Spending time with God is so important that a lot of people use daily devotionals just to get it right. This is a good thing but the issue that most people have is that after using it in the morning they cannot even remember what they read talk less of even applying the instructions that are put in the devotional.
Daily devotionals are not supposed to be a morning thing only, neither is it a day to day thing. It is to sponsor a lifestyle. If your life is not transforming to be more like Christ then you are wasting your time. There won’t be any lasting impact wherever you go. So here are three things you will learn from the interaction between the rich young ruler and Jesus. This will bring a greater experience when we spend time with God
You Have Eternal Life
The rich young ruler asked Jesus, “…Good master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16). So he wanted to live the God kind of life. In the New Covenant we live in now, we have eternal life already (1 John 5:13). The question we are to be asking is, how do I express this life? Jesus replied, “… keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17).
What does that mean for us? It means to keep the greatest commandment which is Love. It is living in such a way that God can easily express himself through you. God cannot easily express himself in people who are:
- All tangled up in their job
- Living their lives in their comfort zone
- Focused on just themselves and family
- Rarely prays or reads the bible
- Ritualistic morning devotion
Do not treat your time with God as a to-do list. It is a life-changing action or process that is more important than anything else. It fuels every other thing you do. You already have the life of God. All you are doing is finding out how to release it. Live in a way to express it not to just examine it.
You Have No Lack
Jesus told the rich young ruler what he needed to do to have eternal life but he was not satisfied. He said, “…all these things I have kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?” (Matthew 19:20). He still knew something was missing. Of course, something was missing and the person was right in front of him. Jesus was what he lacked. When you are spending time with God reading your bible, is your focus on God speaking to you or finishing the daily reading for the day? If it is the latter, you will lack experiencing his presence. When you are spending time with God praying, is your focus intimacy or solve my problems Oh lord. If it is the latter, you will lack the power to transform and grow.
Why do you do the things you do. Question your motive. Once your motive is right, you will see progress. If Jesus is our everything, when we focus on Him, we should not lack. Daily devotionals are to point to a person and not to a task.
We Have One Life
Jesus told the rich young ruler, “…if thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me” (Matthew 19:21). The rich young ruler refused to follow Jesus because he had great possessions or, to put it another way, great possessions had him.
He chooses religion over a relationship and to be honest I believe it was not intentional. Issues in life can make people do the strangest things. That is why we need to know this truth as a believer. You have only one life and it was given to you by God. It is a life where God is first and last, beginning and end. If the only time you do things for God is when you feel like it, this truth is not true to you.
It is not God first then every other thing. That is the mistake most believers make. They think first means order and forget it means position as well. You paid your tithe before using the money for any other thing. That is order. You are prompted by the spirit of God to use your money for Kingdom work and you refuse with the mindset that your tithe is enough. It means Christ is not first in your life In terms of position.
You seek God early in the morning which is good but have you positioned your heart to walk in his ways or the instructions He gives you? Your daily devotions are to condition your heart to live as Children of God. Once you have that mindset miracles will begin to happen.