Psalm 27:4 (NKJV) One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.
First place is what God wants…and first place is what He deserves. Above all other things that we would desire or pledge allegiance to—God should be Number One.
Matthew 6:33 is clear: ‘Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.’
Jeremiah 29:13 says, And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
The Lord is clearly saying that He wants to be sought after. He wants more than a casual glance from those who have pledged their love and faithfulness. He wants to be the first thing on their minds in the morning, the last thing on their minds at night—and He wants to be the object of their gaze throughout the day.
It’s one thing to know what God desires, and another thing to perform it. It’s sobering to realize that even though we have the ability to acknowledge the desire of God’s heart, how quickly our own passions often override His.
Without having true love in our heart for the Lord, there is no way we can meet His expectations for intimacy. Without true love for Him, we just rush along at our usual pace, scheduling time for Him—along with everything else we want to do or are obligated to do.
You know what it’s like to sense a person’s desire to ‘move on’ when you’ve interrupted their plans. You see the distraction in their eyes—or sense other body language that says, ‘I don’t have time for this right now.’
You know what it’s like when someone interrupts your plans. You might be on your way to do something you’ve been looking forward to and suddenly you’re faced with a person who is in no hurry and is glad to see you. Hopefully, you stop and speak to them, but isn’t it sad how your mind is looking for the first opportunity to resume your schedule and get where you wanted to go?
The one who interrupted someone, or the one in a hurry—are both typical displays of behavior in western society, even among friends. Most of us are accustomed to living life in the ‘fast lane’. Most of us aren’t even offended when a friend gives us the signals that this is not a good time to ‘catch up’. Some friends are more accepting than others when we have to make excuses.
Juggling and multi-tasking is normal—except when it comes to time and attention we should be willing to give to God. Even the sound of that statement exudes obligation. But obligation is not what the Lord is looking for. He is lovable…and He wants to be loved, cherished, and preferred.
If you find yourself watching the clock during your quiet time, try to imagine how you would feel if someone was looking at their watch and timing how much of their time you had taken—as though you should really be ‘moving on’. Who even wants to be with someone who makes us feel that way?
God wants to be the one you run to. He wants to be the first one on your mind. He wants to hear your concerns. He wants to know you care what He thinks. He wants the devotion due a best friend or lover…because He is all that.
If you struggle with having the right kind of love relationship with the Lord, ask Him to help you with it. Be honest enough to tell Him you don’t know how to love Him in the way you know you should. Ask Him to help you develop the kind of relationship He would like to have with you. Admit you need His help—even in this.
You don’t have to feel ashamed of needing His help. God made it clear in His Word that His ways are not our ways—so even the kind of devotion we might think He’d like, could possibly be the opposite of what He would want.
We shouldn’t model our devotion to the Lord after what we have seen in other people and the way they respond to Him. We should cultivate our own personal relationship with Him…one that is mutually satisfying, rich, and original.
Declaration: I will find new strength by re-thinking what ‘devotion’ to the Lord really should be. I will seek Him for more revelation about this important truth. I commit to seeking and finding creative and fulfilling ways to spend my time with the Lord that will be authentic and heartfelt responses of my love for Him.
All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee as of the date they were written and posted. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog. This material will be published as a book in 2014, by the grace of God. To subscribe to New Strength, select ‘follow’ in the upper left corner of this page.
For music selections that will help bring hope and encouragement during your recovery from depression and addiction, browse:http://www.youtube.com/user/NewStrengthMusic/videos?view=1&flow=