Tuesday June 25 2024

What’s In It For Me? What is the Purpose of Devotions?

“Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.” – Exodus 33:13

One major reason people experience frustration and failure in their devotional lives is that they don’t understand why such a habit is important. As a result, some sincere believers have (or try to have) daily devotions for all the wrong reasons. Then what is the purpose of devotions? What makes it worth making the effort to get up earlier in the morning, to find time in an already hectic schedule, and to prioritize a daily quiet time? What are we hoping to see accomplished through that time? And why is this habit such a crucial one in the life of a believer? I’d like to suggest eight purposes I have discovered. The first four relate primarily to our inner life with God, and the other four affect not only our inner life but flow out into our lifestyle and our relationships with others. The ultimate purpose of spending time in God’s Word is to get to know God! What an awesome privilege it is to be invited to be a friend of the God of the universe and to walk with Him in a close, personal relationship. The goal is not to check one more thing off our to-do list, but to meet with Him; it is not to “have devotions,” but to experience true “devotion.” (Exodus 33:13)

As I spend time alone with God in the morning, I ask Him who sees and knows all to expose anything in my heart that is not holy. He knows me better than I know myself. My natural tendency would be to cover my sin, so I ask Him to shine the light of His holiness into my heart and to show me what He sees there. Through worship, prayer, and the Word, I step out of the darkness into His light. (Psalm 19:12; Psalm 139:23–24). Most of us are born “fixers.” Our natural tendency is to take matters into our own hands, to fret and worry, and to demand solutions. In the process, we often bypass the one truly effective means we have of impacting the lives of those around us. I am convinced that if you and I would spend a fraction of the time praying about our concerns for others than we do worrying about them, talking about them to others, and trying to fix them ourselves, we would see a whole lot more results. (Mark 2:1–5)

God doesn’t want us to masquerade as “good Christians.” He wants us to be metamorphosed—to be transformed from the inside out into the likeness of the Lord Jesus. We can masquerade in the energy of our flesh but are likely to end up frazzled and frustrated. Only the Spirit of God can metamorphose (transform) us into the image of Jesus. (2 Corinthians. 3:18)

Pray this week:

Father, what a privilege to be invited to seek You. Thank You for revealing Yourself to me more and more as I do so. – Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth