Have you ever drank stagnant water before? You don’t want to! Trust me. It’s bitter and nasty. Did you know that when water just sits, it becomes a breeding ground for mosquitos that carry diseases, along with Malaria and dengue? As Christians, our spiritual lives should look like mighty rushing waters! When we don’t live out our purpose, we become like stagnant water.
Do you know what the goal of the Christian life is? According to 2 Corinthians 3:18, everyone that has become a child of God “can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image (NLT).”
As we wait for Christ’s return, Christians are supposed to increasingly reflect the likeness of Christ. When we begin to look more like Christ (from the inside out) we experience spiritual growth. Bible scholars called this process “sanctification.” To be “sanctified” means to be set apart for God. Have you been taking steps forward or backward in your spiritual growth? Are you growing spiritually or have you become stagnant? If you’re looking for a way to jumpstart your spiritual growth, start doing daily devotions!
Doing “daily devotions,” “having a quiet time,” and “spending time with God” are a few names used to describe setting aside time to read the Bible, meditate on the scriptures, and pray to God. Here are four ways doing daily devotions boosts your spiritual growth.
1. Doing daily devotions strengthens your personal relationship with God.
Do you find yourself thinking of God like a distant, intimidating judge who’s only interested in your failures? Do you feel like you can approach God like a daughter draws near to her father? There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging God’s holiness, but know that God is very personal. He desires a relationship with you.
Because God is a creative being, it pleased Him to make humanity and to allow us to be living, breathing masterpieces that display His glory (Isa 43:7; Rom 11:36). God didn’t create man because He was lonely. He’s always been totally satisfied and sufficient within Himself (John 5:26; Isa 40:28; Acts 17:24-25). However, God is personal and He delights in expressing Himself in relationship with other beings, so God created man in order that we may know Him and enjoy Him (Acts 16:26-27).
The Gospel teaches us that in order to have a personal relationship with Christ, we must recognize our need for God’s forgiveness of our sins and put our trust in Jesus. As Christians, we are God’s children and have complete access to Him like a daughter has to her loving father.
When we consider the marks of our most intimate relationships, those filled with good communication, genuine love, and consistent fellowship satisfy us the most! In doing daily devotions, we’re able to hear God speak through His Word, He exposes our weaknesses and reveals His grace to us in meditation, and we have the privilege of sharing what’s on our hearts to Him in prayer. A relationship with God that progressively deepens simultaneously increases our spiritual growth.
2. Doing daily devotions exposes your spiritual weaknesses.
Doing daily devotions keeps God’s Word before you. When we consider the goodness of God through the daily reading of His Word, we can’t help but recognize our own shortcomings. This does two things:
- It reminds us that grace is a gift from God.
- It teaches us to extend grace to others, even when we don’t think they deserve it. (After all, Christians don’t deserve grace, but as His children God continues to show it to us.)
As you acknowledge the sinful nature in your own heart, you become more aware that God knows best and you don’t. When you recognize how faulty you are and how perfect God is, you realize how critical it is to set aside time to read God’s Word, meditate, and pray to Him on a daily basis. Spiritual growth is the fruit of the Christian that labors to know God’s ways and honor Him in all that we do. The best way to start is by devoting yourself to spending time with Him each day!
3. Doing daily devotions binds anxiety.
Anxiety sucks for a couple of reasons. First off, who feels like worrying all of the time? Ain’t nobody got time for that. Second, anxiety is the antithesis (the opposite) of trusting God. When we start getting anxious, we start contemplating disobeying God and compromising in our faith. Have you ever been worried about paying a bill and thought to yourself: “I’m just going to skip paying my tithes this month and I’ll double up another time.” Have you ever been afraid to share your faith because you didn’t want to be rejected by someone? These are common examples of the things we do when we allow our anxiety to overpower our faith.
Reading the Bible everyday helps us hide His Word in our hearts. Instead of focusing on our problems, we can spend time remembering God’s promises. His truth never changes and we can count on God to deliver because He’s not a liar. If you want peace of mind God’s Word has to be on the forefront of your heart, not an afterthought! Spending less time anxious about life’s problems, means spending more time learning how to please God and that means spiritual growth!
4. Doing daily devotions makes you more intentional about pursuing God.
We have to learn to stop separating spiritual issues from practical everyday life. If you wanted to lose weight (the healthy way), do you think you could do it without a plan? Could you lose weight without setting aside time to exercise or without changing your diet? No, ma’am! We have to be realistic here. You don’t lose weight on accident (unless you’re sick), and you don’t grow spiritually on accident either! If you choose to be passive about spiritual growth then you’re definitely going to become stagnant!
When you decide to make spending time with God a priority, you make a conscious decision to pursue the Lord everyday. This is the kind of commitment it takes to become more like Christ.
I hope this article revealed to you the importance of spending time with God via the practice of daily devotions. Personally, I began to appreciate my relationship with God so much more when I spent time in His Word, meditated on it, and prayed to Him on a consistent basis. It opened my eyes to how relevant my relationship with God is to my everyday life!