You take your seat across from the counselor with whom you've planned all week to have a meeting. You've carefully organized exactly what you're going to say; your thoughts are in perfect outline form. In a matter of minutes you will have poured out all that is troubling you and she will respond with some deep, otherworldly wisdom.
You begin to feel emotional as you recall everything that's been building up. Nothing has gone right, and you have reacted to your circumstances in the only reasonable manner, which has actually made things worse. You are on an emotional roller coaster ride, and you want off...now. You finally begin to speak, but your counselor pops a question that stops you in your tracks.
"So, how have your personal devotions been going lately?"
Are you serious? You're really asking me this? you think, the confusion showing vividly on your face. She didn't even let me explain myself! How does she expect to be able to help me if she doesn't even know my problem?
"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." John 15:5
Many souls in despair have been caught off guard by this same question. With all the different possible variables going into your specific problem, what could personal devotions have anything to do with it? Actually, they have everything to do with it.
So, how is your relationship with the Lord, for real? Do you give Him the best part of your day (which for many is the first few minutes, since there's minimal distractions)? Do you confess your sin and begin each day with a clean slate? Do you ask Him to speak to you through His Word? Do you give Him your undivided attention in prayer? If not, then it's no wonder you have problems accumulating in your life. God desires to have fellowship with you, and neglecting this privilege is not only grievous to the Lord, but it makes for a stagnant spiritual life.
God is always ready, willing and able to guide us through whatever a day may bring. He is a real person, and wants to talk to you. However, we can't expect Him to guide us through every thought and action if we don't ask Him. Developing a personal relationship with the Lord is immensely important for the sake of our reactions to circumstances, relations to others, and our standing with God. Besides that, it's the most incredible thing you'll ever do. There is nothing more awesome than talking one-on-one with the Creator of the universe, and feeling Him speak back.
So if you had to answer the question something like, "You know, it hasn't been what it could be," then you don't have to wait another minute. If you could restore fellowship with your Heavenly Father and continue to deepen your friendship day by day, why wouldn't you? He is the vine, you and I are the branches, and we are so dependent on Him that without His Hand guiding us daily, we're as helpless as can be.
If you're somewhat confused about how to start a daily walk with God, consider some of the following helps. Biblos.com has several daily Bible reading schedules, a few of which I will list below.
-Evening and Morning
-Bible in a Year Reading Plan
-Chronological Bible Reading Plan
One of the easiest ways to get into a habit of personal devotions is to start out with Seven Minutes with God. As you continue, you'll soon find it's impossible to spend only seven minutes with the Lord.
1. Take the first half-minute to prepare your heart and mind for this encounter with God. Relax. Think about who God really is. Clear up any matters that are bothering your conscience. Confess sin.
2. Then take four minutes for reading the Bible. Remember, this is God actually speaking. Just read a little bit and think on what you've read. Think how you can apply the verses to your actions this day.
3. Now you have two and half minutes left to speak to God in prayer. Let this be spontaneous. Unburden some things, thank Him, praise Him, share your innermost thoughts with Him. (from Seven Minutes Every Morning.)