Is Having Daily Devotions Biblical?
I always find myself coming up short whenever it comes to the matter of personal daily devotions. There is something inside of me that screams out, “This is legalism. Why should I have to have daily devotions? Why am I made to feel less than spiritual if I do not have devotions every day?” Someone might object, “It is not that I MUST have devotions every day. It is that I NEED to have devotions every day.” I cannot and will not argue that point. We NEED to commune with God every day not for His sake but for OUR sakes. That is a given. In other words, we cheat ourselves of priceless treasures that can set our hearts free (Psalm 119:32: I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!).
But, perhaps the better question to ask is this – What should my daily devotions look like? Is it a reading from “My Utmost for His Highest” or “Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening” or “Our Daily Bread?” Is it a passage from a one-year Bible? Is it a combination of all of these and more? Surely, those who depend on such resources for daily encouragement find gems that are designed to help turn their hearts toward our God. Yet I suggest that devotions that are a part of a broader regimen of the spiritual disciplines of grace inclusive of prayer, scripture and meditation reap sweeter fruit. All three are foundational to spiritual power and if any one of them is missing the process of spiritual maturation is short-circuited and our devotions long term can become nothing more than a legalistic exercise in futility. Don’t sell short the power of “tasting and seeing that the Lord is good! There are priceless benefits to be had when we spend time with Him on a regular basis. Don’t look at this as a drudge, a rule, but instead as an invitation – Again, “taste and see that the Lord is good.”
Prayer is our way of communicating with God. Scripture is God’s means of communication with us. The missing art of genuine spiritual meditation is how these two disciplines connect and lead to greater and greater spiritual maturity. What does this mean and how does this practically flesh out. Over the next few weeks in this devotional column I want to talk about all three of these elements. For now suffice it to say that unless all three of these disciplines are put into practice, your daily devotions are likely to lead to a spiritual dead end or at the least, a superficial relationship with the One Who invites you to go deep into His heart.
In His grip,
Chuck F. Betters
Digging Deeper: Psalm 119; Psalm 19
For a personal or small group Bible study that will take you deep into the hearts of men and women who transparently struggled with their personal relationship to God, check out Treasures of Faith: Living Boldly in View of God’s Promises by Chuck and Sharon Betters. http://markinc.org/ministries/treasures-of-faith/