In their devotional guide, Experiencing God Day-By-Day, Henry and Richard Blackaby ask the question, “Are you satisfied with merely knowing the acts of God or do you also want to know His ways? The answer we give is important because the answer determines how deep our relationship with God will be.
If we are satisfied going through the motions of faith without any real devotion to the one we’re placing that faith in, then our faith is shallow and easily discarded. But if our devotion is strong to the one we place our faith in, then that faith will be bolstered by the dedication we have placed in it.
Jesus said in Luke 16:13, “No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” That’s because devotion, once split, is easily overcome. People will choose one or the other in the end because it will soon be evident that it’s not possible to serve two competing masters.
Those who are satisfied with simply knowing about God are like those who attempt to serve two masters. They figure that if they just know the facts, then that will be enough. This will then, they think, give them the ability to serve the world and God at the same time. But this will never work because God wants all our devotion. He knows that a superficial faith is no faith at all.
James, in his book, speaks often about superficial faith. He says this in James 1:22-27, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
What James speaks of here is devotion, the kind of devotion that turns hearers into doers. The kind of devotion that sparks the human spirit to make a kingdom difference. The kind of devotion that makes everything a ministry.
This kind of devotion is sparked by the kind of faith that surrenders everything to the one he or she places their faith in and it’s the kind of devotion that God looks for from all His children. Paul spoke to the Romans about this when he said, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:1-2).
God expects perfect devotion that is not split between the false gods of the world and the true God of the Bible. This isn’t because He basks in blind faith or relishes the adulation. Its because He knows that only by devoting ourselves to Him can we ever be able to finally realize the promises of heaven.
Our goal shouldn’t be devotion to the world, because the world is full of half-truths and lies. Those who dedicate their lives to worldliness have only the world in which to place their hope. Our Lord wants us to devote ourselves to Him so that we might experience the riches of an everlasting life, free from the burdens of worldliness. “Only fear the Lord and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things he has done for you” (1 Samuel 12:24).
Devote yourself to the creator of all things. Dedicate your life to serving Him in both great way and small. Offer yourself up as a holy sacrifice to ready yourself for everlasting life and allocate your heart, soul, body, mind and strength to Him as you serve His creation.
Its never too late to give God your devotion. You’ve tried the world and its false promises and they have failed you. Give God a chance. Surrender your life to Him so that you might find true freedom. Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, forgive us for rushing to the false gods of the world with our devotion. Give us the strength to offer you all that we are. Help us embody the same kind of devotion to You that You have bestowed on us. Amen.