What Went Wrong With My Devotions


Question: Why are my devotions wonderful one day and dry the next?

On Monday I wake at the crack of six, make my coffee, and sit down with my Bible spread across my lap. Immediately things are clicking. Passages are jumping off the pages, pulling me into prayer and leading me to worship. By the time my devotions are over I’m convinced that I’m about 95% sanctified. The proof is in the devotions.

Tuesday starts the same way. Awake at six, guzzling coffee by quarter after, Bible across lap by 6:20. But nothing happens. I read. Something about God I think. My mind drifts to the Steelers lackluster play. What’s up with Big Ben? Wait, I’m in devotions. Pray something about…somebody. Lord, help me stay focu…why is my back so sore? I glance down at the study notes in my Bible, hoping to land on something inspiring. No soap. My devotions are about as exciting as one of those finance lectures I had in college. What is going on with me? One day I’m in the third heaven with Paul, the next day I can’t even summon the focus needed for a simple prayer.

I’m not the first one to experience this problem. It started with Adam and Eve. In Genesis 1-2 they had perfect fellowship with God. What was that like? Think the best devotions ever. Multiplied by God actually walking and talking with you. It’s pretty tough to improve on that.

But the moment Eve ate the forbidden fruit, perfect harmony with God was lost. Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden. Fellowship lost.

Now we’re born separate from God. Enemies and haters of God. We fellowship with God like terrorists fellowship with the United States.

Which makes me so grateful for the gospel. In the gospel, God is reversing what took place in Genesis 3. Colossians 1:13 puts it this way:

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son

Fellowship between men and God has been restored through the death of Christ. My fellowship may be dry at times, but the point is, I do have fellowship with God! And some day that fellowship will be perfect, flawless, face-to-face.

Aren’t you grateful for the gospel? The curse of sin is being rolled back by Christ and we are brought into fellowship with God himself. There’s no better news.

Take that to your Bible tomorrow morning.


  • Wendy says:

    Thank you for yet another excellent reminder. It is so easy to take my fellowship with God for granted and to go through my devotions as routine. To ponder the fact that I, a filthy sinner that is not even worthy to say His name, can have intimate fellowship with the Creator of the Universe is astounding! I love a line from The Last Battle in the Chronicles of Narnia. One of the soldiers comes in contact with Aslan and Aslan calls him beloved. The soldier’s response, in utter amazement, is this “To think that he should call me beloved. I who am but as a dog.” This should be my response every day to the knowledge that I am the beloved child of God.

  • Megan Liz says:

    So it’s not just emotional girls who have this problem! :D

    “Fellowship between men and God has been restored through the death of Christ. My fellowship may be dry at times, but the point is, I do have fellowship with God! And some day that fellowship will be perfect, flawless, face-to-face.”

    Wonderful point! And even if I don’t seem to get much from my devotions on any given day, it brings joy to God’s heart that I would come to him. Now THAT is amazing.

  • Stephen Altrogge says:

    Wendy – Wasn’t C.S. Lewis a great writer? He had a way of making things simple and profound at the same time.

    Megan – Nope, stoic guys like myself have the same problem.

  • Ron Reffett says:

    Hey there Stephen,
    Great post! glad to know that I’m not the only one who struggles in my devotions!
    I totally resonate with the wandering mind syndrome, there are some mornings where as you said, every thing just clicks and then there are mornings where you’re lucky to keep your eyes open. It’s so true, we are indeed sinners who are leaning on God’s tremendous grace day after day, and the good news is He knows us and is right there with us all the way, even on those days when we don’t “feel” his presence.
    Thanks for another very encouraging post!
    Ron Reffett

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>