Here is the second core principle from Josh Ross’s  book Coreology: Six Principles for Navigating an Election Season without Losing Our Witness.

#2 – I will create and honor regular spiritual practices that remind me of my devotion to Jesus

As preachers, pastors, and church leaders, a common observation is that increasingly more Christians are only spending time with God in Word and prayer when they’re at the church building a couple of times a month. Instead of a vital component to a vigorous life in Christ, daily devotions seem to be a thing of the quaint past. Regular, daily Christian practices or spiritual disciplines are engaged by fewer and fewer of us. At the same time, all of us are spending more and more hours every day in front of our screens–news, movies, sports, streaming, work emails, family Facebook, binging, whatever. We are being formed less and less by intentionally dwelling in the teachings and the presence of our Lord and more and more by algorithm-inspired propaganda, news, and on-demand entertainment.

To set up his second principle, Josh points to Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 6 to seek his Kingdom first. In order to guard our hearts from getting lost in the culture wars or the election seasons, we must create and honor these regular times with God in Word and prayer. It must be intentional and it must be more than a quick checklist endeavor:

“You can’t give God a three-minute devotional time in the morning, yet soak in cable news and podcasts for hours a day and think you can live a life devoted to Christ… Devotion to Jesus takes practices that keep us rooted, grounded, and growing. Without such practices, we will drift from our center. We will fail to strengthen our core.”

A lot of the fear, worry, and anger that people experience in the world today is induced by cable news and social media. The more time a person spends with that, the more likely that person is to equate the ways and means of the culture with the ends and goals of God’s Kingdom. Especially when that person is not spending at least as much time with God in Word and prayer, to keep the story straight, to keep the Kingdom goals and the Jesus ways straight. It begins to seem like the only way to accomplish change in the world–in my world–is to holler and yell and insult and threaten. Well, now you’re working in decidedly un-Christian ways toward highly questionable goals. And you start to believe that the Kingdom of God is something for later, after you die, instead of for living and bringing to God’s world right now today.

“In his world, ‘Kingdom’ language was political. Jesus’ hearers knew about other kingdoms–the kingdom of Herod and the kingdom of Rome. The Kingdom of God had to be something different from those kingdoms. The Kingdom of God is for the earth. The Lord’s Prayer speaks of God’s Kingdom coming on earth, even as it already exists in heaven. It is about the transformation of this world–what life would be on earth if God were ruler and the lords of the domination systems were not.” ~Marcus Borg, Jesus and Politics, 2019

I love this paragraph as Josh concludes this chapter on devotion:

“Jesus intends for his followers to live by a different set of rules than any earthly kingdom sets in place. Our King is in place. His Kingdom has been set in motion. Through Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, we have citizenship in this Kingdom. We have values, principles, and commands. We have a mission to build bridges in order to invite others, instead of building walls to keep others out. This is what the church–Jesus’ church–has been tasked to pray for and live into.”

Renouncing the kingdoms and the ways of the world and embracing Christ’s Kingdom and the ways of Jesus requires spiritual discipline. Especially now, we should all be doubling down on our spiritual practices. Pick one day a week and read one of the Gospels out loud all the way through so you can read all four every month. That will get you into the Word and get the Word into you. Pray several times during the day. Practice personal examination at lunch, at the end of your work day, and as you get ready for bed: how have I behaved in the past four to five hours? Did I think and talk and act like Jesus? Do I need to apologize to anybody? Volunteer at a non-profit in a different part of town. There are lots of ways to stay locked in to your commitments to Jesus and his Kingdom. But they don’t happen by default. It’s got to be intentional.