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The dynamics of an effective devotional life.

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  • February 8, 2020
    9:45 AM

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How does it work when where why and why the dynamics of an effective devotional life on this up sewed of inverse. Coming to you from Silver Spring Maryland welcome to the Bible based conversation or my sense of contemporary issues. Focus. Here's your host just in within for. You guys is just in from in verse and you're here with my friends on a special study on The Book of Daniel and you've been with us what for about 5 weeks now 6 weeks and we're very excited because we're looking at different characteristics that's God's last day people have been in the last days so it was after 6 chapter 6 this is going to be a fun chapter specifically on the topic of devotional life and this is something that many people struggle with many people are victorious with and people have a lot of want to say with so we're going to look at Denver Chapter 6 so if you're out there have your Bibles please take them out please turn them on whatever you got to do where you get into the Bible but only after a word of prayer so he can you pray for us thing Father we thank you for the opportunity to study awaited and we pray that as we do so now that it would inspire us to continue to study that we would have a life not just of sporadic commitment to you but faithful commitment to you all the time and things in your name and so California to chapter 6 of Daniel in for those of us who those of you out there who may be joining us for the 1st time in this segment of these 13 weeks we've been flying over the Book of Daniel and in the 1st 8 episodes we're looking at the different characteristics different devotional studies on The Book of Daniel and in the last 5 episodes we're going to get into the actual prophecy themselves so let's look at the end of chapter 6 will pick up in verse 10 to verse 13 if you can read it for us tended to know when Daniel knew. But the writing was signed he went home and in his upper room with his windows open toward Jerusalem he knelt down on his knees 3 times that day and prayed and gave things before his God as was his custom since early days then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God and they went before the king and spoke concerning the king's decree have you not sign a decree that every man who petitions any God or man within 30 days except you Ok shall be cast into the den of lions the King answered and said thing is true according to the law of the Medes and Persians which does not alter so they answered and said before the king that Daniel who is one of the captives from Judah does not show due regard for you Ok or for the decree that you have signed but make his petition 3 times a day all right all right so I won't ask this question maybe I'll open it up for you all but what are some attributes that we've already covered in past episodes about God's God's faithful people in the last days per life prayer life you know I'm friends temperance Jaffer one richer commitment commitment radical commitment we looked at accountability in here look at devotional life in session set us up here in chapter 6 and we don't have time to read the entire chapter we will encourage you out there if you get a chance to read the entire chapter for it's background context but in chapter 10 o'clock to 6 1st 10 down then you knew that the writing was signed or what writing is this and what's going on so Daniel after Babylon has been conquered by middle Persia. In a very unlikely turn of events is not removed from his position normally right when you conquer you remove all those people that were high officials for the previous king because you're worried that will they still have allegiance there could be a coup but apparently there was no distrust in Daniel and as my mom would say he was just that good right so they're just as well he's just not good so we're just going to carry him over to the means and Persians and not only was he just that good to carry him over. He actually promoted him above all the other leaders so he was him and then among the other 3 that were supreme and among everyone else and then this jealousy ensues and they're trying to find a mistake but again they are just that good no mistakes they can't find anything so then they realize you know what he is such a consistent men of prayer that we convince the king to make a law that you can't pray to any other god except the king this is how we're going to catch Daniel and so we picked up the reading where they actually caption After the writing in The King actually signed the law because he felt you know proud and lifted up oh yeah you know everyone should be praying to me for 30 days and just to exalt my glory even greater Daniel goes away from that refuses continues his pro life as usual as the in to supply a did they find him and then he reported to the king she could break up break down the stairs the pastor just read really quick I mean what are the actual components of his prayer life or specific that we see there well he says that he goes in his upper room so you have a specific place where he goes to pray or interesting and he's opened his window to a Jerusalem like they had been instructed to do when God spoke to Israel's in when when