Completely Devoted

When the Lord begins to show you the same thing in various ways at the same time, there’s probably a reason for it. Over the past couple of days, the Lord has really been emphasizing one point to me, showing me a truth all Christians need to embrace and make their own.

During my morning devotions, I have been working my way through the book of 1 Corinthians, and I just started Chapter Nine. So far, Paul has been stressing several points, including unity, faithfulness, and purity. However, there is one thing that keeps coming up over and over again: devotion to Christ.

I was also reading through one of my favorite Psalms the other day, and these verses popped out at me:

“Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it”

Psalm 37:4, 5

I once heard a preacher say that “Commit” does not mean that we come up with a plan and then ask God to bless it. Instead, it means to yield everything in our life to God and allow Him to choose the path we will take. Think of it with the word “entrust;” entrust your way to Him. After all, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12). We must allow God to be the one to direct our paths, refusing to choose them ourselves.

Then yesterday, I was doing some work in John 15, and I came across this verse: “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Without Him, we can do nothing, nothing of lasting value anyway.

So now, what’s the point? Put simply, it is that everything we are, have, and do is to be completely and entirely given over to Christ in pure devotion without any reservation. There is no part of life this doesn’t touch. For example, Paul says in 1 Corinthians that the interaction of married couples and even the way we eat is to be directed by this “undistracted devotion to the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:35; 10:31). Things we take for granted are affected by this, nothing is left untouched.

This is what Jesus meant by abiding in Him. Abiding cannot happen just one day a week for an hour. It can’t even happen three times a week for however long the services at church go. It is a daily, moment by moment action of clinging to Christ, bringing our own wills in submission to Him, and striving to obey Him in everything. It involves fellowship and—something I really struggle with—simply pausing to meditate on His Word and commune with Him about it.

As I said, devotion effects all of life. Let me illustrate. Before my wreck, I was devoted to carpentry. I planned my week around jobs. I scheduled my weekends so as to get more work done. I ate the way I did to have energy I needed. I went to bed when I did so I could get to work early and work on my own projects. I used some of my earnings to buy more tools so I could do more work. Everything in my life was wrapped up in carpentry. Sure, I did things with friends, played games, watched movies—but it was all second to and shaped around my work.

And so with Christ, every aspect of our lives is to be molded, directed, and shaped by Him. Paul wrote, “I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:22, 23). Or what about this one: “To me, to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21).

This is what the Lord has been trying to get me to understand, but I confess that I can be a slow learner. He doesn’t want most of my time. Most isn’t good enough for Him. He wants all of it. Not because He is a selfish dictator, but because He wants the best for me, and He knows that I will mess it up big time if I do it my own way. I have in the past, and I sure did cause a lot of pain and hurt by what I did and said. His way is not simply what He personally wants—it is what is good, right, holy, pure, and true. Why would we not want that?

It all comes down to submission. If we are honest, we do want the things the Lord desires for us. We want to do what is right, we want to know the truth, and we do desire what is good. The problem is, we all too often want it on our own terms. But that is not the way we are going to achieve those things. Only by a complete, whole-hearted devotion to Christ will He perform His work in us and bring forth His holy, good, and perfect will in our lives.

 We must be known as men and women who are completely, 100% sold out for Christ. That doesn’t mean we don’t’ do anything else but read the Word and pray. Instead, it does mean that we allow Christ to direct, lead, and guide every decision, every choice we make, every word we say, everything we do. That should happen just as much when we’re working a secular job as when we are in church. Everything has to be brought in subjection to Him. When it is, He is glorified, and we have strength, peace, and joy that is inexplainable. It doesn’t mean that our lives will be hunky-dory, but it does mean beyond any shadow of a doubt that His Spirit is working in us. His peace is in our hearts, and His joy caries us through trying times. He is with us, and our fellowship with Him is full and sweet. That is what it means to be devoted to Christ, and it is what we—what I need to strive for with all my might.

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