Saturday, May 9, 2009

Five Aspects of a Good Devotion (Part II)

In our last post, I wanted to lay the ground work and reason behind the next five posts (unless providentially interrupted). I wanted to add my bit of insight into one of the most important aspects of the walk of a Gospel Driven Disciple; which is our devotional walk with the Lord.
There is no doubt of the extreme value and necessity of a spirit-filled and biblically based devotional time with our Lord. I wanted to share with you some insight into a beneficial and God honoring devotion by looking at five aspects of a devotional time. . Again, I must say we are not talking about a performance or a ritual that is conducted legalistically, hypocritically and without the involvement of your heart. Last time we looked at the first aspect of a good devotional and that was what I simply called the CONFESSION. If you missed that post you can read it and be up to speed. In this post we will talk about the second aspect of a good devotion and that is what I call… COMMUNION There seems to be at least three invitations included in this portion called Communion: 1. The Invitation to Delight in our God Psalm 37:4 states: “Delight yourself in the LORD…” One of the main and distinct purposes of our devotional time is to come to a place in our Christian life that we delight in our God. The Hebrew gives us the idea that we are to take pleasure in God, we are to enjoy God. We don’t have a problem understanding pleasure or finding pleasure. We delight in many things; from children to food to physical pleasure. We delight or take pleasure in sunsets, sunrises, beaches, mountains, the rain, or a good song. Our sin lies in the fact that we rarely take pleasure in God. Job 22:26 – “For then you will delight yourself in the almighty and lift up your face to God.” Isaiah 58:14 – “then you shall take delight in the LORD…” Phil 3:1 – “…rejoice in the Lord…” Phil 4:4 – “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say rejoice.”
C. S. Lewis wrote: “[I]t would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” We need to delight in the Lord and be pleased with Him. Ask God to teach you how to delight in him, express your desire to delight in him. Ask God to take your weak desires and pleasure in mundane things and to give your strong desires for him. Learn by his grace to delight and take pleasure in your God! 2. The Invitation to Discover our God Psalm 33:8 - “Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!” As you pray and read the scriptures during your devotional time, pray that God will teach you about himself. Pray that you discover the glorious character and nature of God. As you discover various aspects of God’s character and nature you will become awe-struck! You will be amazed at this glorious, majestic, indescribable God who has saved you and given you eternal life. It is during this time that you are communing with God and discovering all that you can about him. God is a God who loves color, texture, design, pleasure, glory, and variety. He created sea monsters to play in the ocean to amuse him; he created thousands of varieties of flowers, trees, and animals-all for his glory and for his pleasure. God is glorious and majestic! He has chosen to reveal himself to us! Forget about all the Chamber of Commerce commercials to Discover Arizona, Utah, or California – discover your God in all of his infinite glory! 3. The Invitation to Dally with our God I know we don’t use this word very often. But let’s use it today. By it I mean fellowship or commune with God. Devotions are a time when we “sit” with God and we speak to him and then we listen to him. In other words we take our time with him; we dally. We speak to him during our times of prayer and we listen to him as we read his word. Resist the temptation to view your devotion as a must do item on your to do list, without which completing you will have a bad day. (Jerry Bridges has a lot to say about this aspect of devotion.)
This is not a performance or ritual that is to be dry and void of any value. It is a time of fellowshipping personally, privately, and pointedly with God. Take time to fellowship and commune with him. As you read, pray and talk to him about the passage you are reading. Thank him, praise him, and seek him during this time. Take time to hear from him through the Word of God as the Holy Spirit unfolds God’s word to you. 1John 1:3 – “that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.”
Learn to drink long and deep at the well of God during your devotional time as you enjoy and take pleasure in communion with God. Learn, by his grace to delight in God, discover God, and to dally with God

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