Webster defines devotion as “love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity or cause.” How do we fall in love with God? Devotional Spirituality is an important process by which a Christian knows God better. As we know God better, we love God better, and our character becomes more like His. Paul said. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2).
God reveals Himself through His world, His works, and His Word. We not only gain knowledge; we gain the wisdom necessary for transforming our lives to be more aligned to His will. We know Him better by the study on His Word: “lectio devina”. We know Him better by observing and meditating on His Word, His creation, and His actions in our lives: “meditatio”. We know Him better through prayer: “oratio”. And we know Him better through thoughtful, prayerful contemplation: “contemplio”.
There is a difference between reading scripture for information versus study to gain wisdom. Who wrote it and why? What is the context? What does it say? What might God be saying to me? These questions help me dig deeper into His Word and better understand who He is and what He is teaching me. Meditation is not only an intellectual process, but a spiritual process as well. Meditation requires the Holy Spirit’s prodding, and direction. It requires discipline, a special time and place, and no distractions. Memorizing scripture helps me to meditate on God during interstices of time throughout the day.
I cannot know God better without prayer. And although I erroneously think of prayer as talking to God, I should be talking with God; a conversation----listening as well as speaking. It should be less about me, and more about God. How can I know Him better if my prayer is one way, and all about my needs and desires? Contemplating the truths discovered in God’s world, works, and Word requires persistent, intentional thought and prayer. Mediation is more like eating the food. Contemplation is digesting it—absorbing the food into my body. I learn truth about God’s character, then incorporate His truth into our being. I am being transformed!