Doing Battle Against Spiritual Starvation
Have you ever gone so long without reading scripture, praying, fasting, attending church, or [insert your own] that you just "got used to it" after a while? At first, you felt like something was missing — maybe you even felt guilty for not doing whatever it was — but then it became normal? After enough time passed, you didn't even miss it.
I think we've all experienced this. We think, "I can't remember the last time I read scripture (or other spiritual thing)."
In my last article, I wrote about how I really needed to start taking more responsibility for my own spiritual well-being, especially as a new mom with young kids. With a squirmy toddler (and pretty soon a hungry newborn) sitting in the pew with me, I can't solely rely on a Spirit-filled Sunday meeting to fill my proverbial cup for the entire week.
As "meaty" and "thirst-quenching" as our church meetings are, I'm only managing to catch a few crumbs — and that's OK for this temporary season of life.
But crumbs aren't going to cut it if I want to stay connected to Christ during this time when my babies' needs come before my own on Sunday mornings. Crumbs are a spiritual starvation diet. I need milk, meat, and the rest of it if I'm going to survive let alone grow or yield fruit.
Recently, I realized with some anxiety and surprise that I'd grown rather accustomed to spiritual starvation. There was a time when I felt weird if I hadn't read scripture at some point during the day or if I didn't fast once in a week. Looking back on the blur that was my first year of motherhood, I realized that some days passed without a syllable of God's word or a drop of beyond-the-basics prayer. And the view from that hindsight landscape didn't really bother me all that much, which was the scary part.
The only thing for it? Incorporate more spiritual discipline into my daily life — reading, praying, and fasting on a regular basis. If I've got time to like stuff on Facebook, shop online, and knit baby garments, then I'm just fooling myself if I say that I don't have time for God.
So, I drafted a little four-week reading plan for myself, and I followed it through the month of January 2017 (with a short lapse after the 24th when I gave birth to Miracle Baby No. 2!).
I picked a topic, looked up related scriptures, and assigned them to each day on the calendar. Now, I'm sharing my plan with you — just in case you need a little extrinsic motivation like I did (and do).
The topic I picked is "The Word of God" — to remind myself how necessary reading it is. Each week has a little sub-theme, and I kept the weekend reading light. (If you're like me, then your weekend time is limited and unpredictable.)
Click here for a plain, printable PDF version.
Or save the image below to your phone or computer.
If you do use this reading plan at any point, please let me know how you liked it. An alternate idea is to use these scriptures as the basis for a Sunday school or MBA class that you teach. However and if-ever you use it, I hope it's a blessing!
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.