Solomon was built it was erecting the temple said when your people if they're in captivity if they pray to was Jerusalem that you will hear from heaven so he does what was prescribed for them to do praying to one Jerusalem he knelt on his knees and then it says it was 3 times a day it wasn't just once a day or twice a day 3 times a day and in a time of crisis so you know that when things were good he was in the pray at least that much and when things got rough he was plain he kept praying 3 times a day he would go to that specific place face the direction that the Bible had go to had told him to face and he would give his petition to God and he prays he says gave thanks to God and it's awesome that in the context of. A decrease for bidding you to pray he is giving thanks he gave thanks to God just as his custom was since any days it is. It's very interesting that he screen 3 times a day I mean is he just like not busy like is. Nothing on our old testament times hanging out with the camels and the horses and it's like it's just time to go it's the nature of his position Artie tells us that he was a busy man and I mean even just even without knowing the ends and higher level of the government and being that excellent excellent requires hard work and time commitment but he's made this a priority and it's also a rebuke to I think us and us I mean everybody they could sort of My Voice of this idea that oh I'm just too busy to make time right just with God But it's like man of Daniel could do it I mean even going further Jesus could do it spending time with his father every single day than I think we you know that Prime Minister of need of Persia could do it and then it was minus Yeah yeah yeah and on the time management thing it it becomes that the busier you are the more you need to pray actually yeah because when you come to God in prayer he helps private helps you prioritize what is important when you should do what you ought to do so coming to God becomes more necessary the busier you become so there's nothing like that Martin Luther quote I think but yeah i'm so I have so much to do tomorrow that I need to at least have 3 hours of prayer like that is that it said it's out of my to do that that he took time from the front he took that time that was. Optimal for for study and he would devote that time to prayer so he was so efficient throughout the rest of his day because the best time that he was his mind was most wished on he committed that time to God and then God bless the rest of his time. Do you think like I'm just thinking maybe I don't know if this is too crazy to come to so many people today we reserve our energy. We don't depend on God for 40 fish and see we don't depend on God for success we depend on chemicals we depend on perhaps of of. Hot beverages to get us through the day we we rely on videos for inspiration we rely on a phone call with a certain person we call we lean on all of these things which in themselves are not the evil or bad or whatnot but I mean we have this particular greatest of all things right at our fingertips and we're not leaning on that for for these secular success right we're not even talking about spiritual success here he's just as a 1st for secular work success. And you know it just raises another point to my mind that Daniel didn't necessarily change his prayer life because he was in crisis and it lets you know that his per life was always in crisis may be his worship of God was something that was sufficient enough that he didn't feel like he needed to increase his prayer time to feel like he needed to pray more than what his cost him was in that sense he was having personal contact with Christ he was communing with God and in those sessions he felt I just need to be in the presence of God to be reminded who is sovereign over the situation to be reminded of how good God has been to me all these years I've been through the 70 years of Babylon to be reminded of how God has kept his promises faithfully through that Daniel says well I don't need to increase my prayer life and that tells us that we need to be praying in a way that if a crisis were to come tomorrow I don't need to increase on which I'm pretty because I'm already praying sufficiently enough I'm already in communion with God To the degree that it will carry me through a crisis. In the 1st 10 says that as his custom since early days what does that reveal to you about his devotional life that was it was consistent consistent and kind yeah it's not it's not something like oh there's a problem I will now construct a devotional life because I need one but I mean in a real sense we always need one you know but sometimes we feel any more than others but it's I also like that he had kind of a glaring reason to just skip today like what you just got one did. 30 days you know like the dance cause an understanding God made us an exit with God Yeah let me just and I like the grace and just let it carry over. To the new grace but it was so much of a custom knowledge not increase but not to diminish when he had a lot of kind of glaring good reasons to manage and I like I like the fact that since early days it speaks to me because I grew up going to church and one of my fears was looking at all people in the church and and it was discouraging for me you know yeah because I mean like Oh yeah when I was younger I was so on fire and then you look at them and they're