personal devotions: not

There is a tradition among evangelicals called “personal devotions”,  “devotions”, or “quiet time.” Devotions is a time set aside each day when someone meets the Lord through Bible study and prayer. Our pastor Jack through Facebook directed us to this thoughtful expose of it.

I have not had personal devotions for years now. In Jesus we live all day (and all night) in God’s Presence. So in a true sense not one time or one place, nor one event is more sacred than the rest. We stand on holy ground all the time. Yet if we’re to emulate Jesus as in following him and his example, which I think in a sense we most definitely are called to do, than we should take special times to draw near to God. Times of listening to God through his word/scripture, and prayers. But they need to be a natural part of who we are. Not something we tack on even for a good end as simply the means of that. But rather an expression of the life and love which are ours in the grace of God through Jesus.

Does that mean we should avoid doing something unless we want to do it? Hopefully our wants are coming more and more in line with God’s revealed will in Jesus and as found in scripture. But I think not. I can’t live on my feelings, or even wants. Although I would hope that the overriding passion and will of my life is to live in God’s will. In the words of Jesus: “Not my will, but yours be done.”

Instead of having my “quiet time” I hope I am having “devotions” and “quiet times” regularly as I seek to live before the God who is always Present and active in my life, and in life all around us. If having a special time each morning which you cherish and guard out of love for God, if that is how you do it, very good. You probably have a leg up on me in that regard. But if it’s done simply out of a “have to” mentality, then it is worthless in God’s eyes. God wants our devotion, our hearts, our love, our all. Not some work we do for him merely out of duty, even slavish, greatly sacrificial duty. As the post linked above (first link) eloquently tells us.

Let us remember that we live in God’s Presence always. And in that let us learn to glorify God more and more in all of life responding to his grace. With ongoing repentance and faith, along with the hope and love that are ours in Jesus, lived out together for the world.