Suddenly, seeking God has gone from diligently studying His Word, to simply reading it, and finding more satisfaction in short, shallow devotionals. It leaves us feeling motivated, but motivated to do what, exactly?
Follow our hearts? They are deceitful, above all things. (Jeremiah 17:9)
Pursue wealth? We are not entitled to it. We must be careful to not love the things of the world. (Matthew 6:21, Ecclesiastes 5:10)
Ignore God’s call to live holy lives? So many messages forget to share God’s holy and just nature, and His call for believers to walk as Jesus did, in complete obedience to the Father. (Colossians 3:25, John 14:15, Luke 6:46, 1 Peter 1:16).
While it is true that God might put desires in our hearts, we mustn’t become so self-absorbed that we refuse to look beyond the superficial bible study we have settled for.
When we do a self-evaluation, we mustn’t use our perspectives alone. As with everything in life, we must look at it through Biblical lenses. This will enable us to make a proper diagnosis of our Spiritual life and habits that are either drawing us closer to God, or have us remain stagnant (or going backward, rather), oblivious to the danger and lack of growth.
There is an emotional factor that plays a part in our experiences. Hearing or reading motivational messages that speak of God’s love and plans for us have a way of inducing joy, excitement, and hope. That sounds delightful, does it not? But it often doesn’t go deeper than that. We lose sight of God’s holiness, and the awesome wrath He is entitled to unleash against sin when we don’t pursue Him and study His Word. All of it; Torah, as well as the New Testament.
Our spirits cannot survive on simply rehearsing popular verses, such as:
Jeremiah 29:11- “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you…” when we are not reading in context, and we focus on receiving from God, rather than giving him ourselves fully.
What can we give God- the King of the universe- that He could possibly want or need?
Full, surrendered, unapologetic, uncompromising, unaltered obedience to His Word, and standards.
Perfection will never come to us this side of eternity. But a heart that is surrendered to Christ will experience sorrow at having had bowed down to the enemy, to sin, or self. A sorrow so deep, it brings us to our knees, in repentance, before a holy God.
We cannot call ourselves followers of our Messiah, and not be moved by the state of, not only this fallen world, but the state of the church as well. Shallow relationships between God and His people are passing for faith these days.
In John 14:15, Jesus said, “If you love me, obey my commandments.”
We must meditate on Scripture that remind us to walk our faith out instead of only speaking of it.
We reject His truth when we refuse to look at verses that challenge us to live honorable lives.
1 Peter 1:14-15 says, “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’ “
Let us not remain ignorant of His Word. Be diligent in studying it.
Luke 6:46 says, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?”
Ephesians 5:11 says, “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”
One of the problems that plagues the church is that many are using their own judgment- as opposed to using God’s- to determine what is right and what is wrong. God’s Word stands firm, and never changes.
Devotionals can be beneficial. Our goals can be, as well. What needs to be determined, however, is whether or not they are helping us grow in our relationship with God, or if all we are doing is serving ourselves in order to feel happy, while hearing/reading a shallow, motivational message, which neither give us a deeper understanding of our Creator, nor motivate us to serve Him in ways people these days would consider extreme- beginning with obedience. We cannot allow ourselves to get our spiritual fix with mere devotionals or sermons by popular televangelists. Test everything against the Scriptures.
There is no time to waste, because time is not in our hands. What we do with it, however, is. We cannot wait, and leave for “tomorrow” what we are capable of starting today.
We all know that tomorrow is not promised, yet we live as if it is, and we are the exception. We are nothing of the sort.
What has God called you to do? We all must be about our Father’s business. We are either His ambassadors, or we are Christian imposters.
When we face doubts as to what God will have us do, our purpose, and our next step, we should continue to seek Him in His Word, and serving others. He will make things clear in time.
Enjoy your morning routines, and enjoy your devotionals. But test everything, and don’t let that be your sole source of Scripture education.
Carve out time; it is essential to our Christian walk.
Study in historical, Hebraic context. It is essential for understanding.
Be aware, and ever grateful for each day, managing time well, and making good use of it.
Don’t be afraid to stand up for truth. The more we study the Word, the more we will be convinced of such truths. We were not put in this world to be popular. We will not be esteemed by everyone. Let it matter more to us to be Christ’s servant, rather than a slave to the world and its customs. Be set apart. Be holy, as He is holy- today. Every day.