We have defined the devotional as the time we set apart to fellowship with God in prayer and His Word, during which He nourishes, strengthens, and refreshes us. Additionally, we define the devotional life as the habit of consistently devoting time to fellowship with the Lord and the flourishing life that results from this practice. To learn more about the devotional and the different meanings of the term, including a piece of daily Christian writing, please read “What is a Devotional?”.
This article will examine common misunderstandings of what devotional life is or should be.
1. Piece Of Daily Devotional Writing
The term devotional can mean a piece of Christian literature or audiovisual content, depending on the context and usage. However, as noted in the article above, God’s primary concern revealed throughout the scriptures is not for us to read daily devotionals but to have devotionals with Him.
The devotional life is not a habit of reading daily devotionals every day. It is possible to read devotional after devotional and never indeed have a devotional! We publish daily devotionals (Deshen Daily), but we clearly explain to our audience the role of such writings in our devotional life. There is value in daily devotional books or writings; when properly used, they can be an excellent vehicle to help us in our quiet time.
Still, they can become a hindrance, as reading devotionals can easily replace genuine fellowship time with the Lord. To learn more, read How to Use Daily Devotionals.
2. Performance Measure
The habit of consistently reading the Word or praying is not a means to prove our spiritual worth to God or impress Him with our devotion. We are in trouble when we think God loves us more or that we are better than other Christians because we are consistent in Bible study or prayer.
The devotional is a means to a healthy and vibrant relationship with the Lord; it is a means to an end, not the end itself. This mindset is especially essential for young believers or those new to the faith. However, any believer is potentially susceptible to this attitude.
3. Daily Inspirations
The devotional will inspire you, but the devotional should not be equated to daily inspirations. Genuine inspiration from the Spirit is almost guaranteed when we devote ourselves to spending time with Him consistently. But beyond inspiration, the three principal purposes of the devotional are communion with God, transformation, and edification.
Sadly, many believers search for something to merely inspire or motivate them daily. For God’s Word to do what God intends, it will sometimes inspire us, but it will also correct, rebuke, build up, encourage, instruct, direct, lead, etc. If we look for Bible verses or writings that solely motivate us, we will become spirituallymalnourished.
The goal of the devotional is to commune with God; during that communion, many things will happen, and He will do whatever needs to be done, whether to inspire, strengthen, encourage, cuddle, or even correct us.
4. Christian Religion
Christian religion is the religious spirit at work in Christianity. Ever heard this or something similar: “I meditated on the Word as the pastor said, but nothing happened”? Christian religion is going through the form of Christianity with no substance. For instance, as mentioned above, someone can read Spirit-filled daily devotionals and never have devotionals with God.
Or we could go through the motion of praying daily yet never experience the communion with the Spirit in prayer. It is worth repeating the idea I stated above that we must not assume that God is most pleased just because we read His book or pray. The reading and the prayer are only a means to what God wants — communion. And He uses His Word and prayer to bring us into that communion with Him.
The devotional life is only one essential facet of our Christian lives, not everything. In fact, the devotional Bible study is only a minor part of a comprehensive personal Bible study plan. The devotional has its place, and we must resist the temptation to stretch it beyond its limits or attempt to make it do what God did not design it to do.
We should distinguish the devotional from closely related concepts. Most importantly, the devotional life is not about faithfully reading daily devotionals or listening to devotional audiovisual content. Everything has its place, including daily devotionals like the one we publish, Deshen Daily.
If you are uncertain about the devotional or want to go deeper in your understanding of this critical biblical practice, please read “What is a Devotional?”. We also have more articles below that will help you deepen your knowledge of the devotional life. And if you have any difficulties or need guidance, please get in touch with us. Otherwise, comment below for general inquiries, comments, or inspiration for others.
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