Every single day, I try to spend at least an hour singing spiritual songs, praying and meditating on God's word.
It's amazing to me, that when I miss a day or two, that the easier it is for me to miss three or four. It doesn't take long for my heart to become hardened. I even notice that in the hours following my private worship time, my heart seems to be less influenced by God's Spirit.
That is why it is essential, at least, essential to me, to be in God's Word as much as I possibly can. After all, the WORD of the LORD is:
"the power of God unto salvation" (Romans 1:16)
"the sword of the Spirit" (Ephesians 6:17)
Which helps us to:
"stand against the schemes of the devil" (Ephesians 6:11)
And causes us to be:
"like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither." (Psalm 1:3)
How important is time with the LORD then? How could we even start to think that it is not essential to study His word each day of our lives? Please understand that I am not saying it is a condition of salvation, but instead a vital assurance that we are saved! If you have no desire to be in His Word and meditate on His precepts, then you
(a) need to confess this to the LORD and to other brethren, and also,
(b) ask the LORD to reveal to you if you are indeed saved to begin with.
In God's Word, He showed me the true condition of my heart. In God's Word, His Gospel was revealed to me. In His Word, I find comfort when trials come, I learn about His character, I am assured that He will never leave me nor forsake me. His WORD gives me hope for today and for the future He's prepared for me, and is preparing me for!
Believe me, I have days when the last thing I want to do is read any sort of scriptures. I'd rather watch T.V., or sleep, or read something different....there are always plenty of excuses. But the LORD has helped me to become disciplined in my daily routine. I try to not think of it as something that I'll do "if I have time", but instead, I think of it as a mystery. "I wonder where the LORD is going to lead me in His Word today? What will He reveal to me? What does He want me to remember about His character? About my character?"
Be encouraged friends! Even if you can only devote 10 minutes to reading, then be faithful in making those 10 minutes count. And ask the LORD to increase your desire for Him.
"As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God." Psalm 42:1