After the death of my brother and to my own surprise I found myself maintaining my quiet time with the Lord. It was already part of my daily routine. I knew that prior to facing the day and society I needed that time alone with him. It wasn’t piety that placed me before the Lord, but grief. Rather than celebrating my brother’s birthday, we were planning his funeral. He’d sat in my living room only a few weeks prior. The receipt of the front yard lighting fixture he’d replaced was still in the garage. A reminder to myself that I needed to repay him the money he’d spent.
During the next few days, I was led to only read Psalm 7. I didn’t know what lay ahead, but God did. It speaks of being delivered against one’s enemies and the wicked. One year later his neighbor was given eighteen to twenty years for my brothers’ death. But not before fleeing the state and being extradited back to face his crime.
For months I would cling to Psalm 7 as I prayed for justice regarding my brother’s death and the grief of my family. A word of hope that resulted from my devotional life.
Why a Devotional Life?
You may be saying “that’s fine for you, but I haven’t experienced a tragedy of that magnitude.” Neither had I prior to that fateful day. In fact, I was preparing to deliver the sermon that coming Sunday. There are two things I would like to remind you of when considering how important your devotional life is.
First, spending time with the Lord gives us strength and courage. Life happens in the blink of an eye. It may not be the death of a loved one, but it can be life-altering. Maybe you’re having issues with your supervisor or a co-worker. God’s word gives us the strength to show restraint. It could prevent you from doing something you’ll later regret or give you the courage to leave a job you no longer love.
Second, our devotional life provides us with faith and obedience. Our ministries require us to trust God in ways we never would’ve imagined. Being called to preach the gospel is not something this shy, introverted believer could have ever seen for herself. Now I enjoy spending time in God’s word of truth.
Roadblocks to Consistency
There are several things you may be unaware of which prevent you from having a consistent devotional life. Our humanity can rationalize that using an app in lieu of spending quality time in God’s word is enough. A 3-day Bible reading plan on any given topic is not enough to thwart the plans of the enemy. Spiritual warfare can often be intense and if you’re not equipped to handle the schemes of the enemy you won’t be able to stand. When life gets hard standing is often all you can do.
You may be saying “well, I tried it before, and it didn’t work.” Circumstances may not have turned out the way you would’ve liked. It’s quite possible you lost a job or relationship. May I be so bold to say that had you continued your path the Lord would’ve revealed his purpose in allowing these things to transpire. Often in our anger, grief, and pain we unintentionally walk away from the Lord. It could’ve been his protection shielding you from something much worse. Could it be that he had a better job in mind, and you were being forced out of your comfort zone?
Striving against our flesh is another stumbling block. Staying up too late while scrolling a social media feed and watching television will prevent anyone from getting up early for a devotional time. Let alone a woman who has a family, job and most likely ministry responsibilities. Years ago, I remember Charles Stanley said, “prayer is the best time saver we can have.” Starting the day with God can clearly reveal what our priorities should be, and which activities are a waste of time.
As we begin the new year please keep in mind that the level you are asking God to move in your life (courtship, a new ministry, entrepreneurship and whatever else) will require that much depth from you in your spiritual life. The more you ask of God, the more time you will need to spend in his presence for wisdom and direction.