On Doing Devotions Well
The heart and soul of our devotion to God, in our time of devotions, to use an old but good word, must be the Word of God. Of all the spiritual disciplines, the Word must be the center, and the center of the Word is Christ. This time of singular and focused devotion requires the help of the Spirit and so requires our sincere prayer to him for help. Humility in our inability to derive benefit all by ourselves must be at the heart of devotions. We must read with the diligent openness to be honest with ourselves and the truth of the words we read as God reveals our thoughts, attitudes, actions, words that require attention. The text we read is divinely ordered to do supernatural work in a heart that is prepared and ready with a receptive and repentant attitude. The words we are reading are not just notions, they are spiritual truths meant to abide, remain, and live in our own hearts. Our deepest being is meant to be molded by these words. For this to happen we must be diligent to be honest, humble, and deeply inquisitive. We are reading the Word of Life, and they require diligent attentiveness. The pathway is the power of the Holy Spirit by the ordinary reading of the Scriptures. To paraphrase John Owen “the deep and abiding spiritual sense of the thing must abide in our heart.” So, as we sit in quietness and still our souls, humbly ask for help, and trustingly open our hearts to: encouragement, rebuke, care, teaching, pathways to love, and new life from God.