Devotions, quiet time, and the resting of the mind.
Photo Credit Mikayla H.
I used to be very spiritual. I used to get up early every morning, pray, and read in the Bible or another spiritual book. I used to be so proud of my record. For almost two years I kept up my morning routine of devotions. I could count on one hand the times that I had missed morning prayer.
Then one day I realized I was pretending. At first it had breathed new breath into my spiritual life. But over time, in my effort to keep up my record, I was showing up and “praying”, but I was merely going through the motions. In my efforts to keep order to my prayer time, I had lost contact with the one I was there to see. This didn’t come to me all at once, but over time I saw that my heart just wasn’t in it anymore.
So I stepped back. I stopped praying in the mornings. One my life became very busy and I needed the extra sleep. Two I needed realized that because I prayed in the mornings, I hadn’t been praying as much to God all throughout the day. I began trying to spread out what I had been doing in my devotions all throughout the day. I would out prayers whenever anyone asked instead of saving them for later. As I took one of my daily walks outside, I would quiet my heart and let God talk to me. I would try invite God into whatever I was doing.
As I did these simple things I found my days being transformed. Instead of going through the motions I was enjoying time with God. As I invited God into my daily life, things that had once become mundane now became enjoyable again.
In the introduction I said that most of the lessons God has taught me haven’t been in a classroom, but in everyday life. This I have found very true about my devotions. I’ve felt His presence and seen Him work more as I have taken my focus off devotions. As I focus on God, and not getting it right, my eyes have been opened to Him working in my life.
I’m not saying that you should stop praying in the morning or that you should throw out the devotional books you have. What I am suggesting is to think beyond just the morning as a time to pray and get in touch with God. Contrary to popular teaching Jesus never said, “Thou shalt get up every morning early and pray before beginning your day.” He did say to pray without ceasing, to let praise overflow from a thankful heart, to live and walk by the Spirit, and to be kind and compassionate to everyone. We can have a perfect record of morning devotions and still miss out on having God in our lives.
No and my walk isn’t perfect, there are still days I struggle. Days that I wish there were some easy spiritual fix. But walking with Christ isn’t about feeling spiritual or keeping records, it’s about walking with Him and living our lives with Him. When that fellowship happens, life becomes rich and full.