8 Apr 2013
Who among us desires to be wholeheartedly committed to the Lord? Have you noticed that some in our midst seem to have a quiet persistent passion to honor and serve Jesus, while others of us are somewhat pale and poorly in our pursuit of our Lord?
2 Chronicles 6:13-14 (NLT)
13 Now Solomon had made a bronze platform 71/2 feet long, 71/2 feet wide, and 41/2 feet high and had placed it at the center of the Temple’s outer courtyard. He stood on the platform, and then he knelt in front of the entire community of Israel and lifted his hands toward heaven.
14 He prayed, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven and earth. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion.
In our current unseen cosmic battle much of the “territory” to be gained or lost among God’s children is the authentic wholehearted devotion of individual human hearts. Satan’s sadistic strategy is to stomp out the fire of single hearted devotion in the hearts of men and women dedicated to honor and worship and serve our living God.
God on the other hand has provided each of His children with the blood of Christ for our redemption, the indwelling of His Spirit to empower and guide His children, and the fellowship of the body and bride of Christ to instruct and encourage and support our growth. In addition to these provisions God’s children have been given His word and the amazing opportunity to communicate with God at any time from any place.
While God has provided every possible opportunity for His children to seek Him and follow Him in wholehearted devotion, we seem to regularly be drawn aside to the land of half heartedness, the treacherous territory of divided hearts. While we desire to remain and reside in the land of the righteous, we often have wandering eyes for the fictitious grass that appears to grow lushly on the other side of the dangerous divide.
Where can we find the root cause of our wandering wavering hearts? What is the primary means of our failing to live out of a mind committed to wholehearted devotion to God? Jesus said:
John 14:15 (AMP)
15 If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands.
It seems to me that often we work on the wrong end of the rope. We continue to try to muster up the strength and commitment to stay purely related to God, but failure seems to come so often that it appears as if no matter how hard we try another failure is just around the corner. Ropes work quite well when we pull on them, but conversely they are practically useless when we push. In this vein, perhaps trying hard to be righteous is similar to pushing on a rope. While there is little resistance, there is at the same time little accomplished.
Conversely if we pull on the rope while there may be resistance, but as the resistance is overcome, there is considerable progress in the direction of wholehearted devotion to God. What does pulling on this rope against resistance look like in our daily lives? God is waiting for us to draw near to Him. But it seems so impractical and unproductive to take valuable time and set it aside to spend time with God. This is the resistance. It is not primarily external as we would believe, but it is internal, the product of a carefully planned and executed propaganda campaign to get us to think in ways that defeat us.
So what can we do to consistently tug our hearts in the direction of God? We must renew our minds!
Romans 12:1-3 (NASB95)
1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
The actions required to renew our mind can be likened to the game of basketball. We must participate in both offense and defense if we are to accomplish our goal. Our enemy will attempt to defeat us in both of these arenas but he usually knows by his study of us in which area we are most likely to be overcome.
For the sake of clarity we should probably define the terms offense and defense. Offense is the focused time we deliberately set aside to spend with God, time communicating communing and falling deeper in love with Him. This is intentionally focused time listening, talking to, and worshipping God, not simply academic activity.
Defense is guarding our minds. The power to perform effective guarding comes from the Holy Spirit. It works like this …. Satan is trying to get the ball of sinful fleshly desire to hit the basket of your mind. Each time his ball goes through the net, the basket gets a bit bigger. Good defense prevents Satan’s sin shots from reaching their intended mark, your mind. Satan’s goal is to negate all the potential power of intimacy with God by the strategy of sin that separates us from the fellowship and power of God.
What is our first step? God is First! So we start in the very beginning of our day spending time with God (0ffence). The first part of this first thing is to seek God and worship Him for Who He is, not just for what He might give. During this time of seeking and communicating with God the second thing is to ask God to search your heart for any seed or scent of un-confessed sin. Any revealed sin should be immediately confessed. This is critical preparation for the third step of asking God for a fresh filling of His spirit. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that we can successfully defend our hearts against the shots that Satan will strategically send our way. Ask the Holy Spirit to baptize your eyes, and your ears. Ask God’s Spirit to empower you to turn away from or turn off any potential shot aimed at the desires of your flesh.
God is putting together a team of wholehearted followers. He desires to bring revival, but His team is not yet wholly devoted. He has given His team all we need to win. But the current score is not in our favor. We must make effective use of the provisions of God: His word, prayer, and the power of the Holy Spirit. Will you wholeheartedly do your part to bring up God’s score such that His kingdom would come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven? This is a true description of revival.