gone by. Or you are talking with your husband or wife over morning coffee and you lose track of time and you say, "Where has the time gone?"
That happens because when we have a connection, relating is not a chore or duty. It is a joy.
The ultimate purpose of devotions is to connect my heart and the heart of God. It is connection on far more than an intellectual level. The Bible and prayer may be a means, but they are not the end. Time with God each day is not about academic study or getting through a certain amount of Scripture. It's about connecting with God.
Since it is vital to keep those lines of communication open, use whatever helps. Sometimes I'll listen to or sing worship music. Other times I'll read Scripture or a passage from a book. Sometimes I will journal. Some folks like to take a walk and talk with Jesus. The point is simply to do whatever brings me back to my heart and the heart of God. Try different things and find what connects you best to the heart of God.
As John Eldredge would say, “The discipline, by the way, is never the point. The whole point of a ‘devotional life’ is connecting with God.”