5 Surefire Ways to Ruin Your Devotions


Tired of having vibrant, rich, God-centered devotional times? Looking for something a little more dry and stagnant? This five step plan is sure to suck the life of out your devotional times in no time.

STEP 1: Do Your Duty Soldier

If you want to ruin your communion with God, it’s absolutely essential that you forget the gospel. Scripture and prayer must not be a means of knowing the all-satisfying God, but a duty, a way to get in good with God. Be sure that your hope isn’t in Christ, but in the fact that you’ve read your Bible for forty-three consecutive days. Duty is the key word here.

STEP 2: Wallow in Condemnation

When you’re feeling condemned for not spending time with God, make sure you stay there. Forget about the person who diligently intercedes for you. Forget about the Father who is eager to commune with you. Forget about blood spilled for you. These things will draw you back to God. Walloooooowww.

STEP 3: Forget Faith

Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” This verse is sure to breathe life into your communion with God. Those folks who really believe that God is eager to reward them tend to push hard after God. The solution is simple. Lack of faith.

STEP 4: Snooze Baby, Snooze

The snooze button is perhaps the greatest devotion-killer in the past fifty years. Fifteen extra minutes of sleep turns into an hour. You scramble out of bed, hose off, wolf down breakfast, and make the commute to work. God rewards discipline and diligence, so make sure you smack that snooze button as if it’s a blood-sucking mosquito. Do not, I repeat, do not, pursue discipline. You might find yourself experiencing joy.

STEP 5: Ride Solo

Whatever you do, don’t bring others into your devotional life. Avoid accountability at all costs. You can believe anything you want when no one is holding you accountable.

By following these simple steps, you’ll be on your way to a joyless, lifeless existence. For more info call 1-800-I-WANT-TO-BE-SAD.

Never Miss Any Goodness

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  • Jon Wymer says:

    Step 1: I like John Piper and appreciate his teaching, so don’t get me wrong. But it is so “in vogue” these days to knock duty. Not so in days past. Duty has not always been seen as a bad thing. I take your point, but I think we should call Christians to duty rather than relegate it to the other side of the tracks.

  • Becca says:

    Your timing is spot-on! How did you know?

  • Stephen Altrogge says:

    Jon – I agree with you. I was actually thinking of duty more in the legalistic way than in the John Piper way. Does that make sense?

  • Megan Liz says:

    I needed that desperately today! Thanks so much!

  • Jack Hager says:

    Jon and Stephen…I view it as duty I had when I was a soldier…I enlisted, thus willingly placed myself under authority, and there were inherent duties in serving. I did not “do” them to “be” a soldier, but because I “was” a soldier. I do not “do” scriptural disciplines to make me a “good” Chrisian,” but there are disciplines that are the natural fruit of my enlisting (drafting?) into His service.
    “He has shown you, O man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you…”

  • megan says:

    This post was a part of our family night entertainment this week. Loved it. Thanks :-)

  • John says:

    Well done! Your last sentence cuts to the quick. Thanks!

  • Melissa Goins says:

    This hit the nail on the head!! Just what I needed today. Thank you for winsomly yet clearly communicating truth. Grateful!!

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