Let your heart therefore be wholly devoted to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and to keep His commandments, as at this day. (1 Kings 8:61)
We live in an espresso culture. It is a world of fast food joints and digital satellite cable, Lamborghini Diablos and 15-pound remote controls. Life in the U.S. (for most) has morphed into a give-it-to-me-now-and-give-it-to-me-quick society. Much of this mentality has trickled into the Church. Services have become more cutting edge and “listener friendly.” I am not necessarily saying this is wrong. In fact, I think much of it is needed in order to reach people today, but in the process of morphing, much of our verbiage in the church — our Christian lingo — has come to mirror that of a society that we should be attempting not to emulate.
Christian pop culture is eating up certain words. “Devotions” is one that has caught hold of our tongues. The term “devotions,” as I know it, represents a short stint of the Christian’s day that is spent in prayer, Bible reading and perhaps even a bit of silent meditation (for the advanced). All of this sounds great to the naked ear. But this is where it goes out the other side. When did our devotion to God become a cliché we use flippantly to represent a five-minute spiritual shot in the arm? I’m certainly not saying that Bible reading, prayer and meditation are wrong or bad, but in reality, some Christians are treating these valuable connection pathways as easy-bake formulas for spiritual growth.
We must be careful to not approach our devotion for God like we do our mocha latte—quick, sweet and tastefully enduring. The purpose of meeting God through dialogue and interaction is not merely to keep us spiritually “awake” throughout the day; rather, its design is encompassed in time spent together for relational intimacy and connection. We’re not supposed to think of Him throughout our day with a tinge of remembrance of our brief morning meeting. God wants a different place in our lives: He helps us endure through His lasting goodness so that our whole lives might be offered up as a devotion to Him.
Singer and songwriter Keith Green said it best, “Make my life a devotion to You.” I think Keith’s heart would be saddened to see the dead-end recipe Christian pop-culture has designated to the life experience of devotion: two cups John 14, one ounce silent meditation, three tablespoons intercessory prayer — perhaps the reason these measurements aren’t cutting it for Christians is because they were never meant to. God’s design for our lives is that prayer, reading, worship and meditation be used as life expressions to grow in love and intimacy with the Father. Isn’t that why we’re all here anyway, to be closer to Him?
Why do you journey down the road of Christianity? Why are you a Jesus-follower? Have you attempted to concoct a fancy life of devotion, but instead of closeness your efforts have only served to produce mushy gunk? If so, my suggestion is to try talking with God. Spend some time with Him just because. Throw away the time card and instead of punching in every day … just never punch out.
Dear Lord, let my life be a devotion to You. Please forgive me for limiting my time with You. I want to spend every moment with you, not just a few minutes each day.