[I am starting a new series on the subject of doing devotions. I love my time with the Lord, and have since the day He rescued me from a life of sin 7 1/2 years ago. I have learned so much from this One-on-one time with Him, and found it worthy of writing. I have some ideas for some other posts in the series, but I would love to hear from you. What has God taught you through your time with Him? What keeps you from spending time with Him? What would you like to change or implement into your devotional time with God? Join the discussion! Leave a comment, or send me an e-mail.]
This morning, as I did my devotions in my tranquil and inviting backyard, I was reading from an insightful book, listening to passionate, adoring worship music, and drawing from Truth found in the Word. All good things, and a great morning with a hefty dose of Jesus, if you ask me. But as I pondered on all these things I was doing, I heard Him ask me:
“What is the purpose of your devotion?”
From there, I felt the Spirit lead me through detailed questions relating to the specificity of my life, season, and circumstances … “How does all of this knowledge and input apply to my life right now? How does this concept from that book apply to my set of circumstances in which I am living? How does this specific song of praise ring true from my heart as I sing it to the Lord? What does this specific verse in Scripture that I have read dozens of times mean for me on this day?”
If there is not a deeply rooted connection between what I am reading, learning, and listening to and what is going on inside of my heart, these efforts are in vain.
What I claim to be “devotion” is simply going through the motions of what I think I should do because I am a Christian.
Without the specific application that revolutionizes my heart and actually causes my inner being to change and become more like the Savior, these books become self-help, the worship becomes lip-service, and the Bible becomes theoretical.
So, rather than rush through a book just to say I have read it, I read a chapter and then I ponder and consider its message. Rather than worship through seven songs to say I worshiped for a long time, I am going to get on my knees and sing one song from the depths of my being, and repeat it over and over if I feel so lead. Rather than power through the Word to say that I have read it in its entirety in 365 days, I choose a verse and I let it penetrate far enough inside of me that my soul begins to change.
I want to be changed by His Word because He told me it is alive and active. I want to experience the abundant life He promised me; the life He died for me to have.
I want my relationship with God to transcend far beyond a list of spiritual disciplines; I want to know Him intimately.