Can you do a devotional in 5 minutes?

Is finding time for a devotional hard for you? Current Boyce student Macie De Vight sits down with Matthew Haste, Associate Professor of Biblical Spirituality and Biblical Counseling, as he answers the question: “Can you do a devotional in 5 minutes?”


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Video Transcript

Macie: Hi guys, my name is Macie. Thank you so much for joining us on Upstream, which is brought to you by Boyce College. Today we’re with Dr. Haste, who teaches classes on biblical counseling, as well as biblical spirituality. Today we’re going to be talking about quiet time and I think, at least for me, and I’m sure other people my age, we struggle with fitting quiet time into our busy schedules.

Do you think I could have a fruitful quiet time in about five minutes?

Dr. Matthew Haste: It’s a great question. Sometimes you’ll see advertisements for how to do a devotion in five minutes. I would say it’s possible to have a fruitful time with God in a very brief amount of time because we’re talking about God. He’s not limited by the amount of time that we give to him or that we schedule to spend with him during the day. He is perfectly capable of disrupting our day and intervening to make himself known in whatever way he sees fit in a given time.

But is it wise to organize your life in such a way that you are only making five minutes a day available to the Lord in an intentional sense? I think to that question, we’d probably want to say no.

You might think of it in terms of other relationships. I’m married. I can think about my wife. Can my wife and I have an important intentional conversation in under five minutes? Sure. Sometimes we can exchange a great deal of thoughts just by looking at one another briefly.
But would our relationship suffer if every day we only spoke to each other and only communicated with each other for five minutes or less? I think all of us would recognize that’s probably not a good plan for a healthy marriage.

Now, practically speaking, some days it feels like we only have five minutes. There are going to be seasons of life and there are going to be particular days when it’s quite challenging to carve out a long amount of time on your schedule. So how do you make the most of that time? I would just say a few things.

You want to make sure that you’re taking in God’s word on a daily basis. Even if it’s a single verse or a short chapter, focus on parts of Scripture that are easily digestible.

So, something like the Proverbs. You could read a proverb or a collection of proverbs in a few seconds and they’re simple enough that you could think about that proverb throughout the day.

You could think about the wisdom that proverb portrays for us. You could think about the warning in that proverb; “here’s the path of the fool and what happens to us when we go down this path.” You could think about the glory that Christ was the wisdom of God. When Jesus walked the earth, he always followed Proverbs rightly. He always walked in the wisdom of the Lord.

Those are the kinds of things that you actually don’t have to be seated at your desk and in front of your Bible to meditate on throughout the day.
Take in the Bible daily. Find something that’s digestible that you can take with you and then think about practical ways to return to that throughout the day.

That might mean that you write that verse down and put it on a sticky note on a mirror so that you’re seeing it multiple times during the day. It might mean that you record yourself reading it. When you’re just walking in between classes, you play that recording and you just hear those words again and it reminds you that this was my proverb for the day, or this is my gospel story for the day, or whatever it may be.

Then, think about throughout your day ways in which you can slowly expand that time. Most of us have more free time than we realize. Think about, over time, how can I make intentional decisions? Maybe it’s going to bed slightly earlier so we can get up slightly earlier. Maybe it’s saying no to an ongoing commitment so that there’s some time carved out in the middle of the day.

Think intentionally about ways to make time for the Lord in your schedule and then commit those things to God himself and say, “God, would you open up my schedule and enable me to spend more and more time with you every day? Because I want to be the kind of person that delights in your law. I want to meditate on your word day and night, and I need your help, even at the level of figuring out when and how to do that.”

Macie: That was very helpful. Thank you so much, Dr. Haste. Thank you guys so much for watching Upstream. If you’d like to find out more about Boyce, please visit our website

We’ll see you next time on Upstream.