"What you are doing morning after morning raises the potential that in crucial moments of pastoral ministry you will be part of what God is doing rather than in the way of it... Your private devotional life has the power to kill you like nothing else does... Private personal worship is an effective tool of grace in the hands of God to kill those things in you that must die in order that you be what you have been appointed to do in your place of ministry." (p. 189-190)There's a famous quote attributed to Woody Allen that says that eighty percent of success is simply showing up. I've become convinced that adage is true about ministry and missions, as well. It is only when we show up and are truly present that we can be the agents God can use for his Kingdom purposes.
Simply showing up and following the practices of a devotional life is essential for ministry as well.
I love watching stop motion videos of plants growing - you know, the ones where you see a season's worth of growth compressed into a just few seconds. But the truth is that a life with God is rarely like that. Most of the time, nothing special seems to be happening.
Our devotional lives are marked by unremarkable experiences so a lack of illuminating, earth shaking spiritual experiences must not discourage us from submitting ourselves to the daily grind of showing up and being present to God day in and day out.
Over time the growth is happening.
To practice a devotional life over the long haul, we must trust that while we may not see much happening in the moment, the Lord is shaping us into vessels in which his Holy Spirit can dwell.
Grace and Peace,
To read more about the devotional life and transformation check out the post Rehearsing Truth.