Why I Stopped Having "My Devotions" Part 2

In my post “Why I stopped Having My Devotions” I explained the actions and attitudes of my heart that pointed to the fact that I had made my Bible reading a religious exercise and not a time of reverent worship.   
Today, I would like to evaluate how we move from a life of Devotions to a life of Devotion.

Having a close relationship with God should be a priority in our lives.  So how do we cultivate a life of devotion and love for God?  How do we move from a life of legalistic rituals (devotions) to a thriving relationship with God who loves us (devotion)?

1. Move away from the ‘duty’ mindset

Duty mindset says that I have to do the spiritual things in order to make God happy (or for blessings; or to avoid God’s judgment, etc).  I once heard a preacher say that God does not love all of His children the same.  He went on to falsely say that God cares deeply and loves deeply those who are obedient to Him; and loves them more than those Christians who don’t behave the way they are supposed to.    This is not true!  There is nothing I can do to make God love me more – there is nothing I can do that will make God love me less.  I can be secure in His love.  His love for me is not related to my performance.  The Christian life is a relationship not a performance!   We must reject the philosophy that I must perform for God in order for Him to love me.   

2.  Focus on God in Worship

Worship is giving to God praise and honor that He deserves.  A life of devotion spends time worshiping God.  God is the focus of those whose lives are devoted to Him.  They are consumed with Him. A person who is having their devotions to check it off their list, or to make God happy has a focus; but it is not God.  Their focus is on self – making sure THEY have done what they were supposed to do.  God is not in a box – (the box of time set aside for “my devotions”).  A life of devotion happens when we are worshiping God all throughout the day.   A life of devotion comes from a heart of gratitude towards God. 

God is the most loving person you can ever have a relationship with.  He loves you more than you have ever been loved in your entire life.  He never deals with you in selfishness or is self serving in His relationship with you.  He will never leave you or abandon you.  He’s the sure thing.  When that is a focus of your life – the faithfulness of God to you – you will find yourself naturally worshiping Him and wanting to spend time with Him.  I love to be with people I know accept me and love me no matter what.  That is one of the things that is so great about my God!  As I fall in love with Him by focusing on who He is – I want to spend time with Him.  I love spending time with Him.

3.  Learn to listen to and obey the Holy Spirit

I guess there was so much that I did not understand about the Christian life.  There were so many things that I thought were cut and dried and finished the moment I got saved.  My relationship with the Holy Spirit was one of those areas.  I thought that the Holy Spirit convicted me of sin and showed me I needed to depend upon Christ for salvation.  For some reason though, I thought that was about the entire role of the Holy Spirit in my life.  His other role – which was more minor – was making me feel bad when I did something wrong or when God was mad at me.  Other than that, the Holy Spirit was just along for the ride in my life.

I could not have been further from truth.  The relationship that the Holy Spirit has with me is amazing!  He is there to be my helper – to come along side of me and walk with me through life.  I had never learned to listen to the Holy Spirit.  It is something I am still learning.  The power for the Christian life is found in listening to and obeying the Holy Spirit.  As my eyes were opened to this truth that I had never seen before – my Christian life started to get exciting.  It was exciting because it was suddenly alive.  It was not me trying to make God happy; but the Holy Spirit guiding me into truth because He loved me. 

Learning to listen to the Holy Spirit is a key element in moving from a life of legalism to a life of devotion.

The Holy Spirit uses God’s Word to teach us and to guide us.  Thus, it is imperative that we are reading the Bible.  I need to be reading the Bible.  That is one way that I learn the truth the Holy Spirit is teaching me.
The thing that has changed the most for me in moving from devotions to devotion is giving the Holy Spirit control over my quiet time.  It is about God.  I worship and praise Him.  I focus on God’s works, who He is, and how He has worked in my life.  He is my focus.

 I do have a time set aside to read my Bible.  With my busy life I need to have a time set aside.  I also, often have a plan set up for my Bible reading.  There are some great plans out there.  There are also great devotionals that I have used and worked through in my quiet time.  However, the Holy Spirit has control of the time.  There have been times when He has changed what I had planned to read that day for my quiet time. There have been times when I started reading according to what was planned,  and the Holy Spirit zeros my attention on a particular verse or concept.  I find my heart really meditating upon that thought or being convicted about some area of sin in my life.  The Holy Spirit changed my plan and used God’s Word to give me exactly what I needed that day.  Before in my devotions, I would just read through to get done so I could mark it off my list.    Now, I see the time as His – He leads as He sees fit.  He has shown me some wonderful things.  He has also brought deep conviction to my heart when I needed to be reproved and brought back to truth.  I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to be reading in my Bible during my quiet time and have God meet a need, or answer a question I had as I was spending time with Him!    

Bottom line: the Christian life is not about ME.  It’s not about doing enough or being good enough. 

It is about Him. He’s done it all! 

As I cling to Him in dependence and rejoice in Him because of all He has done my heart is devoted to Him.   
 As I fall in love with Him – my heart cannot help but be consumed with Him.

I want God to be the focus of my life my - not my 'to do' list.   His love for me has become my security; and I have seen my life move from legalism; and my heart turned to love and devotion for a God who cares for me so much!.  It’s the most exciting transformation (shy of salvation) I have ever experienced.

Being consumed with the love of God – leads to a life of devotion and freedom. 

Thanks for stopping by today.  I am so glad you did.


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