(By Rachel Joyce)
God wants our hearts! We can go through motions and look good, but if our hearts are not engaged, we’re missing out on what God wants of us. Listen to the words of Jesus: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce” (Matthew 15:8-9). These words, which Jesus spoke to the Pharisees and teachers of religious law, were first said by the prophet Isaiah many years earlier (Is 29:13). It seems that we, God’s children, have a tendency to drift from God and offer up lip service, rather than true devotion. God wants not just our words but all of us.
I believe God calls David a man after His own heart because David sought and worshipped God with his whole being (1 Sam 13:14, Acts 13:22). Listen to David’s words: "How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of Heaven’s Armies. I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the LORD. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God” (Psa 84:1-2). David’s entire being was aflame with worship. He wasn’t content to just sing praises, he desired, more than anything, to praise God with his “whole being, body and soul.”
After Jesus’ resurrection, when His two followers were walking on the road to Emmaus, He drew alongside them and revealed to them Himself in all the writings of Moses and prophets. What was their response? They testified, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scripture to us?” (Luke 24:32). As Jesus taught them, their minds understood and their hearts responded passionately with love for Him.
How about us? Sometimes our minds seem to understand, but our hearts feel dull, only an ember rather than a glowing fire of love for Him. Satan would like to condemn and shame us for that. He’d prefer we fake it or give up, but our God lovingly and gently calls to us, “Seek Me!” (Mat 6:33). He doesn’t shame us or put us down for our lack of passion, but He does ask us not to stay in that place of lukewarm Christianity. He calls us “further up and further in” to His heart of love. He wants us to fall at His feet and cry out to Him to fan our flickering coal of love into a roaring fire of passion for Him. He calls us, “You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength” (Mar 12:30). He knows that we cannot do it on our own; we can only love Him with the love He has given us, so the more we live in the good of His love and draw from it, the more we can love Him.
May He help us to draw from His love, that we might love Him better. May He help us to be fully alive and fully engaged that we might praise and worship Him and bring Him much glory. He alone is worthy!