Welcome to the first post of a three-part series called, Wholehearted seeking. This series is about seeking the Kingdom of God in three key aspects of our life. Part one is over our devotional life and what we do behind closed doors to seek God and to grow in relationship with Him. There are various ways to get alone time with God. But the point of focus is how important it is to get time with Him.
Focus and Purpose of Devotion
John 15:5 says “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” In this verse, Jesus is metaphorically drawing a picture that shows that we rely on Him. To bear fruit in life is to abide in Him and without abiding in Him we will bear no lasting fruit. How to abide in Him is having a lasting relationship with Him.
This Metaphoric picture supports that without a devotion life, knowledge of the Word and a prayer life we will not be able to have a sustainable relationship with Jesus. That is why before we talk about the different kind of disciplines we must know first and foremost that Jesus needs to be at the center of all we do. If we stop making Jesus the center and purpose of our life, all of our devotional disciplines are meaningless. The purpose of our devotion life is to know God better and to grow in Christ. Christ should be at the forefront of our minds in all we do, with a devotional life, we will grow in that.
“A minister may fill his pews, his communion roll, the mouths of the public, but what that minister is on his knees in secret before God Almighty, that he is and no more.”
Disciplines for devotion
Using the S.O.A.P. method is a great way to start a devotional routine. S.O.A.P. stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. This creates an outline of how to dissect scripture and how to grasp what God is saying in His Word. This format of Journaling was a great way for me to create a routine of spiritual discipline. Soaping is a great way to start journaling if you’ve never journaled before or struggle to journal well. It helps you get into a mindset to see what God is revealing to you.
Bible Reading Plans
Bible reading plans are a great way to keep a schedule to your reading and will help you see the Bible as a narrative for God’s purpose and glory in Jesus Christ. I use the Read Scripture app which is a Bible reading plan to read the whole Bible in a little under a year. Apps like this guide you through God’s Word to help you see how all scripture points to Christ.
Writing Out Your Prayers
This discipline is a discipline I’ve seen help a lot of people grow in their prayer life. It gives you the opportunity to see how you have grown in your relationship with God as time has gone on and you look back in your journal. For some people, writing out prayers can help them express what they are feeling in a more real way.
Praying through the Psalms
This is a discipline that will help you grow in your prayer life. What praying through the Psalms is, is praying God’s Word back to Him. It gives you the ability to relate to what the author was going through and soon you will be able to turn to a certain Psalm that relates to how you are feeling and you can pray through that. Praying through the Psalms will help you see how the authors prayed in different situations so you can formulate how to pray in times of rejoicing, crisis, mourning or praise. Praying through the Psalms is separate from your daily Bible reading, it is not a replacement.
Here are some resources on each discipline: