Are our devotions really devotional?
I was reading C. H. Spurgeon's devotional for this morning (taken from "Morning and Evening"). His text was from Ezekiel speaking of iniquity (sin) in temple worship, and he applied this to the sin that we carry into our morning devotions. "If we looked more carefully we should find this iniquity to be far greater than appears at first sight." The question is, "Dare we look?" It seems to me that in my own devotions there is sufficient dullness and sin lying on the surface, without having to dig for the fullness of it.
But what really sprung to mind was this: When we speak of our morning devotion, have we done to that word something similar to what was done to the word "church"? Church meant "gathering" and signified the people who belonged to that gathering, but we ended up institutionalising it to the extent that we sepak of going to church, rather than being church. In the same way, I wonder of we have made the devotion time into an institution, a formal ritual, and taken its meaning away? Do we spend time in actual devotion to the Lord? Do we dedicate ourselves to him afresh? Do we adore God in that time, loving him, praising him, delighting in his presence? Do we wish we could stay there or are we already thinking of what's next in our busy schedules? Do we acknowledge our meanness, dependance, and our need for more of his grace? Do we seek that grace so that his pruposes, whatever they may be, and however difficult they may be for us, might be fulfilled? Or do we take to him our pursposes and seek to have him bless them and rubber stamp them?
How much devotion, in short, goes into our devotions?
We need to ask the Lord, at the start of our time with him, that we will be freed from our own agenda, freed from the worries and concerns that come from the world around us, and ask him for the grace to be enabled to hear him speak to us from his Word. We need, in short, to have God soften our hearts for us so that we can indeed be devotional in our times alone with him.