What is Devotion?

Recently I was asked me to give a devotion to the team, one hour before I needed to give it. My initial thought when asked was: I’m not feeling very devoted today.

I’d had a rough week dealing with some challenges with my children and things they were going through and I was just feeling very discouraged. I spent hours in prayer for her them during the week about their situations and it just didn’t feel like either situation was getting any better. In fact, it seemed to only be getting worse. It’s terribly painful to watch your children go through something so hurtful and not be able to intervene or vindicate them or make it better.

So immediately after agreeing to give the devotion, my mind went to: What are you supposed to do when you don’t ‘feel’ devoted?

What does it really mean to BE devoted? … I went to Google.

Devotion Definition: love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause.

Devotion Synonyms: loyalty, faithfulness, fidelity, constancy, commitment, adherence, allegiance, dedication.

Being devoted to something means being focused on that particular thing almost exclusively.

Devotion isn’t a feeling then, it’s an action.

Can you imagine a life without devotion? No commitment, no follow-through, no grounding in what really matters.

When you’re devoted to something, your life is transformed. You begin orienting your thoughts and activities toward that central focus.

Doubt and confusion diminish, as you always have a benchmark to refer back to. People and circumstances that no longer fit into the scope of focus fall away.

Devotion is not for the faint of heart. It takes a surrender of your personal wants and desires into something that holds greater meaning for you. It exudes passion and longing. You might even say that you form a love affair with whatever you are devoted to. You show commitment, dedication, loyalty, reverence, and sincerity.

I know what I am devoted to. There’s not even the slightest lag in response: I am devoted to my children. But more than that I am devoted to God. And devoted to the call He’s placed on my life. I’m not blown about the wind of worry or the waves of despair. When the storms come I am solidly anchored in the Lord.

When I first became a believer my devotion to the Lord was passionate. I had a longing for Biblical knowledge and for the peace of His presence. I remember sharing in a Sunday school class once that my adoration for the Lord and my understanding of His love for me felt like being IN love.

So even with my troubles this past week, and the turmoil that seems to be surrounding my family, my devotion has not changed. I keep my eyes on Jesus and my heart focused on the Lord. I have to surrender an understanding of the situation and what’s happening to my children and accept that the Lord is in control. But even if this doesn’t all come out in their favor, even if the one is not vindicated and her reputation restored, even if the other doesn’t get the answers to prayer she seeks – my hope is still in the Lord. My devotion is still to the Lord. My love, loyalty, enthusiasm, commitment, adherence, allegiance, and dedication is still to the Lord.

The Lord speaks to me in many ways, and one of those ways is through song. As I’m writing this I’m ‘hearing’ a portion of a song in my head by Mercy Me:

Even If

I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt Would all go away
if You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone


Shelly Freeman
Executive Ministry Administrator
Missionary Associate

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