A Devotional Life

A common phrase used in my earlier years as believer in Jesus was to “have devotions.” People kept one another “accountable” by asking, “Are you having devotions?” The idea of accountability could be the subject of another whole blog, but for this one, I was reflecting on the idea of having devotions contrasted with living a devotional life.

Is there a difference between devoting a certain amount of time each day to reading the Bible and praying and to living a life devoted to God?

Yes! There is a drastic difference between setting aside a portion of my day to devote to God and practicing the presence of God all day as Brother Lawrence advocated. The letters contained in the book, Practicing the Presence of God, were written in 1666, yet the insights are still relevant today. Throughout our days, our spirit can always be attentive to His presence with us and our ears attune to His voice. Therefore, we are continually having inner conversations with the Lord (prayer) throughout our day. We are hearing God’s guidance, correction or encouragement and responding to Him.

In the first case, our devotional time is a similar to a piece of a pie. We compartmentalize our lives so God governs one area, but we tend to let the world, our desires or the voices or others permeate everything else. When we are living a devotional life, every minute of my day becomes an act of worship.

When we “have devotions,” we get our “marching orders,” and depart to accomplish what we think the Lord wants. However, our tendency is to fall back on our own wisdom and strength.

Apart from Him we can do nothing. The more closely we abide in Him (live a devotional life), the more closely we can be conformed to the image of Christ. The more we become like Jesus, the more He (not me) will flow over into the lives of others. While my goal 25 years ago may have been to have daily devotions, today I seek to live every moment aware of His presence, depending on His Spirit for my strength, asking that every word I utter will be His word, and for every interaction I have with others to reflect him. To do this, I can’t stop my time with God at 8 am to move on with the rest of my day. I entrust myself to His tender care all day and I invite Him to speak into my life even when I am sleeping.

Under the Radar

I grew up when the phrase “children should be seen but not heard” was still being spoken. Perhaps my desire to remain under the radar began then – to not make waves, to be invisible so no one notices me. If someone looks too hard, they may see flaws.
This desire to remain out of the spotlight could also stem from my tendencies toward introversion. When I go out, I wonder if people are watching and often judging me and Josh. However, getting noticed can have a positive result likes compliments not just the criticism I perceive. Just maybe, someone is seeing the light of Jesus shine through us.

Lights don’t draw attention to themselves, they just are. I don’t want to draw attention to myself. I prefer to remain anonymous because I want people to know and remember Jesus, not me. Many times I can do this, but lately I have felt God drawing me out of my self-protective shell. I think God wants me to rethink this long-held philosophy that it is better to “remain under the radar.”

Let your light shine before men so they may see you good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Recently, I was presented with an opportunity to say “yes” to being in the spot light. A local magazine wanted to feature Joshua and our family on the cover to help the community gain awareness of individuals with Down syndrome. Not long after that, I was asked to make a short video sharing about myself to be used on our church’s webpage to encourage women to participate in a women’s ministry event.

I want to be available to the Lord in any way He chooses, so while I prefer to remain behind the scenes, I will step into the path He sets before me even if it means people are looking at me.

Oh no, is public speaking next??????