Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Dipping the Quill Deeper: Developing the Devotional Life

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

I am an early riser. Not because I want to be. There are times when I think back to the “days” when I slept until ten … or eleven … or sometimes into the early afternoon. You remember those days, don’t you? We called them “the teen years.” We stayed up late, we slept late, we enjoyed what was left of the day. 

Even as a young single woman who worked the proverbial 9 to 5, Saturday mornings were about sleeping in. Dragging myself to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee while the sun now neared its halfway point. Then shuffling into the living room, turning on the television, watching mindless drivel … or picking up a book and reading (never mindless or drivel). 

And then … marriage. And children who do a terrible thing to the “sleep all morning” notion. But, those munchkins who used to wake me at the most awful of hours now have babies of their own, waking them at the most awful of hours. So, why am I such an early riser now? Because I now have a dog … who sleeps most of the hours of her day away, so why sleep in, I ask you … She leads me outside while the sun is still below the horizon and the sky is at its blackest.

I’ll admit that, as much as I grumble about the rising up, as soon as my first cup of coffee sends its magic through my arteries and veins, waking up my muscles and vital organs … I find myself grateful for the little nuisance. I’m up! I’m at ‘em! I’m dressed and sitting at my desk long before most of the world around me has even stirred. 

But, first things first. 

We writers hear it all the time: write early. Write first thing in the morning. Write before the world gets in the way or your world spins out of control. Yes … I go along with that. But first … God.

Find a quiet moment. A short one. A long one. Draw into the presence of the Holy Spirit and allow Him to draw close to you. 

The 1924 gold medal Olympian, Eric Liddell(who I cowrote a book about), did more than beat the odds—not to mention the records—when it came to the 400. He did more than inspire an Oscar-winning movie and a number of great books. He did more than become a missionary to China and he did more than inspire his fellow detainees in the Japanese prison camp of Weishien during World War II. 

Eric Liddell wrote a book. A single book about what it meant to be a disciple of Christ. 

In The Disciplines of the Christian LifeLiddell begins with these words:
In this book I am attempting to do three things:
  • To place before people the limited amount of Christian knowledge that every Christian should have;
  • To help people apply their knowledge to daily life; to live according to the light they have;
  • To develop the devotional life so as to create basic Christian thinking on subjects of conduct, action, outlook, and attitudes. 

The Christian life should be a life of growth. I believe the secret of growth is to develop the devotional life … The time need not be long, but it should be unhurried. We should come to it in an honest spirit, prepared to face the challenge of God’s Word as it lays down a way of life, and prepared to face any inconsistencies in our lives which make them un-Christlike. 

Do you do this, fellow writer? Do you come to the One who placed the talent within you … the One who called you to this great art of literature? Do you come to Him, placing His Word before you before you write a single word of your own? Do you draw to the quiet place where only His voice can be heard?

I challenge you to this: for the next week, begin with Him. Begin with His Word. Begin with His song. As Eric Liddell wrote, it doesn’t have to be long, but it should be unhurried.

And then, write on … and let me know how it goes. How it changes you, both as a Christian and as a writer. 


Eva Marie Everson is the multiple award-winning and bestselling author of over 35 books, both fiction and nonfiction. She is the president of Word Weavers International and the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference and North Georgia Christian Writers Conference. Eva Marie and her husband make their home in Central Florida where they enjoy a lake view, their children, and grandchildren. They are owned by a very small dog.


  1. Amen Ms. Eva Marie... Amen! What a great post this morning. I'm delayed each morning in reading The Write Conversation because my "God time" always comes first. Well, actually, making coffee comes first, then before the first cup is poured, it's my "God time." Like you, this quiet time with our Master gets the day started right. It's reassuring to know my prayers mingle with great writers like yourself during the wee hours of morning. God's blessings ma'am, as we create a sweet aroma for our God each morning.

    1. Kinda like my coffee cup that reads: But first … coffee. (Sorry, God!) I think He gets it, tho! He's probably enjoying the BEST cup Himself!

  2. What a great read after coffee at 5 a.m. Thanks much!
    Jay Wright; Anderson, SC

  3. I rise early too, but only because my internal alarm goes off. No pets in this house and all our children are grown and on their own. As I endulge in my morning coffee I feed my spirit by having a quiet time with the Lord. My outlook for the day is always brighter knowing I’ve spent quality time with the one who loved me first. Blessings on your day!

    1. My hubby spends his quiet time with a cup of coffee on the front porch, waiting for the sun to come up. So nice for him...

  4. Excellent instruction and reminder, Eva Marie. I have also found beginning with THE WORD helps settle my mind and focus me back on the words HE wants written and, not necessarily, others. It calms the anxiety and overactive imagination. Thank you for taking the time to share!

    1. YES! Once I get into it, I don't want to leave it tho! :) Makes the madness seem all the more mad once it begins!

  5. Eva Marie,
    Thanks for making the effort to always write something worthy.
    Gary Sorrells

  6. So good. I try, but recently things have been weaseling in when I take hold of my cup and head for my Bible. (Oh I need to write that check and get into the mailbox!) (Oh I'll just write this "to do" list first.) (I'll take a quick look at my email; I'm expecting that important one!) Before I know it the morning is ticking along and I have to REALLY start doing other things. When I put my time with God first, it's so wonderful.... so why do I let those other things distract me! Ugh!

  7. Great post Eva. There is no better way to start the day than in God’s Word.

  8. Great post Eva... Thanks for the reminder and the Word!