“God wants from you a love that lasts, not more religion. He wants you to get to know Him in a deep and intimate way, not just go to more prayer meetings.” (A personal paraphrase of Hosea 6:6 based on The Message Bible.)
Practicing devotions as a duty to fulfill;
Spending time with a Friend you are devoted to.
The “devotions vs. devotion” debate elicits more good questions to ask yourself about the times you spend with God:
1) Are you watching every slow-dragging tick of the clock, ready to bolt the second it hits the scheduled ending time?
When the timer beeps reminding you to get on with your day, are you surprised by how fast the time went by?
2) Are you spending the entire time merely reciting memorized phrases and liturgical prayers?
Are you speaking to Him in sincerity, honesty and transparency, in your own words, about whatever is on your heart?
3) Is it a chore that tires you out?
Do you leave feeling refreshed and energized?
4) Is it more like a business meeting that you have a hard time motivating yourself to attend?
Is it like an outing with your best friend that you look forward to eagerly and expectantly?
5) Is it just an item to check off your Spiritual Todo List?
Is it a special experience, something to look forward to?
6) Are you talking to God only during your scheduled devotion time?
Are you touching base with Him often throughout the day, like good friends do?
After answering these questions, which side of the debate do you find yourself on? Has your time with God fallen into the rut of empty religious practice? Or is it a vibrant and energizing time with a friend?
Go to Him now. Tell Him how devoted you are to Him and how much you appreciate Him. And let Him show you how devoted He is to you.