Here’s a sneak peek from The Quiet Place, the 366-day devotional Nancy’s been hard at work on these days getting ready for you to pick up when it releases this October!
Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?
We can be a legalistic lot. Put the option of daily devotions on the table most mornings, and too often the factor that finally tips us in the direction of prayer and Bible reading is the one that says, “God will be disappointed in me if I don’t.” So we approach Him fearing that our day is likely to turn disastrous otherwise. We think He’ll treat us better if we just do this one little thing for Him. We treat our devotions like a good luck charm, hoping to buy ourselves smooth passage through the hours ahead.
Oh, dear friend, when will we stop thinking we make points with God by carving out a few reluctant moments to spend in His presence? When will we understand He has already shined His favor on us because of what Christ has done to please and satisfy Him, not because of anything we do to attract His notice?
Even on those days when our hearts burn to worship Him, when we eagerly sit at His feet and delight in His personal fellowship, His love for us is no greater than on those other days when we perfunctorily press through the religious paces or ignore Him altogether.
What we miss by neglecting Him is not the chance to impress Him with our sacrifice; what we miss is the experience of meeting with Him, of learning from Him, of being refreshed, steadied, and reoriented by drawing near to Him through His Word and His Spirit.
Having a “quiet time” is not a means of earning God’s favor; it is the privilege of a child of God who is grateful to be the recipient of His lavish grace and who desires to enter into an ever more intimate relationship with his heavenly Father.
In what other ways do you perform “spiritual acts” or good works, in hopes of “purchasing” God’s approval or blessing? Let your devotion and service flow out of a glad and grateful heart that has already received His grace.