Real Devotion to God

Bible

As a follower of Jesus, there are certain things required of me.  Love and obedience to God are but a beginning.  There have been some serious stirrings which are leading to painful awakenings in my spiritual life {which  really should be my whole life}. I love God. I love Him with a very imperfect love. And I love Him more in word than I do in deed.

And...

I have been challenged in a serious way with regards to my devotion to God.

You see, it's easy to listen to all the wonderful things God can do for me, and hold Him to all the promises He makes. It's easy to keep God in the background of my life--playing worship in the background, praying throughout the day, in the background, hanging scripture in the background. I go about my life with God hanging in the background.

None of those things are bad, but they are not enough. They cannot replace real devotion to God. Being devoted means you have a profound dedication to something [or someone], or are earnestly attached.  (dictionary.com) Am I truly dedicated to God? Does He penetrate the depths of my being? Do I seek and chase after Him as if I truly need Him?

I don't think I totally fathom just how much I need Him. Instead, I cling to my comfort and security. I cling to my things as if I need them.  When I have all this other stuff to run to, where does that leave God? Yes, I recognize that He has provided all these things, but could I leave them all behind and be perfectly content with only God?

I want to run after God with the awareness that He is all there is, and He is all that matters.

A few weeks ago, I was living with the belief that my relationship with God was OK. Not perfect and not even great, but stable. No, I wasn't necessarily happy with that position either--but now? Now, I see my relationship with God in a dangerous place. My eyes have been opened to my complacency.

Living in all this comfort, I have lost sight of devotion to God. I've indulged in the flesh and have allowed that to be a poor substitute for living in the Spirit. And I do mean poor. Because the flesh is never satisfied and it constantly craves more and more of what it's after. After a while, I've become so immersed in satisfying it, I can't even pull away to nurture my spiritual life.

Distractions are such a big problem. It's unbelievable how many things distract us and literally pull us away from God. I'm learning something seriously hard. There is no excuse, NO EXCUSE, not to make time for God. He should be second to NOTHING. He has given me all that I have: my family, my home, my stuff, my LIFE. I have no excuses for putting any of it in front of Him. If I find myself too busy, then something needs to go. Or everything need to go. Nothing should take up my time with Him.

The basic foundations of the life of a follower of Christ are reading His word and prayer. It doesn't stop there, but often, we don't even begin there. Somehow we think we can get by without making time for these very important aspects of our faith. Let's be painfully honest with ourselves. We make excuses as to why we do not make time for God. There are so many reasons but the bottom line is that we need Him.

Does our life show our devotion to Him? Not our idea of devotion, but His.

Luke 9:23 (NLT) 23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.

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A Painful Stirring

Yes, I am breaking my "breech" to be "closed" until the new year, however, this can't wait. Can I be brutally honest? It is Christmas E.ve and I cannot believe how uneasy I feel about all the stuff we're giving our children tomorrow morning. And compared with most of America, it isn't much at all.

Because we have grown up in such a rich country, and do not know anything different, we're accustomed to constantly getting more and more things.

More and more things which distract. Things that cloud. Things that pull us away from being in His Word, in His presence, in His Spirit.

I've written about the stirring for a change of Christmas, and it has only become more troublesome to my heart.

I was challenged greatly by the message Francis Chan spoke on being lukewarm. (You can find the video in my sidebar). He enlightened me to a perspective I have never known.

You know the rich man that Jesus talks about in the Bible? You know, the one who asks Jesus what he must do to be saved and Jesus replied, saying to sell all his possessions and follow him? (Matthew 19:16-28). Did you ever consider that we are that rich man? Yea, me either. Kind of makes your head spin, doesn't it?

Because, according to statistics, I am richer than 89% of the world.

But why is it so hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven?

Because he is at risk for clinging to his stuff. Because stuff distracts. Giving has a two-fold benefit. First, you can help the poor. But also, you can help yourself by preventing more stuff, by giving your money away. At least, that's the challenge I am faced with.

It burdens me friends, because I don't want to be lukewarm. It burdens me because it's uncomfortable. It burdens me because I must now undo what I have allowed to be done to my children.

But, most of all, I do not want to be lukewarm. Having stuff in and of itself does not necessarily make one lukewarm. It's being distracted by it all that becomes a problem.

This is just some of the stirrings that are within me this Christmas.