like you're like and that was what was discouraging. And and it was kind of implicit in their comments was well maybe you can be on fire for Jesus when you're young but wait till you hit 60 you know or 40 go yeah and I did I I thought like I shouldn't commit to something that I'm not going to be able to carry all the way through you know it's like do it or not but dad you know it says since early days and special pointed out those 70 years was taken at the beginning of the captivity now we're drawing to the close of the captivity and he's still around 70 years yeah so like 70. So I mean for for a long time Daniel managed to maintain his commitment to God in that daily walk with God that daily devotional life so it's encouraging to me that from from being young from our use we can have a commitment to God and have relationship with him that carries through into our adulthood and into our old age the fire doesn't have to burn out yes if you have to. Also speaks to the fact that. Right when Daniel was young as a kid his parents invested they taught him the way in which he should go and now he's old he's not supporting and I remember the night before I got married a person said to me as. The piece of advice they said Sebastian you know I pray that when the flames of romance go out that you'll be able to rekindle it because you still have the embers of commitment so sometimes you don't have the flame the visual peace but as long as you have the embers and for Daniel I don't want to romanticize it it's just like he always was excited to go pray every day 3 times a day but I believe Daniel showed up right he continued on even when he didn't necessarily feel like he still showed up and I think that's a big part of the consistency of this prayer when come back after the break we'll look at a lot of practical pointers on how to make your devotional life real and consistent so stay with us. Has embraced been a blessing to you Do you have questions comments or feedback you'd like to leave us find us on social media by searching for spyware on Facebook or Twitter Instagram for you to while there join us like us comes up the handle again in verse Bible non-state Now back to the discussion. Hey welcome back we are. Looking at practical elements on the devotional life and I want to ask you all let me ask you all do you all have a good devotional life. Can I Ok. To keep it real 100 keeping it 100. With little kids so I have 3 children under knowledge 3 and under $33.00 and under and with the youngest one being a baby baby it can get challenging on just on the sleep side to be able to keep your eyes open to read something write something that I discovered and honest honest story here with my 1st 2 I really had a hard time the 1st 3 months especially the where everything is kind of a haze and I pray to God I said Lord I don't want to go through this next baby the way that I went through the last ones I don't want to have like you're talking like your grace care you need. Until I make it to the end I would like to you're 30 years. And this I want to I want to have a different kind of experience this time and I want to testify to God's faithfulness to answering that prayer for me because this time you know the Lord brought technology into my life I realized that I can read the Bible on my phone which on your smartphone on my smartphone like that I've had for a long time yes but I realized I said I realized. It dawned on me that those midnight feedings where everything is quiet all the other kids us sleeping everybody's sleeping and I'm awake nursing my baby that I can actually read my Bible during that time you know I can I can spend time in communion with God during the the quiet times of I have to be up and it's been an incredible experience really that God led me through so that in the most difficult that's this for me is the most difficult time to have a devotional life is like these 3 months but I think this time around God made it so that I could have probably the closest relationship with him that I've ever had in my life. Like trying not to leave. A religion on this in a so I feel like for me I've gone through a similar transition like Siku where I transition more from a ritual to a relationship with Christ because before I was married and had you know my copious children. Just said you have to understand I have a plethora of children has a lot of. It just for the record I mean kids you have everything you're like 90 kids. And you don't have any personality so I used to have a specific time morning and evening that I would study and pray and do all of that but obviously having a family that's difficult to do and so what it transitioned me from was recognizing that when it's really busy in my home because I'm always trying to come up with crafty ways to spend time with my wife or to get moments alone with her I may not get the 3 hour dates that we used to take I may not be able to say hey let's go take a walk downtown because we could write we didn't have kids you don't have those worries but now that we do right or joy. Now that we do I find in trying to manipulate little spots in the days as well I have an hour and normally I would say well if I drive home only going to be home for 10 minutes but that 10 minutes is meaningful and so I started applying that same mindset to my relationship with Christ which is that I may wake up and my daughter is there before