Have you recently reached a point where you’ve gotten complacent? Fallen into routine? Are you just going through the motions every day?
Sometimes life gets busy and our spirituality gets put on the back burner. In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the model states that our basic needs like food and water, and psychological needs like friendships and self-esteem are met first before we can get to ultimate intangible needs like spirituality. Even though the Bible clearly states that we should not worry about what we should eat or drink (Matthew 6:25), when we see some diminishing in one of those areas, it’s easy for us to switch focus and make those areas top priority in our lives.
No matter what the cause, these moments steal our passion. Our time slowly gets taken away from the time we spend with God. We spend less and less time with God and even in the time that we do spend with Him, it becomes empty; a time filled with worrying, complaining, and begging rather than a time of intimacy, insight, and integration with God. As a result, we struggle with prayer and studying. We get into a place of complacency in the present rather than excitement for the future. You begin to get frustrated because instead of being filled and refreshed in His presence, you dump all your feelings on Him if you talk at all, and then leave still feeling anxious. Now you’re running on empty, running on fumes and everyday becomes a task rather than a joy. You’re no longer optimistic, but you’re just trying to make it day-to-day.
If any of this sounds familiar to you, the answer could be in your devotional time with God. Even while Jesus was on earth, He regularly retreated to have prayer time with the Father where He got filled with more of Him. He rejuvenated His spirit. He took a break from the task at hand and sought the Father for insight. Quality time in devotion goes beyond a quick ten-minute prayer after you wake up or before you go to bed. It is undivided, extensive time with God, talking to Him and listening to Him. It’s a regular, daily discipline of intentional time with God. It’s more than just giving your problems to Him, but talking to Him about life, getting to know Him, discovering His plans for you, talking about the future together. Your intimacy grows together and in your day-to-day decisions, you begin to hear Him more clearly throughout the day. Instead of asking God about life, you end up doing life together.
Devotion begins with praying and reading the Bible. Alastair Begg gives some tips on how to begin having an effective daily devotion:
1.What does this passage say about God the Father? God the Son? God the Spirit?
2.What does this passage teach me about myself?
- Is there a sin I need to avoid?
- Is there a promise I need to accept?
- Is there a command I need to obey?
Effective, consistent devotion breaks bondages, both seen and unseen, in your life. It brings things to light that you may not have even realized was hidden in the dark. You start to have real, long-term victories in your character, your vision for the future, and your emotions.
Devotional time spent with God is the most important time of your day. It is never time wasted. Everyday interaction with God is vital to where you’re going. Give your day to God before you give it to anyone else. Talk to Him before you talk to anyone else. Spend daily devotional time, not just reading the Word, but with the One who the Word talks about. When you do, nothing you do will be done in vain.
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8 NIV