According to Merriam-Webster, devotion is “the act of prayer or private worship.” Devotion reveals the attitudes of our heart. The things we are “ardently dedicated and loyal to” reveal the devotion within.
Muse with me for a moment. Reflect on your day, the week or month. Where do you spend your energies? What captivates you? How often do anxiety, excitement, frustration, and love emerge?
To what, or rather, to whom are you devoted?
I find my first response is: “God!” But then, I slow down and sit in the quiet space of my home. God gently reveals the distractions of my heart: emails, appointments, social media, household responsibilities, paying bills, concern for others, confusion of our world, etc. These things and more invade my heart, often because I fail to prioritize intentionally their influence and impact in my daily living.
When was the last time you gazed into the Bible, mesmerized by Jesus’ love for you and the world? What Scripture delighted your heart, causing you to ponder it for days?
Life gets full and days fly by swiftly. The demands of culture, family, friends, and co-workers distract us from living devoted to Christ. It requires devotion to stay focused.
Consider this thought by Julian of Norwich: “God, of Thy goodness, give me Thyself; for Thou art enough for me, and I can ask nothing that is less that can be full honor to Thee. And if I ask anything that is less, ever shall I be in want, for only in Thee have I all.” Revelations of Diving Love (Brewster: Paraclete, 2011) 15.
Julian of Norwich, born in 1342, lived a simple, yet thoughtful and devoted life. She was an anchoress. At age 30 she experienced a deep encounter with Jesus that impacted each subsequent day until her death in 1416. She lived devoted to Christ: allowing God to deepen her understanding and experience of His great love.
While living in the world, Julian set herself apart to live a life of prayer and communion with God in service to others. For the last 44 years of her life, she generously shared God’s divine love for humankind with others. As an anchoress, she helped people anchor their soul to Jesus Christ.
In John 17, Jesus prays for His disciples; He prays for us. In verses 14-18, John reminds us that just as Jesus did not belong to the world, neither do we today.
I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. John 17:14-18
Jesus releases us into the world; being sanctified, set apart, blessed by Him, to serve Him. Just as He sent Julian of Norwich, Jesus sends us to reflect Him in the world through our words, actions, attitudes, character and devotion. Our devotion exposes our allegiance and commitments. How much of our living is devoted to God?
Join me in living devoted to God. Commit your day to reflecting Jesus through your words, actions, attitude, character and devotion. Wake up in morning asking, “How will I live devoted to You today, O Lord?” As we live devoted lives, God fills our cups with Himself, which enables us to love others more generously and authentically. Devote yourself to God. Let Him fill your cup. Live sanctified, set apart and sent by God to reflect His love to others.
Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.
Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the LORD your God. 1 Chronicles 22:19
This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. Titus 3:8
Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Check out these suggested readings.
Howard Baker in The One Truth Thing (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2007).
Francis de Sales in Introduction to the Devout Life (Charlotte: TAN Books, 2010).