The spiritual parent knows that devotions are like an iron lung to the person who cannot breathe on his own. Twice in two verses, John writes, “ I write to you fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning.” (1 John 2:13-14 NKJ) He wrote the same thing, because the capstone of the spiritual parent is his experience and commitment to the Father’s person and will. That is because devotions are more a part of his life than the food he eats.
Before studying these principles, ensure you have captured the principles from the three preceding spiritual levels. Spiritual infants learn what devotions are. The spiritual child learns the “how” behind doing devotions. The spiritual young adult learns the “why” behind doing devotions. The spiritual parent has been doing devotions so long that he does not let a day go by without meditating on God’s Word in some way. The spiritual parent sees and lives how important devotions are to him.
First, the spiritual parent worships God in devotions. He both understands the goodness of God and the importance of worship as God desires it. Jesus said,
23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:23-24 NKJ)
In fact, he is drawing others to come and worship the Lord with him, “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.” (Ps. 95:6 NKJ)
Secondly, the spiritual parent understands repentance with a changed heart. Confession of sin identifies and acknowledges sin. That restores his relationship or fellowship with God. However, there is a sense of repentance that abides with the person who desires to please the Lord. Paul wrote,
9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11 For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter. (2 Cor. 7:9-11 NKJ)
Do you see the seven attitudes and actions present in the repentant person from verse 11? Notice the seven aspects of true repentance and meditate on them. Are they characteristic of you?
Thirdly, the spiritual parent will meditate for strength. The spiritual parent takes time to meditate on God’s Word just as God spoke to Joshua as he took leadership over Israel, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Josh. 1:8 NKJ) Devotions, meditation, is a great source of strength to spiritual parents who are discipling spiritual infants and children! And Paul wrote,
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy– meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. (Phil. 4:8-9 NKJ)
Fourthly, spiritual parents have a biblical study plan for life application. The psalmist wrote,
Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. 98 You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; For they are ever with me. 99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation. (Ps. 119:97-99 NKJ)
The plan will vary from spiritual parent to spiritual parent, but because of such great love for God’s Word, they will develop a plan to know God’s Word in order to overcome enemies and even his teachers.
Fifthly, spiritual parents have awareness of how their devotions influence others. Paul loved Timothy, who was becoming a spiritual parent in the Church of Ephesus. Paul wrote,
12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. (1 Tim. 4:12-16 NKJ)
Spiritual growth is life-long learning. Devotions are one of the best ways to spiritually grow in your relationship with God. If devotions are not a part of your life, then you have not become the spiritual parent God intends you to be. The Christian way of life is all about your relationship with God. Spiritual parents increase in their enjoyment of devotions, because it is their personal contact in relationship with God. How are you doing in your devotions?