The Art of Personal Devotion

Apr 16 2020

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Without belittling the very real challenges that you may be facing right now, both in terms of your or a loved one’s health or perhaps financially due to economic turmoil, you and I have three possible responses to the unique challenges we all face in this season on the earth.

1. We can call 2020 a write off, do nothing and wait for the season to pass.

2. We can do enough to maintain course and more or less pick up where we left off when we finally have the opportunity to meet together again.

3. Or (spoiler alert – this is the good option) we can chase after God like we never have before.

We can lean into Him like we never have before. Our personal prayer life, our devotion, our study of the Word, and our worship can flourish and set an unshakable platform on which God can do something unprecedented in us and through us.

Imagine what we as individuals, our team, and our worship could look like just six months from now if we all made a decision, in every moment we’ve been given, to pursue and know God like we never have before.

KNOWING GOD

It’s all too easy for us to live our lives knowing John 3:16, doing our best here on earth but passing time while we wait for this life to end and anticipating eternal life to begin. But that’s not how it’s supposed to be!

A theologian friend recently showed me something spectacular about eternal life. “Eternal life” is one of John’s favourite terms. As a matter of fact, while John refers to eternal life 17 times, the other gospel writers only refer to it once. On the 17th time John uses the phrase, he uses a definite article in the original language that isn’t translated into our English Bibles. The first 16 references build to this moment when he defines what eternal life is all about as he mentions not just “eternal life” but more accurately “THE eternal life”! John 17:3 in the NIV says, “Now this is (THE) eternal life: that they would know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”

Eternal life is not something to wait for, or something yet to come. Eternal life is knowing and experiencing God right here and now! Let’s not wait a moment longer!

For this reason we have created the first of a devotional series that we pray will become a tool within your pool of resources to help you know God each and every day. We’ve worked with our friends at YouVersion to host it on the Bible app, where you can find it right now by searching reading plans for “Hillsong Creative” or following the link here. The first of the series is called “Praying Through Philippians with Hillsong Creative”. This devotional may be different to what you have used before. That’s ok! You will find a daily reading from the Bible accompanied by an audio recording that will guide you through prayer, reflection and meditation on a key portion of the daily reading while allowing space for you to speak to God and the Holy Spirit to speak to you.

When using this devotional I’d encourage you to do three things:

  • Set aside a quiet space. Each day’s devotional won’t take long. But allowing yourself to be uninterrupted for a few moments creates space for you to engage with the Holy Spirit.
  • Do this devotional with others. Maybe it’s one or two friends, maybe it’s a connect group. Share with others what you’re experiencing and encourage each other is your pursuit of Him.
  • Don’t delay and don’t give up. I guess that’s four things… Don’t delay. Start now. Whether it’s this devotional or another, or perhaps simply taking time to read your Bible, let’s not miss a moment! And don’t give up. This devotional is seven days long. I’d encourage you to do all seven. When you’re done with the seven days we’ll have more for you.

The earth is full of so much uncertainty right now. But take a moment and imagine what our lives, our families, our team, and our church could look like if we all made the decision, today, to know and experience God in a deeper more powerful way than we ever have before. We pray this devotional series blesses you and helps you, as John says, “to know (Him) the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom (He) has sent”.

You can also hear more about this on today’s Micropod episode of the Hillsong Creative Podcast.