“How much time are you spending with God …and His Word?”
This is a good assessment question you want to ask those you are discipling. You will want to frame your question differently for each person as you try to find out how much time they have spent in God’s Word, which means with God.
There can be an other-world difference between doing devotions, reading the Bible, or going to a Bible study versus SPENDING TIME WITH GOD IN HIS WORD.
The former disciplines can easily turn to rote, “check this off my list” work while the latter can ignite the soul, setting it ablaze as you cuddle with your LORD and His Word. Be a “cuddler” with your Father and His Words.
Most folks who struggle do not have regular snuggle time with God. The LORD and His Words are a side item at best. It is rare to counsel a person who saturates in God on an almost daily basis, and if they are not daily saturating, they are walking with Him (keeping in step with the Spirit), side-by-side, praying without ceasing, enjoying a “God is at my elbow” kind of life.
And even when they are knocked off their feet, they rebound quickly because “the LORD was there” in their moment of sorrow.
In the middle of Joseph’s drama it says in Genesis 39:20, “The Lord was with Joseph…”. I love those five words. They are simply profound. That “with” part was no accident. Neither was it because of Joseph’s passivity. He had a walking, talking, living, breathing, adventurous relationship with the LORD. God was big and everything else was small.
As you care for others you will find that that is not the case with many of them. They do not have that kind of relationship with God—the kind that leads to an other-worldly living that is broadly practicalized in the milieu—the contexts in which they do life.
Carefully discern this in those within your care and carefully bring them back to their most important love.