Monday, September 29, 2008

Emotion versus Devotion

This is a subject that has been on my mind for a very long time. Many times a person can get so caught up in the outer appearance of salvation that they forget about what really matters to God, the heart. God begin to talk to me about the condition of my heart and I must say that it pretty much woke me up. I'm going to attempt to share with you what God shared with me and I hope that this post blesses you the way it blessed me.

Matthew 15:8 {Amplified version} says: These people draw near Me with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts hold off and are far away from Me. God is telling us not to just be emotional but to be deeply devoted to him with no strings attached. When you're with someone you love, you can tell when you have their undivided attention and when you don't. You can hear it in their voice and you can see it in their eyes. The worse feeling that anyone can have is when you're spending time with someone who isn't paying attention to you. This is how God feels when people say all the right things and go through the motions but fail to live it outside the church doors. Religion can make you emotional in church...the Holy Ghost will keep you devoted to God when church is over. God is looking for those who will serve him not for what he can give us but for what we can give him. However, this is something that calls for spiritual maturity on our parts.

Emotion (in my own words) is being loud, shouting, yelling, screaming, talking, and the like. Devotion is ACTION after the fact. Which one are you? Around here a trend has begin where husbands stand up in church and talk about how much they love their wives, but after service is over they're sneaking and creeping. The wives are guilty of the same thing. If you're married to a person like this doesn't it just anger you? You can talk about how you love me in church but I don't see you when we get home. Needless to say, a marriage like that wouldn't last very long. God feels the same way when we get up and testi-lie, as my Pastor used to say. "Give an honor to the spirit of Christ who is the head of my life, I thank and praise God for waking me this morning, I thank and praise God that I'm saved, sanctified and blah, blah, blah!!God is probably saying to himself, "if you lived like speak in public, you probably wouldn't be in the mess you're in". We're living in a day and age where people care more about what other people think of them than what God knows about them. A person can be ignorant enough to think that what's in the heart will never come out but that couldn't possibly be further from the truth.

Matthew 15:18 {Amplified version} says: But whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this is what makes a man unclean and defiles [him]. Have you ever seen someone go in the bathroom and stay for what seems to be hours and hours. What in the world are they doing? But of course, they are trying to look the best they can look. Now just think if God could get us to care about our hearts the same way we do our outward looks, we would really be able to accomplish something in him. Why do people accept leadership positions and become corrupt? Because the corruption was always there, it just took a certain situation to bring it out. Emotionally that person promised to serve, protect, honor this or that but in reality they were lying through their teeth. True devotion goes deeper than words can ever go. Matthew 15:19 {Amplified version} says: For out of the heart come evil thoughts (reasonings and disputings and designs) such as murder, adultery, sexual vice, theft, false witnessing, slander, and irreverent speech. How does sin come about? From the thoughts and intentions of the heart. No one just wakes up and decides to commit adultery, no one just wakes up one day and decides to kill someone, this is something that has been thought about repeatedly. As Christians we must understand that our thoughts determine where we go in life and where we go in God.

God is all about results!! He knows that a person will never be able to portray him as he is if their thoughts are not pure. Why can't you trust some Christians further than you can throw them? Because their salvation is based on emotions and not true devotion. True devotion to God makes you pray when you don't want to pray, true devotion makes you hold your peace when you want to knock the snot out of a person, and true devotion makes you do what's right even when the right thing is not yet happening to you. God doesn't care if a person never says a word in church and he doesn't care if a person never shouts, all he really cares about is being able count on us to show forth his love in any given situation. Matthew 22:37 {Amplified version} says: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect). There is no room for anything else when you're truly devoted to God.

What we see and what we hear has alot to do with what we think. This is why Proverbs 4:23 {Amplified version} says: Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life. If you sit around and look at things that are the opposite of what God is all about, no wonder you're emotional. Many times people think that being loud and emotional in church impresses God but that's not the case. You can't live right and think wrong. You can't listen to the wrong thing or person and expect to be fully devoted to God. We have had many arguments at church about what Christians should listen to and what they shouldn't listen to. I used to get upset when the older saints told me to watch what type of music I listen to. I was like, I'm married there's nothing wrong with listening to some slow jams with my honey bunch. God had to confronted me about that, he said many songs that people sing contain evil spirits (such as: lust, adultery, fornication, etc) that can come back to bite you later. This may be hard for you to fathom right now but I didn't say it...God did!!

Finally, ask yourself: Am I truly devoted to God or am I just a bunch of hot air? That may sound harsh but if we confront ourselves, God won't have to. If we deal with our weaknesses in private prayer, all of our bidness (int) wouldn't have to get out. In our home Bible study my husband and I discuss this very often. Spending time alone with God allows God to deal with your issues personally. Church alone will not keep you in this sin sick world, your relationship with God must be personal. Otherwise, you'll be like a person running on a treadmill...running fast but going no where. Whatever we do, let's make up our minds to do it with all our hearts. If you're going to be wrong, be SHO NUFF wrong and don't sugar coat it. If you're going to be saved, be all the way saved and don't cut corners. Emotions will get you noticed by people, true devotion is what get God's undivided attention. So if you're in need of a breakthrough, let your actions (prayer life, fasting, time in the Word, etc) do the talking.

Remain blessed

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