The other day in the midst of some Scripture reading and praying, I realized that this felt a lot like work. I don't mean work in the negative sense. I mean work in like exercising and pushing one's heart rate so that it makes the heart stronger. Or work like the work I put into my relationship with my wife.
As I reflected on this feeling of work during my devotion time, it started to make sense to me. The work that I do in devotion is what makes space in my life for me to recognize God's presence in the everyday. If I'm not spending regular time with God, how could I possible recognize him in the midst of the little things. I can only be aware of God's presence if I can recognize what to look for, which ultimately takes work.
Now this may be an obvious point and readers may be saying, "Well, duh!" But for me this is a good lesson/reminder. I want my time spent praying, reading, etc. to be earth-shattering every time. I want each day to walk away feeling like I'm totally and completely filled with God's presence. But what am I seeking? God or a good feeling?
Certainly "mountain top" experiences will occur, but in the rhythm of life valley's occur, too. Therefore consistency (and discipline) are what ultimately produce growth. Otherwise, I'm using devotional time as a drug; trying to get that next fix of "feeling" God's presence while completely missing the point of practicing the disciplines - a transformed life through the practice of spending time with God.