Lesson 45 - Developing a Daily Devotional Time, Part 1
By Frank Eiklor and the Shalom Team
ST. PAUL SCHOOL OF LEADERSHIP
“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (I Corinthians 11:1)
Lesson 45 - DEVELOPING A DAILY DEVOTIONAL TIME (Part 1)
If I asked you to put into one word what you thought to be the most important ingredient to any relationship, what would you answer? Probably the word, “communication.” I know that's the word I would choose, whether in a parent-child relationship, marriage, job, or whatever. When communication breaks down, so does a relationship. And when a relationship breaks down, there's usually a painful separation.
I want to discuss the most important relationship you'll ever have—one with the God who made the universe—and who made you. Are you aware that most Christians—and perhaps most ministers—do not maintain a daily quiet time with the Lord? By “quiet time” I mean a priority time set aside each day for the express purpose of a love relationship with Jesus Christ. That means a time in the Word where God can speak to you as well as a time in quiet listening and prayer where you pour out your feelings and needs to Him.
This lesson will change your life, if you'll let it. But you'll have to make up your mind that it will take self-discipline and will-power strengthened by the Holy Spirit in order to create a new life-changing habit—a daily devotional time with the Lord who desires to love and lead you.
DEVELOP THE HABIT
Most Christians agree that they should have a quiet time daily with the Lord. And most want to—with all their hearts. But “desire” and “action” are two different things.
Christ transformed my life when I served in Asia as a U.S. Marine. I was excited that God was alive. The pages of the Bible became God's voice to my mind and heart. That's when something happened to me as natural as breathing and which I only analyzed months later after meeting my first Christians and hearing the term “daily devotions” and “quiet time with the Lord.” What took place convinces me that a devotional with God is not a human idea, or one based on traditions, but on the Spirit of God Himself. I didn't meet a Christian for some three months after arriving in the Far East, but each day as I would wake I was drawn to the Scriptures like metal to a magnet.
And prayer! Prayer was like breathing and no one had to teach me to breathe. I just talked and talked to God—He and I—sometimes for hours until a sense of time was lost just like it is with two lovers.
It was “first-love” and I couldn't get enough of my Lord. Only later did I learn that what I was doing each morning and again at night could be called a “quiet time” or “daily devotions”.
This habit has continued through the years. Time alone with God continues to be my greatest source of power and my secret place for spiritual preparation. We all face tests and temptations. Over the years, I have seen many good men and women of God, who didn't think it was important to maintain a daily devotional alone with the Lord, fall into sin and walk away from God.
Some of them called my devotional time “bondage,” but I knew it was liberty. Some ridiculed it as “salvation by works,” but the Lord reminded me it was working out my salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). Some thought that just accepting Jesus meant that He would prevent them from ever falling, and that spiritual discipline was not important. But I heard Him whisper, “Let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).
Is there anything more important than giving God a special time each day where you close out the world's sights and sounds and seek the voice of the Holy Spirit? The Lord has so much to give you if you will develop the habit to “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10).
In Part 2, we will learn a specific plan of action to develop this most important event in your day. Go to part 2 now.
Review other parts of this lesson here