When you think about what daily devotion looks like, what comes to mind? Reading the Bible? Praying? While those things are important, there are a lot of different ways to live out this rhythm. Everyone is different and connects with God in unique ways, however daily devotion is like eating a well balanced meal. There are a lot of different ways to connect with God and learn more about who he is, but combining them creates a full recipe for growth.
- Reading scripture
The Bible is an incredible gift that we can use to understand more about who God is and what he says about situations in all areas of our lives. There is so much wisdom, encouragement, and hope found in its pages. It’s made up of poems, songs, letters, chronologies, and prophecies that, all together, tell the true story of God’s love for us. We believe that scripture is God-breathed – or inspired by God – and that while we can see the different personalities and voices of the writers, the content is from God himself. A lot can be learned about the character of God and what it means to be a Christ follower as we read its pages.
Prayer is a very important part of daily devotion. In fact, we believe prayer is so important that we dedicated an entire Rhythm to it. Prayer is communication with God. We will be talking more about this next week.
The idea of journaling may not sound super exciting to some, while to others it may be really enjoyable to put pen to paper. Either way, taking time to document your thoughts, whether it’s in an actual journal or in your phone’s notes app, can be a powerful tool in daily devotion. Putting your thoughts down is a helpful way of focusing during your daily devotion time. It can help you keep your mind from wandering and getting distracted. Journaling can also become a great tool to help you see how much you have grown and reflect back on the ways God has answered your prayers or transformed your desires.
A helpful way to guide yourself through journaling is the SOAP acronym:
Scripture: Begin by taking some time to read scripture.
Observation: After reading, document what you have observed from your reading.
Application: Take some time to think and write about how this could be applied to your life. What can you learn from this passage?
Prayer: Finally, take some time to pray. It can be a helpful practice to write out your prayers.
- Reading Devotional Material
In addition to reading the Bible, there are wonderful materials out there that can supplement your scripture reading. There are different devotionals, Bible studies, and books that can help you learn more about scripture and its meaning. While devotional material should not replace your time reading the Bible, it is a helpful supplement as you grow.
- Weekly Sabbath
God designed sabbath for his people right from the outset of creation. We read in Genesis 2 that even God rested from the work he had been doing and made that seventh day of creation holy [set apart]. He used this day as an opportunity to appreciate the work he accomplished over the previous six days and delight in it. When the Ten Commandments were given, God’s people were expected to rest, give thanks, and delight in their work once a week. Taking a break is often not something we are used to in our fast-paced society, but it’s essential to our rhythms if we want to live in the abundance that God promises (John 10:10). When we honor the Sabbath and use that time to rest and reconnect with God, He is faithful to help us get everything done in the other six days of the week.
This list is fluid and will look different for everyone. Some days you may spend more time in prayer while others you may find journaling or reading is how you connect best with God. Find what works for you, and don’t be afraid to mix it up. If your daily devotion starts to feel like a chore in a way that you lose sight of deepening your relationship with God, it may be an invitation to change your routine. If you need some help getting started, try practicing Sabbath for a whole day, journaling for the first time, or praying in a different location.
Which of the examples of daily devotion listed above are you going to commit to this week?
How can you make room in your life to slow down and devote time to hearing from God?
What questions do you still have about God?