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Devotions 101: What’s the fruit of your devotional time?

Some people may give you complicated, long-winded answers to this question. Perhaps they wouldn’t be technically wrong, but I want to be cautious not to paint an elaborate picture and expectation the Bible doesn't exactly support.

The answer the Lord gave me to this question is simply this:

The fruit of your devotional time is a devoted life.

Every believer’s life may paint the picture a little differently according to the gifts, calling(s) and walk they have in the Lord, but there are a few things the Bible tells us we’ll notice about ourselves and each other regardless of anything else, including negative life experiences. I say this because it very easy to slip into thinking that what we’ve been through is a barrier to living for Jesus the way we’re called to, but the truth of Scripture and those written about within it tell us another story -

1. We love one another. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

Jesus is speaking to His disciples here about loving each other so the world may know they are devoted to the truth Jesus taught. He is specifically telling them that the world will know whose they are by their love for each other as fellow believers. Love produces unity. Unity allows for peace. Peace is something the world is desperately searching for, and something we can find in time spent with the Lord.

2. Evidence of the Spirit in our lives. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-25

These verses, which describe a life lived in the Spirit, are preceded by a description of life lived in the flesh. I can’t speak for you, but when I’m not actively, regularly communing with God, very little about my life bears even a resemblance to what Paul writes in verses 22 through 25. When I’m spending time with Him, in His Word, in tune with His voice and guidance, the byproduct is bearing the fruit of the Spirit. This doesn’t mean all of them all the time, and it doesn’t imply any level of perfection. All I’m saying is my responses are gentler, my focus shifts and my desires are better aligned with His when I’m doing life with Him.

3. We find joy in things of Him. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

I have to be honest with you… I’ve spent the last three months in a bit of a spiritual funk because I was pursuing joy, fulfillment and solutions in things that didn't start and end with the Lord, and my heart couldn’t escape the subtle conviction I felt about it. Everything I was devoted to I was led away from for this season of my life, and I began to flounder. I’m talking about a slow drift; distance from Him that happens slowly over time as we take one step after the other chasing things He didn’t lead us to, or running from things He’s calling us to deal with. And I've come to (re)realize that this is because I had become more devoted to what I did than to my personal relationship with God. What a loving God He is to remove me from it all so that would come to the surface of my heart.

Once we experience true joy in and through Jesus, nothing outside of Him and the things of Him satisfy. But God is gracious in leading our hearts back to Him, where we can fully realize and experience that joy again no matter how far we drift! In His presence, through His Word, within His calling, among His people. A devoted life shines the joy of the Lord, and that devotion begins in time spent with Him, consistently.

I wrote this as I was sitting on the deck on Easter Sunday. The sun would shine bright for a few moments, warming me as it did. Then, it would sink behind the clouds and I’d feel the reality of the weather without its presence. It was a chilly day down the shore, a slight breeze. I longed for the sun to remain in front of the clouds. I basked in it when it did! At one point, I audibly asked God to send it back out for a while. The more I felt the sun on me, the longer I wanted to sit in it.

To me, this illustrates the relationship between our devotional time and a devoted life. I am not convinced that you can spend time with the Lord, basking in His presence, and not greatly desire more of it. To know Him is to love Him. The love Him is to desire communion with Him. To commune with Him is only to know and love Him deeper, and experience the depths of His love for us. I can not imagine being more motivated - deeply convicted and driven, really - to live a devoted life for HIs name.

And from where I’m sitting, a devoted life is the fruit of consistent devotional time; time we set aside to sit in God’s presence, grow in His Word, hear His gentle whisper to our hearts. Commune with our Creator, the author of Salvation, and gaze at the wonder that our Jesus is.

Something to Consider…

I have no questions for you today, no prompt.

I simply encourage you to write anything laying on your heart.

~ Alyssa

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