Don't let your relationship with God fall into a mechanical rut.

If you’re like me, you’re already thinking about how to make the new year better than the current year. Been thinking about that for a while, actually.

In fact, I’m using this week of holidays to get a few things moving. Today I set up my bike trainer in the family room, started outlining a new book and am going to tackle some family projects.

I also think about how I want to recalibrate my own relationship with God.

Like any relationship, it can fall into a rut. If you’re not careful, what was once meaningful can easily become mechanical.

Or maybe you’re new to a relationship with God, and you’re looking for a way to begin a relationship with him. I realize my tips are mostly around reading the Bible, but here’s what I find:

The more I engage the Scriptures, the more I engage God.

Here are five ways to kickstart your devotional life:

1. Find Your Best Personal Time.

For me, it’s a no-brainer. I’m always best in the morning. If I try to spend time with God at night, I fall asleep (it’s nothing personal—I also treat late-night movies, friends and family the exact same way after 10 p.m.). I love having time with God between 5 and 6 a.m. I’m fully awake, engaged and present.

What’s your best personal time? Give it to God. You’ll grow.

OK, I better come clean. I have a bias. I think everyone should become a morning person. I think there are inherent advantages you don’t get any other way. I started becoming a morning person in my early 30s and have never looked back.

Think you can’t do it? Michael Hyatt shows you how.

2. Find the Medium That’s Best for You.

I’m a reader, so a written Bible has always equaled awesome for me. But a few years ago I discovered I had stopped reading my Bible in a fresh way because I had been reading it for so many years. The words didn’t feel fresh anymore because they had become so familiar.

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Around that time I had bought my first iPhone. I downloaded the YouVersion app and suddenly I found I was reading the Bible as though it was the first time. Every word looked new, even though I had read it before. And that meant my connection with God and the Bible was stronger. The only thing I changed was the media. Now I read it off my tablet with the same effect.

Experiment with mediums. See which one works best for you. If you don’t like reading, get an audio Bible and listen.

Carey Nieuwhof Carey Nieuwhof is Lead Pastor of Connexus Church north of Toronto, Canada, blogs at and is host of The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast available for free on iTunes.

More from Carey Nieuwhof or visit Carey at

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