copyright Barb Harwood
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Love "for" God vs. Loving God
Many of us are right with God in our devotion but not in our heart condition.
The miracle is always in the transformation of the heart: to God, to others and to ourselves. All of this takes time. But we must begin. We must put down our devotional books and church attendance and our love “for” God, and instead love God. In this we give Him total access to our hearts and minds that Jesus Christ might attend them via His Holy Spirit, which is already in us if we have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior.
This is what it comes down to: no more being about God, but God Himself: changing us, convicting us, comforting us, admonishing us, strengthening us, revealing Himself to us and revealing ourselves to us. Heart change occurs with the removal of all worldly mediators, all postures that keep us “about” God—having a love for Him that does not result in He alone having His full and complete way with us.
So often my devotion for God has been for the purpose of covering up or not dealing with an unclear conscience before Him.
The focus has been on my devotion to God, not on God Himself and His accountability.
Clear away anything that is originating from me, and the Holy Spirit can then begin its work. We will know He is working when we see things about ourselves that we know to be true but wish weren’t. We accept these disturbing truths about ourselves when we agree with God regarding them and trust Him in patience to root sin out, loving Him enough to let Him firmly establish progress in us for His glory, not ours.
Active devotion to God desires His Holiness (which emanates from Him, not us) and surrenders in a trusting willingness to let Him make us Holy and clear our conscience before Him. Devotion to God is the intentional and active living out of the Holy Spirit’s voice and Word of Christ based on what God has revealed to us about the condition of our hearts.
“Surely you desire truth in the inner parts,
you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.” Psalm 51:6
“Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
And afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart
And my portion forever.” Psalm 73:23-26
“This is what the LORD says:
‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
He will be like a bush in the wastelands;
he will not see prosperity when it comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.
But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.’
The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?
‘I the LORD search the heart
and examine the mind,
to reward a man according to his conduct,
according to what his deeds deserve.’” Jeremiah 17:5-10
“You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
Their teachings are but rules taught by men.’” Matthew 15:7-8
“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” 1 Corinthians 2:2-5
“Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
‘Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
with burnt offerings and sin offerings
you were not pleased.
Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
I have come to do your will, O God.’”
“And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Hebrews 10:10
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” Hebrews 12:2-4
“See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks...” Hebrews 12:25a
“...and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:21b