Devotionals Aren’t Magic

We sometimes can treat our daily time in the word (devotional) as something either we check off our list, or something we must do for our day to be ok (nothing bad to happen).

Jon Bloom at Desiring God has a good response about what our daily time in the Word of God really is about.

#1 Soul Exercise (1 Corinthians 9:24, Romans 15:4): We exercise our bodies to increase strength, endurance, promote general health, and keep unnecessary weight off. Devotions are like exercise for our souls. They force our attention off of self-indulgent distractions and pursuits and on to God’s purposes and promises. If we neglect this exercise we will go to pot.

#2 Soul Shaping (Romans 12:2): The body will generally take the shape of how we exercise it. Running shapes one way, weight training shapes another way. The same is true for the soul. It will conform to how we exercise (or don’t exercise) it.

#3 Bible Copiousness (Psalm 119:11, Psalm 119:97, Proverbs 23:12): A thorough, repeated, soaking in the Bible over the course of years increases our body of biblical knowledge, providing fuel for the fire of worship and increasing our ability to draw from all parts of the Bible in applying God’s wisdom to life.

#4 Fight Training (Ephesians 6:10-17): Marines undergo rigorous training in order to so ingrain their weapons knowledge that when suddenly faced with the chaos of combat they instinctively know what to do. Similarly, devotions make us more skilled warriors.

#5 Delight Cultivation (Psalm 37:3-4, James 4:8, Psalm 130:5): When a couple falls in love there are hormonal fireworks. But in marriage they must cultivate delight in one another. It is the consistent, persistent, faithful, intentional, affectionate pursuit of one another during better and worse, richer and poorer, sickness and healthy times that cultivates a capacity for delight in each other far deeper and richer than the fireworks phase. Similarly, devotions are one of the ways we cultivate delight in God. Many days it may seem mundane. But we will be surprised at the cumulative power they have to deepen our love for and awareness of Him.

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