How do you DEVO?
Spiritual Devotions are a common term among most of evangelical Christianity. The options available today to help people spiritually grow and stay closer to God are more diverse than ever. The most common way to grow and develop has always been to read the bible since the advent of the printing press. Then of course we should pray and meditate upon the written word on a daily basis. With the progress of technology many options have progressed with how to spend time in devotion to God for our spiritual growth and development. Considering that only about 26 % of the world’s population can read there has to be other methods than just reading.
In my earlier years I tended to just read the word, meditate and pray. In recent years I have adopted to listening to bible by cds and then mp3 files verses just reading it. Actually I think I enjoy listening to the word read to me on headphones intern mixed with music on my mp3 player.
The American Bible Society (ABS) has recently released some very high statistics about how most professing Christians do not spend very much time at all in spiritual devotions with the word of God. There studies have revealed that if Christians will spend time in the word 4 times a week on 4 different days it makes a significant positive impact on their lives. Because of a younger technology oriented generation ABS has now made available a 1 minute a day phone call that can be place to any phone number to keep a 1 minute audio reading of the scriptures before people. As well they have a text message system of the word of God and they email devotions to help people keep in the word of God.
Part of doing ones devotions with God also has a lot to do with personality types in my opinion. Some people tend to enjoy reading in a quite room in their home while others a walk outside in nature. I presently am enjoying going through the word of God in a year using the Youversion.com options of reading through the Word.
A great part of devotions that many exclude today is the aspect of fasting with prayer as part of seeking God on a periodic basis. The self denial of food (or other meaningful pleasures) to seek God is a part of devotion that is far less practiced today than perhaps even 20 years ago. A new fast I plan to start soon is a lengthy period away from all social network sites such as Facebook and twitter so I can be less distracted throughout the day and spend more time with God and in his word. It may seem like an odd thing to fast from technology, but you would be surprised how many social internet junkies are really in the culture. Social networking is basically sharing and commenting on other people’s lives, texts and comments on a daily basis through the computer or cell phone. Have you ever noticed how many people walk around in public just pressing and looking at their cell phones verses talking on them? When you see someone doing that, then this is a good sign they are social networking at that moment with someone somewhere in world.
A one size fits all devotional style is not realistic with today’s technology options. It seems that Americans truly are without excuse to spend time in the Word of God. I remember in the 80’s when Christians actually carried their bibles to church with them. Then churches started putting bibles in the pew racks and then with advance of screens and projectors they beam scripture on the walls. Now many people carry their bible with them electronically on their cell phones. Even though ways and means of technology have changed one thing for certain should not change and that is letting God’s Scriptures continue to get inside of us by some means or method so we stay in devotion to the one who redeems us.
I believe ABS has truly assisted the Church with their survey results and the tools they offer to Christians in helping them maintain a healthy relationship with God.
All Christians need to spend a focused time with God and His Holy Word at least 4 times a week in order to maintain spiritual growth and development for the renewing of their minds.
One of my all time favorite devotional books has been and remains “My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. There are many Devotional Books that are basically commentary snippets of God’s word for each day of the year. In these last days we must do more than devotions, but rather be devoted as we seek the face of God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind.
So if you see me in town with my face to my cell phone I might be actually reading the scriptures and not just social networking. Let us keep our eyes and ears focused on the Word of God that He might continue to transform us.