I am a billionaire. I have inherited a billion ways to gaze on the glory of Jesus around His Throne. He has invested in a billion ways to tell me, “I love you.” Why lust for worldly riches when you can dance undignified on a sea of glass mingled with fire before the Throne of Jesus? The point is this; the discoveries of devotion are endless. While the way is narrow and straight is the gate to Jesus, once you’re there, you’ve stepped into a limitless galaxy of devotion and endless discovery of ways to treasure Him. Dallas Willard has said, “The most important commandment of the Judeo-Christian tradition is to treasure God and his realm more than anything else.” Once you’re in His realm you’ll stumble into glory gazing and acres of diamonds. You’ll become a billionaire.
FIVE DIAMONDS OF DEVOTION:
- WALK WITH GOD IN THE COOL OF THE DAY
Here’s a simple practice for connecting with Jesus and investing in our relationship with Him. We simply walk with God in the cool of the day as Adam did in the Garden of Eden. The coolest part of the day is the morning and evening. Spend that time alone with God and you’ll find yourself singing songs, praying in the Spirit and communing with God in between those meetings.
- BE FOUND UNDER THE FIG TREE
When Jesus said that He prophetically saw Nathanael under the fig tree He was also announcing that He saw into Nathanael’s devotional life. “Under the fig tree” was a phrase Rabbis used to describe meditation on the Scriptures, creation, life, and the Lord. Nathanael liked to pray and meditate on the Lord under an actual fig tree. He was in devotion meditating and Jesus tells him “I saw you” there in devotion. Because Jesus is alive, the goal of Christian meditation is not to meditate on nothing but on someone. We do not seek to clear the mind but to fill it with wonder. Christian meditation is filling our minds with the Holy Spirit through the praying imagination (could be said of contemplation as well, I suppose). We sanctify our imagination as we put it in contact with the world of the bible, the Kingdom of Jesus, and God’s creation. BE FOUND UNDER THE FIG TREE.
- EAT THE SCROLL
Messengers in the bible are often told to “eat the scroll.” It carries with it the idea of devouring the message, let it become part of you, and then release it. It can also be a call to meditate on the message. To “meditate” means to reflect; to moan, to mutter; to ponder; to make a quiet sound such as sighing; to meditate or contemplate something as one repeats the words. The goal of Christian meditation of Scripture is to cultivate the mind of Christ and to make holy our thoughts (I Cor. 2:16; Phil. 4:8). We want to “Let this mind” be in us “as it was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5). Our growth is directly connected to how much bible we intake. Pray the bible, read it, listen to the bible on audio, write out verses, and immerse yourself in the Word. We are sanctified (or made holy) by truth; God’s word is truth (Jn. 17:17). We develop a Word-shaped life as we engage the Scriptures with our imagination. Slip from your chair and enter the pages of your bible with all of your senses. Digest the Word until it becomes part of you. EAT THE SCROLL.
- BURN AT HOME WITH A KINGDOM FAMILY
If I didn’t have 2 or 3 (preferably 4 or 5) revival-hearted burning brothers and sisters who are daily and weekly in my life I’d do everything I could to find them. Forget having everyone like you. Narrow your focus to a small burning pack. You’ll impact the masses better if you focus on burning at home with spiritual authority in your life and Kingdom family to cheer you on. We go deeper in God when we go together. Forget looking for “it” somewhere else only. Burn at home. Ministry models are lame once you’ve tasted doing revival as a lifestyle with a Kingdom family. If we can run in packs our sons and daughters will run in tribes. If we can run in tribes we can run as nations. BURN AT HOME.
- EMBRACE HOLY LEISURE
One of the coolest definitions of leisure would probably be those activities that allow us the time to “stop and stare” as William Henry Davies writes in the poem, “Leisure.” Leisure is that place where we enjoy Jesus in all of life. Even at play we never let our thoughts get to far from Him. It’s a blast living in the Kingdom of Jesus. He has come to give us life and that we may live it to the fullest. As my favorite poet, Hopkins, has famously said, “Christ plays in ten thousand places.” Do you find Him even at play? Sometimes, the healthiest thing you can do spiritually is to spend time with Jesus while doing something fun. G.K. Chesterton once said, “It might reasonably be maintained that the true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground.” EMBRACE HOLY LEISURE!
Matt Pettry, Circuit Rider and Author of “Making Lightning: Restoring the Lost Art of Wonder”