Why should I do my devotions?
Maybe you’ve asked yourself this question before. “Why do I have to do my devotions? Who came up with this disciplinary habit in our church!?”
I’m not sure what your story is. I don’t know if you’ve experienced devotions as a burden or a joy. Some people might have pushed you or forced you to do it. But that’s not the right way. Let’s look at what the Bible has to say about it. Psalm 5 gives us a solid reason why we should do our devotions and reveals powerful insight which might surprise you.
In this Psalm, David sings about God’s guidance and worship. There is so much in there, but before I share some basic principles, let’s look at the first 3 verses.
1 Give ear to my words, O Lord,
Consider my groaning.
2 Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God,
For to You I pray.
3 In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice;
In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.
Psalm 5 (NASB)
You can see that it was David’s decision to do his devotions and pray to God in the morning. God never came to him, saying “you better do this now to be a good Christian.” There is already a fundamental principle in here.
Principle #1 — It is our decision whether or not we want to do our devotions.
If God had to push us, it wouldn’t be an act of love. So let’s remember that no one can push another person to do his or her devotions. Parents might want it, teachers might like to see it, but it needs to come from the heart. Notice now how David gives us the reason why he comes to God in the morning:
4 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness;
No evil dwells with You.
5 The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes;
You hate all who do iniquity.
6 You destroy those who speak falsehood;
The Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.
7 But as for me, by Your abundant lovingkindness I will enter Your house,
At Your holy temple I will bow in reverence for You.
David comes to God because he discovered His love. His beautiful character. There is no evil in Him. He doesn’t like to punish. He loves us and will make all things right and just. David experienced God’s love first. Doing his devotions was a reaction. A reaction to what had happened before. After having experienced God’s goodness, he couldn’t help but come to Him, to thank Him, to praise Him and to ask for help.
Principle #2 — Doing our devotions is a reaction to God’s love.
We don’t do our devotions so that God will love us more. We do it so that we will love Him more! That’s the life-changing difference!
Actually, the “why” question is probably not the best question to ask. People might ask it because they haven’t experienced God’s love in full measures. Or because they have been pushed to do something they didn’t like to do.
Doing our devotions should never be like an arbitrary act of disciple to please a random deity. David showed us the real motivation behind his morning routine. He came to God day by day because God loved him first and he wanted to get to know his heavenly Father more.
That’s the cycle. It doesn’t work the other way around. By reading the Bible and praying to God, we discover His beautiful character. It’s fantastic to do that in the morning, before life gets busy and trials come our way.
And here’s the best part: God never changes. He’s the same person that David fell in love with. His promises are still true today. So if you have been hurt and people have used devotions to spiritually abuse you — there is healing at the foot of the cross! God still wants to spend time with you! And you can find healing by getting to know Him better. Day by day, morning by morning. Go to His word to remind yourself of His goodness and grace. Talk to Him to stay grounded in reality.