the Holy Spirit is there right at the door so it's not not possible if you're like I haven't even talked to Jesus is like Jesus before he is sending and such you have that experience to let you know so so it it really calls upon me to save my children. And I'm sure I just and I'm trying to be Christ like my dad to go back up to and so you know my wife would just say getting out of your spirit about why we're there like she's sleeping but I know she's away because she doesn't want to respond. So she's like well you know I'll let her respond it's just good thing that I'm glad she's leaving the kid has begun the door down like the police right like I'm going to arrest me and find my you know because I'm in lower my voice and no sun it's not time to get up or no more you have to go public sleeping and through this experience it helped me to say Ok do the business that is my life if I get 10 minutes it's like you know what like technology or I have a Bible in all of our cars then it's like you know I'll pull this thing out take my 10 minutes or so in a parking lot where ever on that or I'll get somewhere early in the say Ok I'm going to pray I'm going to read because when you love someone you're going to find a way to spend time regardless of the business and I feel like devotional lives suffer because we've moved into ritual focus rather than the relationship I just need to talk to Jesus because I love him and he's my best friend and you know I need to support and help you know for me if I can play a counterpart to you it's actually been revolutionary for me too to engage my devotional life as a ritual and soul not just only a ritual but a ritual and relationship combined together. There are moments in my life where you know God and I were tight and you know I wanted to do devotions and whatnot but there are other moments where life gets busy and your son is not. There's all these other things that happen and it's the ritual that carries you through those low points in life and the cool thing is those low points get get less and less or but during But just the the discipline and the habit and not looking at it as a ritual as like now as another not just dragging your feet but as an art form like oh this is I'm a Christian Miss is just this is my time so you just get into it and what happens it is through the discipline that you exert through it it becomes a relational thing in the midst of practicing it as a ritual there's other times where it's just completely. Natural and what not but that habit kind of smoothed out those low points after a longer period of time some has been profound for me is I love journaling and journaling Alex my prayer life I still have in Cali knows this I have a prayer book a a to do list Bible study kid in the just on the other exam books and I was going to go insane I was going to go to the end of chapter 4 so I just combine those 2 things into one book is a war that this is my life book and so my only as I need now is if I lose this book I die but I put all my stuff in there and as a lord what is your what are you what would you have me to to learn today and some days it's just spot on exactly what I need others has 0 implication of my life but I want to look back at least with a journal because it's written all those points where it seems like it wasn't applicable at that day in a longer picture in a zoomed out good moments where it was God was tracking in the long term trajectory just as cool though things that God is in the micro and the macro and in the. Door meet. Him as and what I would have. Yes the Japanese so that if that's in line I did Ok so here we see Daniel's discipline and has become an art form and that our form has become a spiritual relationship with God I married him. What. I was going say water some practice from the text itself and also from your perspective or from other text what are some key secrets or some of some pointers in making your devotional life just all that better practical stuff because one thing that I mentioned when I was talking about verse 10 that he had a place he would place that plane and it's something about having a set face it kind of gets you when when you go they ritualistically when you go they all the time you know for a particular activity once you go there you are in a certain mindset frame of mind when you get to that place the easiest sorry for the for the kind of crude example but that anyone can relate to is the bathroom you know when you go to the bathroom like your mind because it's something that you do from when you're a little kid when you go to the bathroom your body knows what happens in the bathroom you know having a set. But having a set safe to go like for a spiritual activity in your home this corner or this rug that I set up that I go and sit here for me this chair that I that when I'm missing my baby this is the place where I have my devotion and it gets you in a certain frame of mind and engages you prepared to receive what God has to give to head on John Wesley I went to England a visit John was house and this brother built his own prayer room because there was enough space in his house so he built this extreme just for his prayer room but the way the architecture of the house he couldn't just do an add on he had to reek reef configure the entire house with this little small dinky little room of a place really but from this one room I mean the historians