Sometimes we think we are walking in the right path, but we are not. Sometimes we believe that we have given our lives over to God, but not really. Sometimes we sing praises to our Lord, but our lips are only singing, not our whole heart. We work at ‘helping’ at church, perhaps it is teaching a class, singing a special, cleaning once a month, nursery, bulletin board, etc., yet what is our motive? When offering time comes, where is our heart when we put in our money?
“To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.” 1 Samuel 15:22b-23a (NIV)
King Amaziah began to serve the Lord, but he did not commit ‘wholeheartedly’, and in the end of his reign, he fell into idolatry. (2 Kings 14 & 2 Chronicles 25)
Repeatedly the nations of Israel and Judah turned to God, yet not with their whole hearts. The results were those of constant battles, much destruction and heartache. They were quickly turned away by ‘things’, setting their wavering hearts on other idols, other gods, until they could not do anything, then turn back towards Jehovah for a time. This cycle continued for generations, and still to this day in the hearts of many. –– are we distracted? Have we put other ‘gods’ up in the place where our Savior should be?
Ananias & Sapphira acted as if they were giving their proper tithes/offering, yet they were withholding some for themselves – their giving was not wholeheartedly, and the results were their deaths.
What about those of us who do follow some of the things God asks of us, but not others? For example, Luke 11:42 says, “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.” (NIV)
Why do we hang on to certain aspects of our lives instead of FULLY releasing everything to our Lord? Why do we do or not do the things we know we should? Are we afraid of what ‘man’ may think about us, or say about us? “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after the killing of the body, has the power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him.” Luke 12: 4-5
How can we change our ways to be fully obedient/pleasing to our Lord? We can NOT do it ourselves! It is a molding, a shaping, a yielding of ourselves to the Hands of the Potter! We need to submit our whole heart to Him, asking Him to teach us, lead us, direct us, reveal to us areas that need changing and then obey His direction! Here are some scriptures to help with that prayer time:
Psalm 143:10, 2 Chronicles 30:8, Acts 5:29, Psalm 139:23-24, Matthew 7:26-27, and Psalm 27:11
(c) 4 Given Ministries, klh, April 2010