Your Daily Devotion and the Law of IntentionOctober 31, 2013
Casual Christianity is the curse of the culture. The church seems to be producing more fans these days than actual players. We fill our “stadiums” from week to week; we cheer, shout, and hold up our spiritual banners; but the truth is, once the “game” is over we leave with little or no intention of living out what we have heard.
God never intended for us to carry our crosses, pray, read Scripture, and share our testimonies only on Sundays.
A life committed to Christ requires a daily dose of the divine. You may not go to church every day, but you are the church every day! Following Christ daily is not a suggestion, it is an overt commandment, “Take up your cross and follow me daily.”
Daily. Say it out loud, write it down, and underline it. Yes, it is that important. It could very well be the missing ingredient to your spiritual well-being. Understanding and implementing this word is the difference between apathy and advancement.
Like anything else, devotion must be cultivated in our minds and then our schedules; it must be an intentional way of life.
William Law said, “The reason why you see no real mortification or self-denial, no eminent charity, no profound humility, no heavenly affection, no true contempt of the world, no Christian meekness, no sincere zeal, no eminent piety in the common lives of Christians, is this, because they do not so much as intend to be exact and exemplary in these virtues.” In short, people fail to incorporate daily disciplines because they have overlooked them…purposely.
I have never used an alarm clock. My wife has always been amazed at my ability to get up without any assistance from obnoxious sounds. To be honest, I am pretty good at it. It is though I have an internal timer that arouses my senses to whatever hour of my choosing. The reason I can get up at whatever time is because I intend to do so; I have purposed in my mind to get up. I lay down with that intention; I rise up to that reality. The same is true with the devotional life.
The reason why many Christians will never know the joy of daily devotion is because they have failed to make it their goal.
They intend to do other things: work, play, rest, read, sleep, exercise, go to the ball game, and whatever else. Their schedules are kept and maintained through the forces of priority and intention. In spite of busy, hectic schedules, they find themselves in an unsuccessful search for meaning, fulfillment, and contentment. William Law again gives insight to this quandary, “We can no more be said to live unto God, unless we live unto Him in all the ordinary actions of our life, unless He be the rule and measure of all our ways.”
Like any other discipline, daily devotions must be regimented and regularly maintained until it becomes a natural inclination. Devotions should not be habitual in the sense of being robotic or mechanical, but they should be integrated in such a way that we grieve if they are forfeited. How can we honestly face the complications of the day if we fail to meet with the Creator of the day?