If one of these, or something similar, applies to you, you are not alone—I have heard so many believers share their struggles with personal devotions, and their feelings of guilt and disappointment that they don’t ‘measure up’.
We are told early on in our faith walk, that a regular devotional life or a ‘Quiet Time with God’ are essential to our growth as Christians.
The reason for this is that our relationship with the Lord needs to be developed—like any other relationship—by spending time with Him, talking with Him and listening to what He has to say. And for some, this is no issue, it’s a joy and delight which they enter and maintain with ease. But for others it can be deeply discouraging.
Unfortunately, many well-meaning Christians make this issue a set of rules to be followed rather than a life to be lived. We can all be inclined to think that because a particular pattern works for us, it will be successful for everyone else as well, forgetting that each person has a unique personality and relationship to God.
First, we have to establish our right of access. Many fall at the first hurdle because they don’t feel ‘worthy’ to approach God. However, it is never to do with our worthiness—whether we have had a good day or not—but entirely to do with the fact that Jesus has purchased the right of entry for us into the Holy of Holies through His blood, (see Hebrews 10:19-22). Through His sacrifice alone, we have a 24-hour, blood-bought entrance ticket to the Presence of God. Even the most saintly of us cannot earn it—it is a free gift.
And if our conscience bothers us, we can lay our shortfall before the Lord and receive His forgiveness, (see 1 John 1:9).
Why not make these declarations over yourself:
Having established that we have a right to come before the Lord whenever we wish, we then need to deal with the issues of desire and discipline. We so often fail in our personal devotions because we don’t feel like pursuing God, or we make a plan of spiritual discipline, and then can’t keep to it.
Thank God, literally, there is help at hand…
God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit have been described as ‘a sweet society’; they are a perfect community of loving fellowship. And, amazingly, they invite you and me to join in.
The Holy Spirit lives in you to cause you to ‘will and to do’ what is right, [Philippians 2:13]—and that includes your devotional life. Not only that, He wants to overflow from your innermost being with ‘rivers of living water’—rivers of life clothed in your personality. Your spiritual development is not supposed to be a dry ‘discipline’, but a joyous adventure.
There is a little song in the film ‘Miss Potter’ which expresses the heart of the Spirit …
Let me teach you how to dance
Let me lead you to the floor
Simply place your hand in mine
And then think of nothing more.
Let the music cast its spell
Give the atmosphere a chance
Simply follow where I lead
Let me teach you how to dance.
Why not take a few minutes to respond to Him right now? The PDF file opposite gives some scriptures to meditate on, and can be downloaded and printed.
THE HOLY SPIRIT AND MY DEVOTIONAL LIFE
1. CHANGE YOUR EXPECTATION
Start expecting something different. When you read, pray or worship, develop your expectation that you really will have an encounter with Christ. Expect revelation…intimacy…answers... A good way of developing expectation is by declaring God’s truth over yourself.
The declaration sheet on the left is a good place to start. Click on it to download and print.
2. ASK FOR HELP
Stop trying to work it out on your own. Be honest with the Holy Spirit about your difficulties, and ask Him for help.
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