say he changed the world or the Lord used him to change the world in the Methodist movement and that means having a prayer room and doesn't have to be a room or reconstruct your house but some holy lowercase h. place or case. Any other pointers we have in the text or I would say on just studying the Word of God for yourself I know sometimes just the balance of being. Emitted to studying something all the way through but also being Ok that if you didn't study all of as you heal Jesus still loves you then you can read something else and he so what I do typically is I am always reading through the Bible at some point and if I want to say something else I will but if I don't I just keep going with that reading through and study it that way so right now I'm reading through Exodus as I'm reading through but I also read 1st Corinthians in clashes 3 and like I'm just I just want to read that but I always have something so I know I used to be right study a book until I like I really want to study something else but for some reason I felt bad like I was abandoning my post it was like It's Ok the Bible is all the bible let me ask you I mean we're going to pointers but you're sure you're bringing up something that I want to ask yeah is r d r devotions already botia is a indicator of you're so fixed do they play our role in your salvation are you saved by your devotion No absolutely not so if you're not saved by your yes oceans but to your 1st point you're you're expressing the fact that you are seeing that the Holy Spirit is working in your life because less is distill it down to its essence what we're talking about a devotional I will talk about worship. When you're not worshipping God to earn anything from gone through we worship God to confess his worthiness because of what he has done for us already so in this sense in the 10 commandments he says well I'm the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt out of the house of bondage have no other gods before me right don't worship any other idols why because I delivered you I didn't deliver you because you were worshipping me or because you weren't worshipping idols I delivered you so you didn't have to so in essence your obedience to that is a response to the salvific work that Jesus has already done in your life and it's the biggest restructuring I've seen is that us just help me a lot is our devotions don't make God love us more but our devotions do make us love God more. And that's God does not change in any way like I love you the same even if you ignore me God loves us the same so this isn't marriage in any way it is a honing of the self to make you more sensitive and to you know God was so it's also like I mean I mean you know I think we've talked about in other episodes of different seasons but it's like it's almost like having an anniversary with a loved one it's like do I have to hang out with you like but what you did wrong it was you know like that you already ruined it by saying that and so you know God is the perfect spouse in the sense that he still loves us perfectly but it's like it's something we want to do because we love him just wanted to mention one other too was the fact that in the text the Bible says that he knelt down on his knees 3 times that day and he prayed and he gave thanks before his God I find that it's very very valuable in devotional time to begin with gratitude and to write down 3 things that I'm thankful for from the day before not the week not just specifically the day before in the discipline of that of giving thanks and gratitude sets you up for the right mindset you know devotion worship because you're like man this the Lord did this the word the oh yes so now when I'm moving forward in my worship I'm talking to someone who's been good to me yeah so that just gave me the motivation in the inspiration to continue doing what I'm doing. I think starting with gratitude is critical now it would be to be honest when I 1st heard that I thought it was the cheesiest thing that's so like fluff you want to be like who wrote those things that you think will floor a movie for the floors and what not but when I actually got mine in my journal and I'm writing these things out and I realize what kind of mind I have a kind of critical analytical mind I had and he said being thankful can actually change the way your brain thinks and I'm like Dude that is the most you know whatever thing you know I've ever heard so instead of 3 things I just did one thing but then when I did one I never ended up doing it so I like not one month maybe I'll do 2 so just the 2 things I think I'm thankful for what happens is you cannot just write 2 things down like you end up writing more and after doing this for 4 years it has really developed a thankful heart a different different outlook and we have to say we appreciate if we encourage you to be thankful for the Lord has done in your devotional life thanks for joining us hopefully been inspired to have a more powerful profound devotional life with the Lord Jesus they were joining us here in verse you've been listening to a Bible based conversation where we were as well that Jonathan was Sebastian back. Just. In verses brought to you by the. Television that changes like this and more inspiring ever so is it ever. More. Violence on social media. In the 1st 5 until next time this is enforced.

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