Saturday, December 19, 2015

Devotional Junkie

Somehow things have gotten out of balance with my devotional life. It started with signing up for daily meditations to be emailed each day to my inbox. I now have five to eight each day plus three to five chapters of Bible readings sent to my email. Then I also signed up for a daily Bible reading plan from one of the apps on my phone. I already read Jesus Calling, My Utmost For His Highest every day and sometimes Jesus Lives and Jesus Today. Every week I read from Devotional Classics and another devotional called Ancient Christian Devotional. Depending on the day or week there might be more devotionals I dip into. Basically I am deluged with devotional readings.

With so many readings each day and week, my prayer life is somewhat limited and I can't internalize so many truths at once. I am left feeling spiritually dry and dissatisfied at the end of the day, as I realize despite everything I have read I haven't really connected to God or spent any time thinking about applying the truths I have read about. 

This week I was reading an excerpt from St John of the Cross and realized some of the seven capital sins he discusses may in actuality be part of my life. They are secret pride, spiritual greed, spiritual luxury, spiritual wrath, spiritual gluttony, spiritual envy, and spiritual sloth. It was quite eye-opening to see how things you may view as virtues, like diligence in devotional readings, when out of balance or done for the wrong reasons, can actually become a vice, or that you can actually be too spiritual, prideful in your own pious acts, or overly greedy for spiritual consolation, addicted to the feelings that more and more reading and religious activities give you. Maybe in all this activity, I am actually pleasing my own self and not walking in true obedience to God. Perhaps he wants me to humble myself, exercise simplicity and moderation, be content, at peace with him and where he has placed me, filled with joy instead of envy, strong in the power of his might rather than relying on my own strength.

I know something has to change so that I spend less time reading and more time praying, less time seeking consolation and more time seeking and enjoying God, less energy keeping up with what I think I have to do and more energy seeking God's will for my life. There is something to be said for moderation in all things and although Christ has already spoken to me about this lack of balance, I have not acted on it and decided how to scale back and simplify my routine. I think I seriously need to consider how best to spend time with God in a way that I hear from him, actually apply what I have heard, and simply soak up his love and grace and peace. I need to be devoted to God without being a devotional junkie.

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