Friday, August 19, 2016

Maximising The Blessedness of A Devotional.

Memory Verse: "...give me understanding, and I shall live." (Ps.119:1KJV)

Scripture Reading: Mk.1:35.

May be you're like the one who's asking to know, "How can I maximize the benefit of reading a devotional?" Today's meal was specially prepared for you. Please, eat.

[Spiritual] understanding is very vital in this kingdom that we belong to if we must reap the dividends of our walk with God.

Without a proper understanding, devotions [and of course, reading a devotional] would become mere routines where we appear before God to fulfil all righteousness and we be like, "Lord, in case you're taking attendance, mark me present. I came today." I used to say this a whole lot.

Don't be like my former me because you will just be bored, frustrated and then, you would finally give up. And trust me, the devil will be super excited because he knows that he already has you where he has always wanted you to be. Would you let him? I don't think so.

The purpose of reading a devotional is primarily for deepening our walk with God. It is also for the purpose of communion and fellowship. And because each of us have a unique relationship with God due to the uniqueness of our individual destinies, no one devotional pattern will work for everyone. And no one way works for anyone all of the time. Experiment until you find the time of day, content, and length of time spent that helps you feel connected with God. Meanwhile, you might adopt my pattern.

  • Ask the Lord to help you choose a devotional.
God knows 'who' He's connected your destiny with. He knows 'who' is carrying the word and fire you need. Before I began writing Food 4 My Spirit Devotional, He choose Open Heavens Devotional and later He led me to Seed of Destiny Devotional by Pastors E. A. Adeboye and Paul Enenche respectively. Sweets, when you allow God to choose a devotional for you, it makes it easier for you to connect and be blessed. One more thing you also enjoy is that, "there are some days the words looked like the writer had you in mind when (s)he was writing that particular topic and there it is, you find the answer(s) to the questions that have been tugging your heart."

  • Spend few minutes in thanksgiving, worship, praise and prayer.
After He has connected you with one, do these before you begin. This is what I say to Him, "Lord, as I'm about to study today's focus, speak my destiny forward by Your word even as You open my heart to receive my word of advancement, in Jesus name, Amen."

  • Quiet Your spirit man and read.
Do not just read the body of the devotional. Meditate on the memory verse and the other bible passages.

  • Wait.
Don't be in hurry to close the book or get off the page (if you are reading from the internet). Wait to see what words, feelings or images rose in your heart or tug at your thoughts. Also, take time to notice what situation(s) or people come to your mind.

  • Write.
You will know you just wasted your devotional time when after reading, your note is empty. By implication, you did not see anything new from God's word. You also did not hear anything new. You ought to see and hear something new every time you read the bible. It was the Resident Pastor of the church where I worship that said, "Anytime I read my bible and I keep seeing the same things I have been seeing before. I close my bible and begin to pray in tongues for few minutes and then I open my bible again and this time, I see new things." This scripture confirms this (actually one of my favourite) and I think you should see it- Is.50:4. 

  • Pray [Again].
This time, you are simply asking to connect with the required grace to put to work (to do) that which you have learnt. You are simply connecting with the spirit of obedience to carry out whatever instruction(s) you received from the Lord as it relates to you. Remember, Phil.2:13? Also, be sure to heartily pray the prayer provided at the end of the devotional message.

Finally, please note that consistency and creativity are the rules of the game. The most important thing to remember as we try to grow close(r) to God is that God is already reaching out to us. God is the one who gives us the desire to grow, and God wants us to grow. Ours is continue showing up, even when we don't particularly feel holy or loving or eager. And we can trust that if we do so in truth, God will show up, too.

Ponder Point: Understanding is much deeper than knowledge.

Action Point: Seek understanding.

Prayer Point: Father, let every of my mornings spent with you in pure devotion make me a better believer than I was yesterday in Jesus name, Amen.

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