September 21, 2004

devotion

devotions... I don't know if this word means the same thing to everybody, but in many Christian circles the word "devotions" is referring to the time that we set apart to "devote" to God. Ususally some reading of a passage of the Bible, and a little time in prayer will suffice for most of us. But is that really sufficient?

I love being able to check items off of my Palm Pilot "to-do" list, but is that all devotions are? Some heavenly "to-do" item, that we are able to check off for the day? Is a simple reading of the Word of God adequate, or is there more that is expected? Or maybe that is the wrong question entirely. Maybe it isn't that we are doing the wrong thing, maybe we are just doing it the wrong way. Could it be that Godly devotion just isn't complete without a heart-felt delight. Consider this Psalm:
How blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.

The wicked are not so,
But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked will perish.
--Psalm 1

As I type out this Psalm, I know that my own time that I spend reading the Bible and praying has been feeling a little incomplete lately. I had decided to read through the Psalms again, and after I read that first chapter, I was reminded again of how important it is to delight in God's Law.

That word delight means to take pleasure in. Not just set aside some time, but to truly value the very words of God. Maybe my pitiable little devotions are useless if I have not set my heart upon the truth.

And notice that a man's delight is going to be somewhere. Either in the way of the world, or in the truth. It is going to be one or the other.

Ahhh... but the results of delighting in the Way of God will be stable, nourishing and fruitful. There is value in that. It is only, and I repeat ONLY, when your value is placed in Him that you will have a prosperous life.

If you have set your heart on finding delight in anything else, turn away! They are useless, and you will also be useless. You will be like the Chaff that the wind drives away. Flee from those delights!