Thursday, February 17, 2011

DEVOTION



DEVOTION

Love the Lord your God with all your mind, and with all your soul, and with all your strength” ( Luke 10:27) . In this New Year I have been drawn to reflect upon this verse and other similar passages in scripture. This is the greatest commandment of all time and I feel the most challenging to follow. 

After the Fall, we are by nature bent towards loving everything else. Everything is fighting for our attention and devotion over our love and devotion to God – the maker of us all. I have found that Satan will use anything and everything to keep us from being devoted to God. Devotion to anything or anyone else more than God is idolatry.

But what does devotion mean? The word is usually used to mean ardent love, single mindedness, focus, strong attachment, allegiance etc.

The question I ask myself is: Do I love God in this way? Am I single minded about Him. Is He first in my life? Is His will for my life important to me to the point where if I had to choose, the choice would be clear?

Different ones of us will be tested for our devotion in different areas of our lives viz., jobs, studies, self absorption, pleasure, friends etc.

The distractions are subtle. They do not announce themselves with two horns and a tail. They might even be “good” things. It would be wise to remember that even the devil can masquerade himself as an angel of light to deceive us. This gives us more reason to be devoted to the Lord and reading His word – then we will be able to discern the counterfeit from the consecrated. We need to always pray like the psalmist that we may keep His word hidden in our hearts that we might not sin against Him.(Psalm 119:11)

For those of us who have been Christians for a long time this means I do not slacken my pace or let my zeal die down. Its means not giving up on doing good nor taking a back seat. I need to guard my heart from becoming callous and lukewarm toward the things of God. I should check the danger of becoming over familiar with a Holy God who will not tolerate sin but who desires to change me from one degree of glory to another. I need to beware of “having a form of godliness yet denying its power” in my life. I need to be careful that I do not go through the motion of things viz attending church meetings without expecting to meet with God and it becomes a “have to” chore rather than a “want to” desire.

 As I reflect and ponder on these things I ask myself what I can do in order to stay dogged in my devotion.

  • ·       I need to recognize those things that take me away from being devoted to God and be ruthless with them just as God asked the Israelites to be ruthless with the idols erected to foreign Gods.
  • ·       What can I do to get back to a heart of devotion and worship?
  • ·       What can I do to value the body of Christ more (which is expressed in the local church to which I belong). How can I love and serve her just as Christ  ( who laid down His very life for her)
  • ·       What can I do to keep God top in my priorities in how I organize my time.
  • ·       What can I do to grow spiritually  viz : Books I could read, prayer/house group meeting I could regularly attend,  improve my spiritual disciplines like reading my Bible, prayer, meditation, fasting etc.
How I spend my time is a good indicator of what’s going on in my heart and what I am devoted to. It’s as simple as that. 

Thank God His grace which gives me the time and the ability to change. The Lord is compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love ( Num. 14:18). He woos me back to Himself. He began a good work in me will bring it to completion ( Phil 1:6). I don’t need to struggle on my own. Thank God for  the means of grace in Christian fellowship  where I can get fellow brothers and sisters’ to pray for me and where I can make myself appropriately accountable.

As I reflect upon this and repent for straying away, the ever faithful God will forgive me, revive my spirit and restore to me the joy of my salvation.

Here is a song I wrote as a prayer reflecting some of these thoughts.



Navaz D Cruz In everything