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Monday, September 15, 2008

I Want You To Grow Spiritually 1: Give Up Daily Devotions

What are daily devotions? For many, it is a daily time to be quiet with God and read the Bible, often a short devotional message and prayer. It's often done in the morning first thing.

[Oh Lord help me, cuz I'm gonna get thrown out of evangelicalism today.]

Give up daily devotions without guilt. Daily devotions isn't for everybody. If it's a chore and not devotion or if it's not helping you grow deeper in your relationship with God let it go. For some, you need to let go of the ideal of daily devotions that you are not attaining and feeling guilty about.

Sometimes we make devotions a benchmark of our faith and not relationship with Christ. Devotions does no good for anyone when they are doing it to just check off the list but really are not doing it with a sense of devotion of God.

Let me say that again. Daily devotions, or daily quiet time, or whatever you want to call it, just isn't helpful for everyone, especially when it's done out of obligation.

For some daily devotions feels like they segment their day and give this small part to God and then feel like they are supposed to go out and live the rest of the day on their own. "See you tomorrow God! Thanks for listening!" Some want to live all moments of every day devoted to God in constancy in all they do. A daily quiet time doesn't work for them.

Some people have ADHD or some variant honest-to-goodness physician diagnosed mood disorder where a quiet time is extremely difficult. And their overwhelming repeated sense of failure from not being able to do it makes it difficult to enjoy God.

Some just aren't morning people.

For some they need the strength that a quiet time gives them. They start their day and God's word and a devotional guide strengthens for the emerging day. For others, it just doesn't. They feel strengthened by God right from the start and connect with him throughout the day.

Daily devotions doesn't please God. Devotion to him does.

If daily devotions aren't working for you let them go or take a vacation from them and don't feel guilty about it. You can always pick them back up again if you miss or need them. You won't lose your faith or go to hell. God won't be angry.

Let's work on finding what does feed your soul if a daily quiet time does not.

This is part 1 in a 20 part series on spiritual growth. If you feel like you are not growing deeper in your faith or relationship to God, if you not loving and serving others more, if you have a sense of 'stuckness' in your spiritual journey, and you really want to grow ——— the answer might not be to try harder. All too often I have heard the same solutions offered over and over. All you have to do is have daily devotions, pray more, read more of the Bible, be in worship every week and get more involved in the church. In other words try harder.

Sometimes that doesn't work and I'm going to offer some suggestions that might help you move forward.

Comments on "I Want You To Grow Spiritually 1: Give Up Daily Devotions"


Blogger Emery said ... (3:02 PM, September 15, 2008) : 



Blogger Stacey Littlefield said ... (4:17 PM, September 15, 2008) : 

Richard Foster suggest that, for some of us (many?), the answer (or only possibility) may be in planning a weekly time of prayer where we give ourselves more intentionally to communing with God. For others a couple of times a week. And some come to God joyfully on a daily (or almost) basis. Dallas Willard suggest we NEED some times of "intensity" in order to grow and be spiritually formed. Personally, I have not used any kind of a devotional reading guide for years... I just try to spend time with God and not worry about "getting anything out of it". That, too, is part of the problem. We don't know how to approach time with God without thinking about what's in it for us.


Blogger theultrarev said ... (7:30 PM, September 15, 2008) : 

Thanks for your comment Revinator. You see my point. I hate to be too utilitarian about the whole thing but if it works great! If it doesn't work fix it, even delete it, and don't feel guilty about it. Devotion to God Himself is more important than the act of "doing daily devotions".


Blogger Chris Lascano said ... (9:17 PM, September 16, 2008) : 

I have been saying the same thing for years. Now they can call you crazy too.


Blogger theultrarev said ... (1:12 PM, September 17, 2008) : 

Seems I'm in good company.


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