In the world that we all live in; devotion is at a premium. Too many people are approaching relationships, marriage, work, life, and faith with an escape clause. Partially committed with one foot in and one foot out.
This partial commitment or facade of devotion is a self-preservation tactic that has the absolute opposite effect on our lives. We don’t want to commit because it may require too much or at least more than is comfortable to give, but in the end, partial commitment is a killer. It’s robbing our relationships, our purpose, our joy and fulfillment, and the saddest part is it’s hindering the potential of our relationship with Jesus.
I’m hoping to remind you or call you to live devoted! I was studying Colossians 4, where God calls us to devote ourselves to prayer, so I thought I’d look up that word, “devoted”, and see where else it’s used in the Bible. I found that it’s not very common; there are just a hand full of times the Bible tells us to Devote ourselves to something.
To passionately commit and attach the attention of your mind and
the actions of your life to someone or to fulfilling something.
When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment is, he replies with a statement of devotion. He says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Now that is what we call living devoted! The Christian life is a devoted life.
Too many people attempt to follow Jesus without fully devoting or committing themselves. They want Jesus; but on their terms and in their timing. I think Tozer says it well:
A whole new generation of Christians has come up believing that it is possible to ‘accept’ Christ without forsaking the world. —A. W. Tozer
While Jesus provides us with the greatest gift, completely free and with wide open acceptance, the call to follow Jesus is a call that requires that I turn from my old way, and fully commit my life to him. Here is a recent YouTube video where I talked about how Jesus Must Become Greater.
5 KEY AREAS THAT GOD CALLS US TO LIVE DEVOTED!
1. Devote Your Heart To Seek God
I know that you already know that we are supposed Love God and follow him, but have you DEVOTED your heart to seek him? Have a look at a couple of key verse that speak to how God calls us to be fully committed to him.
Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God.
Begin to build the sanctuary of the Lord God,
—1 Chronicles 22:19
For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen
those whose hearts are fully committed to him.
—2 Chronicles 16:9
God isn’t looking for the most gifted; he’s looking for the most devoted. And here’s the truth about following Jesus; when you are partially committed, it’s dishonoring Jesus and it’s sabotaging the full depth of the relationship God desires to have with you. Are you seeking God? Are you intentional about spending time reading his word, praying, and worshiping him? Does he have your leftover time in the day or does he have the priority of the day?
2. Devote yourselves to reading the Word
Many people walk away from God because they walk away from God’s word. It’s so important that we continue to devote and direct the attention of our mind and heart to follow carefully what God has spoken to us in the Bible.
Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture,
to preaching and to teaching. Be diligent in these matters;
—1 Timothy 4:13, 15
My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words.
Devotion to God is being devoted to his word! A lot of people wanna follow Jesus but they don’t want to follow his way. You cannot have it both ways. It’s hard to devote yourself to something you don’t understand; take time to read God’s word, devote yourself fully to the Word of God! Here is a previous blog I wrote on 3 Things that will help you consistently read your Bible.
3. Devote Yourselves To Prayer
In reality, most followers of Jesus devote very little attention and time to prayer. Many pray short passionless prayers over meals, but fall short of following the call from the Bible to be devoted to prayer.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
It can be easy to forget that prayer changes things. The impact of a Christians prayers are powerful, immediate, and lasting. Prayer isn’t just a nice idea; it’s essential to develop your relationship with God and for God’s kingdom to advance. Be consistent and committed in prayer. Take time daily to talk to God personally, but also to pray and seek God on behalf of the purpose of God. For example, pray for your needs to be met, but also pray that your city is reached with the gospel.
4. Devote Yourself to Doing Good
It’s important to remember that while our cultures definition of a good life might be an escape from work on an island somewhere; God and the Biblical goal is not eternal laziness but a productive life of doing good.
Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good,
in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.
And in 2 Timothy 4:5, Paul calls on Timothy to devote himself to fulfill everything he’s been called and given to do. Yes, God wants us to enjoy life, that’s obvious when you see how God first made us and put us in the garden for enjoyment. But, even in that garden, God gave Adam and Eve a role and responsibility to fulfill. The goal of Christianity isn’t to “not be bad”, rather it’s a call to do the most good we can possibly do while on this earth.
5. Devote Yourself to Others
It’s counter-culture but so essential. It’s not hard to be devoted to myself. I’m great at that!! [sadly] but look at what Romans calls us to do:
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Are we devoted to each other? As a married man, I have to ask, am I devoted more to myself or to my wife? Do I honor her above myself? Do I honor other people above myself? Am I devoted to my bosses success or just my own? One of the key reasons why our relationships don’t work is because we’re not devoted to them. Devotion in relationships elevates our commitment beyond the circumstances of the moment to believe the best about the other.
Just looking out for yourself is the worst thing you can do for yourself.
Let’s be devoted to the strength and growth of others before ourselves. Yes you’re valuable, and you need boundaries, but the Biblical model of self-care is led by caring for others. The more I concern myself with helping, serving, and loving others the more fulfilled I become.
ARE YOU LIVING DEVOTED?
Are you devoted to following Jesus or just passively following Jesus? Wherever you find yourself on that spectrum the good news is that this is a fresh day and great opportunity to dial in your commitment to the things that God’s word calls us to be devoted to. There are a lot of good things out there, but don’t let those things hinder your unfiltered devotion to following Jesus!
Live Devoted to Jesus!