Living a Life of Devotion
// Denise Burns
If you're like me, you probably feel like you lead a crazy, hectic life. I'm a wife, a mom to two boys who play every sport imaginable, and I work full time.
Because things are so busy, I've had to come to terms with what it means to have a devotional life. I used to think it was just another one of those things I had to do. But when I looked up devotion in the dictionary, I discovered something really interesting. Devotion is not a verb; it's a noun. In other words, it's not just something we do; it's something we are!
That completely changed my perspective. By definition, devotion is "love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or a cause." As believers, that means we should be love, loyalty, and enthusiasm for the Lord. We need to be focused on Him all the time. Devotion is a lifestyle, not just a time we set aside.
You need to understand a few things about this life of devotion. First, there is no condemnation in it. You shouldn't feel horrible if you're not able to spend an hour in prayer every morning and two hours reading your Bible in the evening. Those things are good, but there's no formula you have to follow. That's not what living a life of devotion is about!
Second, there is no cookie-cutter mold. You are who you are. God created you. He knows your personality and what makes you tick. You can't compare your life of devotion to another person's. You're not that person.
Third, your life of devotion doesn't stay the same. It will look different in different seasons of life—in the single season, in the kid season, in the empty-nest season. Be OK with it changing, because God is. He 100-percent understands.
Finally, your devotional life shouldn't be private. Everyone should know you love Jesus and you're enthusiastic for God.
If you have kids, they especially need to see your life of devotion. The Lord convicted me about this. He said, "Your children don't know you pray and spend time with Me. They need to know."
So I don't have a private devotional life anymore. And to be honest, it was frustrating at first. I'd be reading my Bible and every other verse my younger son would say, "Hey, Mom. What are you doing?" "Hey, Mom. Look at this!"
I thought this time was producing nothing good. But I learned that God's OK with interruptions. It's not really about us anyway. It's about living a constant life of devotion.
Before long I began to see what God had said to my heart. One day my younger son got curious and wanted to sit with me while I read my Bible. He asked what I was reading and then said, "How do you know what to read?"
Teachable moment! I was able to explain how I go about it. And he did his 6-year-old best to read his own Bible. Then he saw me pick up my highlighter. "I didn't know you colored when you read your Bible!"
Another teachable moment! I was able to explain that I highlight verses that speak to my heart—or ones I want to remember. So he ran and got a yellow crayon and just went to town with it! After a minute he said, "Mommy! Look how much God is speaking to me!"
Precious, right? My son learned something that will stick with him for the rest of his life. But this would never have happened if I'd kept my devotional life private.
I want my children—and others around me—to know what I stand for and how I live. That's my devotion to God my Father. That's living a life of devotion.
Everyone should know you love Jesus and you're enthusiastic for God.
Tips for Living a Life of Devotion
(Eph. 6:18). I pray at random times. I'm constantly aware that God is always with me.
Worship. When we praise God, He shows up in a big way (Ps. 22:3).
Read the Bible. The Bible is God speaking directly to you. It's living and powerful.
Journal. I write down verses that stand out to me and what
God's saying to me.
Devotional books. A good place to begin if you need a jump-start.
Denise Burns is Kenneth and Lynette Hagin's daughter and Student Ministries pastor at Rhema Bible Church.