Have you ever heard of a pastor falling into gross sin? Did you stop to wonder why it happened? Every situation is different, but there are several commonalities, one of which is the breakdown of the devotional life. In most cases, the individual stops having a quiet time. In some cases, they maintain their devotions, but in reality, they are meeting with a God of their own imagination. Whether you’re counseling, a pastor or serving at a church picnic, your quiet time can set you up for ministry success. Here are 6 ways a focus on your quiet time helps achieve ministry success.
Your devotional life reinforces the authority of scripture over you
God is true and speaks in accordance with His nature. This means that His Word is true and faithful. The promises and warnings of scripture, therefore constitute a consistent benchmark for our own lives and the lives of those to whom we minister. Our quiet time should remind us of this as we read about God’s will and how His will is demonstrated in the lives of others both in scripture and in life. The result is that we mold our lives to what He says in His Word, and therefore we give the Lord authority over us. If the word of God has authority over us, we will pass this authority on within our ministry. If not, we’ll pass on our own ideas. Ministry success means submission to Christ, starting with ourselves.
Your devotional life focuses you on God’s priorities for your life
The word of God helps us step away from all the things that are going on in our lives by reminding us of God’s interactions with His people throughout history. What God has focused on throughout history is often different to what we are focusing on. Reading what God has been concerned with is a great reminder to us of what is important to Him. This reminder should direct our focus from the less important things that so often consume our priorities, and place it where it should be. When we start our day this way, we can plan our day and interactions within ministry so that His priorities are the main focus. God calls us to concern ourselves with what is important to Him and to trust Him with the lesser things (Matt 6:33).If the word of God has authority over us, we will pass this authority on within our ministry Click To Tweet
Your devotional life is key to your purity
God’s greatest priority for His people is purity of heart and deed (Matt 5:48). Christlikeness is what we were saved for (Rom 8:29). Holiness is what God wants of us (1 Thess 4:3), and without holiness, we will not see the Lord (Heb 12:14, 1 Thess 3:13). This is one of the continual urges of the word of God. Therefore, if we’re not in the word of God, we won’t see the seriousness of this call. But if we’re reading the Word regularly, it will warn us of the dangers of sin and the blessing of righteousness, and it will teach us to walk in purity. Ministry success depends upon personal holiness.
Your devotional life focuses you on other people’s needs
In reading the warnings of scripture, not only will we be concerned for holiness in our own lives, but we will also be concerned for holiness in the lives of others. I can recall times when I’ve noticed some sin in the life of someone I’m ministering to and have kept silent. Then the following day, I read in my Bible the warnings against that sin and have been convicted of the significance of it. As a result, I’ve acted for that person by praying for them or even talking with them about that sin. If my devotional life was lacking, I wouldn’t have considered the matter again.God’s greatest priority for His people is purity of heart and deed Click To Tweet
Your devotional life is where you minister to yourself
Those who minister to others also need ministry. The first place to get that is from the word of God. We need the Lord to warn us, comfort us, and feed us. Sometimes He brings others into our lives to do this. The most important ministry we need is not from people, but from God. By far the best way to receive this is through His Word.
Sometimes we want a certain type of ministry, and therefore we avoid the word of God. If the word of God seems burdensome , this suggests we’re not really interested in His priorities, but in having people affirm us, regardless of whether we’re right. This is a warning that we’ve abandoned ministry and we’re building our own kingdom. One important way we expose ourselves to ministry, whether it be comfort or correction is by reading, submitting to and responding to the word of God.The most important ministry we need is not from people, but from God Click To Tweet
Your devotional life keeps your ministry fresh
A healthy devotional life will keep you in the word of God and ensure you allow God to challenge your beliefs, thoughts, desires, and actions. As long as this is the case, you’ll keep finding new things in scripture that you apply to your own life. This enriches your own experience of God’s revealed will, and helps to apply it to other people. As our lives are changed by God’s Word and as we are refreshed, this freshness can be passed on to others as we minister to them. Ministry success is evident in a fresh understanding and love for God and His Word in those we minister to.
If we want to minister to others, whether it be as a counselor, pastor, or through other forms of ministry, we need to have a healthy focus on our own devotional life and a healthy focus within our quiet time. This mean’s it is important that we know how to have an effective quiet time. If your quiet time is not what it needs to be, take some time today to make a plan for change. How should you focus on your quiet time? What is missing? Do you have a clear purpose for your quiet times? Consider taking my free Transformative Quiet Times workshop to help set your focus.
How has your devotional life contributed to your ministry? Leave a comment below.