Debbie Salter Goodwin
Devotion: A Single Focus
To devote yourself to something is to lean hard into it, give it full focus, make it a priority. We devote ourselves to family as we meet the responsibilities of caring for their needs. However, if all we do is take care of responsibilities, devotion has no passion, no affection; only duty.
The same is true with our relationship to God. We use the word devotions (plural) more for the responsibility we feel to keep our relationship with God alive. Too often it is more about responsibility than passion. What brings the passion? What makes time with God a must-not-miss event? Is it the right reading, the right study, the right prayer, the right anything? No, it is about listening to the yearning of your heart in a way that opens you to the yearning of God’s heart.
How can you have that kind of time with God?
Let His thoughts about you grow greater than your thoughts about yourself.
Treat His will for you as His artistic plan to give you purpose and meaning.
Start where you are with awkwardness, longing, fear, hope. Nothing grows a relationship with God more than complete authenticity.
Know that until you meet God where He loves you the most, what He says won’t have the priority it deserves.
Do you see that a devotional time is a way to give God your single focused attention so He can tell you how much He loves you? His love is the starting place for all growth. All His answers come from His love. His love is your foundation, your level ground, you hiding place if you need it.
Whatever you read, study, think, or pray about; start with how much God loves you. He is the perfect parent who would never counsel his child to leave the protective boundaries of His all-love. He will nudge, whisper, discipline, remind as much as He needs to.
Quiet Circle Time
Read Psalm 139: 1-18. This is my go-to reminder of what God thinks about me. Take it in slowly. Read a verse or two a day and ask God to remind you of its truth as you deal with your day’s challenges. Don’t rush anything God wants you to know. You are the one with layers He has to remove so you can hear His love the way only you can hear it. After a few days, try personalizing or paraphrasing what a verse says to you about God’s attention toward you. Then, pray your response.
Is this a journey you want to take? A journey to find out just how deep God’s love is for you? I hope so. What God can do in a life devoted to understanding where His love leads is an amazing journey. Let’s take it together.