#SheReadsTruth

Dear World Changer,

As promised at Radiate, we are posting the break out sessions on our blog so you have the chance to sort of “attend” them all! Here is #SheReadsTruth by Ahiney…

In life, there are very few certainties. One thing I have come to know to be true is that cultivating a devotional life is integral to our spiritual growth in our walk with Jesus. I am going to share what I have learned so far in leading a devotional life into two parts.

Part One: The importance of leading a devotional life

 An example I will use to demonstrate the importance of leading a devotional life is a man named Daniel (he also has book in the Old Testament named after him). Before I turn to the scripture, I’m going to give you some background.

Scripture Background

Daniel was a highly regarded leader in Babylon. He was known for being incredibly wise and for his godly character. Prominent people of his time such as royalty sought is advice and counsel. One day, the King of Babylon King Darius issues a decree that said a person who prays to anyone except him shall be punished by being thrown into the lion’s den. It’s crucial recognize that in Daniel’s time, when a king gave a decree you had to obey. A decree from the king was a big deal.

With that context it leads me to the passage Daniel 6: 10-13 where it says the following:

10 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. 11 Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God. 12 Then they came near and said before the king, concerning the injunction, “O king! Did you not sign an injunction, that anyone who makes petition to any god or man within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?” The king answered and said, “The thing stands fast, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked.” 13 Then they answered and said before the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or the injunction you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.”

 From this passage, we learn that Daniel is clearly in a difficult situation. His praying to God has just landed him in the lion’s den.

It raises the question of what sustained Daniel to confront being in the lion’s den?

 The answer to that question is his devotional life.

 The bottom line I want you to take away from this post is:

 Leading a devotional life isn’t about developing a routine. It’s about actively engaging in a process of becoming who Jesus has called us to be.

There are two things Daniel 6: 10-13 teaches us about what is required to have a meaningful devotional life:

 

  1. Consistency
  • Read verse 10
  • Daniel’s devotional life with God involved praying.
  • Despite the trouble he was facing, it did not stop him from spending time with God.
  • There is a difference between consistency and routine. Consistency demonstrates a level of commitment to completing something with excellence. Whereas routine is about getting something done out of obligation.

 

  1. A heart of submission towards God

 

  • Once again going back to verse ten. I want to turn your attention to the phrase: “…and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously”
  • This part of passage demonstrates is posture of Daniel’s heart when he came before God. He was humble and thankful. His regular time with God wasn’t just a good habit. It became a way of life.
  • For us to have meaningful devotional lives it must be motivated by our hearts, not our heads. As I mentioned earlier, leading a devotional life is about being actively engaged in a process of becoming all that Jesus wants us to be.
  • Jesus transforms us from the inside out and the heart is place where it all happens.

 My devotional life/thoughts

 Now, with Daniel as our example. I want to give you a glimpse into my devotional life.

 

  • The location of my devotional time is my room
  • I do my devotions in the morning before I do anything else.
  • I use the app my Our Daily Bread and go through the devotional for that day.
  • Prayer
  • Spend time in worshipping in song

For me, I’ve learned that leading a devotional life is not a one-time thing. It’s a daily practice. What I’ve noticed that more I consistently spend time with God it anchors my faith and who I am as a person. Having a devotional life brings us the godly perspective we need in our lives.

Part Two: How do you lead a devotional life?

 Tips on how to lead a devotional life

 

  • There is no ‘right’ way to lead a devotional life. There are many ways to lead a devotional life and it looks different for each person. Do what works for you!
  • Share your devotional life with others. As much as your devotional life is about you and Jesus, share what you’re learning with others. You can teach others something but they can teach you something too.
  • Write about your devotional journey. It’s so important to write about what you’re learning in your relationship with Jesus. It’s a way for you to track how you’re growing and can help to identify where you still to grow.
  • Be consistent. In ways, such as: time of day, what you do (i.e. reading a chapter in the bible, a study etc.). Like anything else in life, leading a devotional life does require discipline!

 Examples of resources you can use in your devotions

 

  • She Reads Truth (an app that is on iTunes) –however, you have to pay for certain plans but they are very affordable.
  • Our Daily Bread (an app that is on iTunes) –I use this one personally have done so for the past two years. When I bought the app, it was 0.99 cents.

 

  • She Reads Truth and Our Daily Bread apps are resources that have reading plans that are designed to make you read the Bible. I would choose resources that lead you to do that. There is nothing like reading the Bible for yourself.

 

  • Propel Women – this online forum was founded by Christine and Nick Caine. It contains fantastic articles and other resources that champion women of all ages and stages in Christ. Here is the website propelwomen.org
  • Subscribe to churches and Christian artists on YouTube – this is something I do personally. Some of the churches and Christian artists I subscribe to on YouTube are:
    • Bethel Music, Elevation Worship, Hillsong (United, Worship and Young & Free), Vertical Church Band, Kari Jobe, Housefires
    • Elevation Church, Hillsong Church

 

  • Propel Women and YouTube subscriptions are resources I would characterize as supplementary resources that can help to enhance your devotional time. I would be careful to use such resources as the primary source of doing your devotions. The reason being it’s important to remember that the speaker/pastor, or writer has gone through a process with God to create thing we resonate with (i.e. sermon, song, article). I’m not saying you cannot be blessed a sermon or an article. As individuals, we too need to be in daily interaction in the ways in which Jesus wants to grow us. Therefore, you cannot rely on someone to develop your relationship with Jesus.

 

My dear world changer I leave you with these final thoughts:

 

  1. NOW is the time to cultivate a strong devotional life. Don’t wait till you’re older to build your foundation in the Lord. What you do now will serve you well in the future.
  2. A meaningful devotional life is a lifetime process you engage in Some days will be hard, some will be amazing. Do not give into your feelings, pursue the Lord for who He.
  3. You have to choose to spend time with Jesus. The question is not whether Jesus wants be in relationship with us. He made His decision when He died on the cross for humanity. The question is do you want to be in relationship with Him.

 

No matter what life brings, know that Jesus wants you to come before Him just as you are. You do not need to prove you’re worthy to come to Him. He died so that you can access Him freely with no barrier.

Ahiney

XOXO

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