As a Christian having a devotional life is not optional it is essential. Having a devotional life means carving out time with just you and God. But why is this ‘essential’?
The devotional life is more than just a quick glance at the Bible and a hurried prayer with a wish list to God. When sin entered the world there was a separation between us and God, and the image He created us in became marred. Therefore He sent Jesus to bring us back to Him and also to restore us in his image. Accepting Jesus is only part of it we must also becoming like Him (that is, have a character like His).
How do we become like Jesus?
The same mind that is in Jesus need to also be in us (Philippians 2:5-8). When I first realised this I was intimidated by how high the bar is, but the great news is that we don’t have to do it of our own strength!
2 Corinthians 3:18 explains how this works:
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. – 2 Corinthians 2:18
Let’s break this down:
1. With unveiled face – We have the privilege of seeing Jesus as He is through His word, with no obstructions. He has made Himself accessible to us through the Bible, but sometimes we ‘veil’ our faces by neglecting to read the Bible or by being satisfied with a superficial reading of His word.
2. Beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord – ‘Beholding’ suggests more than a passing glance we need to study His character. His glory is His character, when Moses asked God to show him God’s glory, God showed Moses His character (Exodus 33:18,19 & Exodus 34:6,7).
Our minds work in such a way that it is shaped by what we spend our time on. Thoughts, become actions, when repeated become habits then eventually just part of who we are, our character. We become that which we behold, by reading the Bible we can then experience the change God promises.
Even when you don’t feel like it, or when you can’t see the change in your life, have a conversation with God about it and ask Him to give you that desire. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. (Philippians 2:13)
3. Are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory – Our characters become more and more and more like Him. This is the journey of sanctification, it may seem like lifelong process, because it is. Just as a tree that is growing you may not see thE changes daily, but it is growing. It is the same with us. If you can’t see the changes, don’t be discouraged – God promises to complete the process.
Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. – Philippians 1:6
4. By the Spirit of the Lord – the last part of the verse says this is done through the power of the Holy Spirit. We need the Holy Spirit to do the transformation. How do we get the Holy Spirit? Jesus said “Ask, and you will receive.” Matthew 7:7 and James says we have not, because we ask not (James 4:2). He has already promised us the Holy Spirit, so ask and be ready to receive Him!
The devotional life consists of reading the Bible and prayer daily and making a commitment to do it consistently that it becomes a habit.
We would love to hear about how you developed your devotional life and how that has helped you grow spiritually.