We have looked at the first four aspects or the components of a good and meaningful devotion. I have simply called these aspects Confession Communion, Connection, and Conviction. I hope that you will take the time to read those prior posts in the archives in order to know what was already said. We will now move into the fifth and final aspect of devotion and that is what I call…
Sometimes it is very difficult to tackle a paragraph and find its meaning in order to interpret it properly. Many times it is easier just to look and use the work that someone else has put in on the passage at hand. However, there is something else that can be just as difficult, if not more so. The application, or the putting into practice the principles of the passage can also be just as difficult.
Once you know what the passage says and you know what it means, it is now time to consecrate yourself to God and to the applying of the text in your daily life. In other words, it is time for the rubber to meet the road. You must get all four tires squarely on the pavement for good traction and a good ride.
Romans 12:1-2 says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Just prior to this point you have asked the hard questions, such as, “What is God telling me? How does this passage encourage me, instruct me, rebuke me or strengthen me? Is there sin in my life that I need to confess and forsake? What will I do about what I have learned?
Don’t forget what your goal is for having these devotional times; to become mature in Jesus Christ. (Col 1:28) Consecrate yourself in order to discipline yourself to apply what you have learned. Your study is to be accompanied by the determination that God will give you an application.
It is good to make your applications measurable and practicable. Think through questions like how, when, where, or to who will I live out the principles that I have gleaned through my time with the Lord. For example, if you have been reading about love, how will you practice love? In what concrete ways will you live out the passage in the daily context of your life?
Someone once suggested to me that making short range and long range goals are good. What can you do in the next 24 hours that will allow you to work out your application? Remember God is at work in your live on a daily basis conforming you to the image of his Son.
So, through honest, Spirit enabled, and soul searching prayer, consecrates, or offers you solely to God and to his purpose. Give yourself to him and to the application (s) that he has given you in your daily passage.
There you have it, this has been a brief look at the various aspects of a devotional time with our Lord. Begin with Confession of sin and your absolute trust in the propitiatory-sacrificial work of Christ; seek Communion with our Lord in order to delight in him in order to be awed by him; Connect with the text with asking for an inclination, interpretation, instruction and implementation of the text, allow the word Conviction in your heart for change, and then Consecrate yourself to God for practice and obedience.
I trust this has been a blessing and you have learned something. Hopefully, at least one thing can be gleaned from these past five (5) posts that you can add to your devotional time. If this is the case, let me know through a comment. God bless you and your time with our majestic, glorious, awesome God!