Monday, June 23, 2014

Doctrine or Devotion?

We in America and Canada and even in Europe are very blessed because we have access to tremendous amounts of Biblical Instruction. Whether we are watching a sermon on YouTube or streaming it from our favorite church or listening to our favorite Bible Teacher on MP3 or reading the plethora of great books out there on how to live the Christian life, how to overcome struggles, how to save your marriage, how to raise Godly kids, etc, etc, etc... there is something out there for everyone! Now I will grant you that some of it is not exactly Biblical and some is down right heretical, so all of us must be careful to test everything we hear and see against Scripture. But, let's face it, we are the church generation with the most knowledge!  Never before in history has the church had access to so much instruction.

So, shouldn't we be the church that's on fire for God the most?? Shouldn't we be the holiest of saints? the people who, out of all preceding generations, represent God the best? Unfortunately that's not the case, is it? In fact, in many areas, it's very hard to pick out the Christians from the non-believers. Divorce rates are equal within and without the church to name one statistic. I imagine other things are as well such as porn, alcohol and drug addictions. Even child molestation. What the heck is going on?

Remember King David and his son, Solomon in the Bible? David was always referred to as a "man after God's own heart"  and Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived. David loved God. He worshipped God with all his heart. All you need to do is read the Psalms to realize that David loved God above everything else and longed to not only please Him but to be with Him every second of his life here and into eternity. He wrote things like

As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God  Psalm 42
One thing I have desired of the Lord and one thing I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life  Psalm 27
I would rather be a door keeper in the house of God than dwell in the tents of the wicked Psalm 84

Sounds like someone madly in love, doesn't it?  Yes, David made mistakes, some pretty big ones, but He loved God and he made a habit of spending time with God and worshiping Him and getting to know Him.

Solomon, on the other hand, possessed all the wisdom of the world, but he didn't truly know God. We never read anything of his where he actually expresses intense love and reverence for God like his father had, at least not until the end of his life. He actually spent most of his life far away from God enjoying the pleasures of his wisdom and wealth.. and ending up quite miserable.  Try reading Ecclesiastes sometime if you don't believe me.

What does this tell us? Perhaps we ought to turn off the sermons, put down the books, even stop going to Bible studies for awhile, and instead, get alone with God. Talk to Him, get to know Him, love Him and worship Him. Ask Him to develop a spirit of worship in your heart and to help you get to know Him. He LOVES that kind of prayer!.  But you have to take the time to do it. Relationships cost.  If you're spending more free time reading about God and studying God than spending time with Him, then you're doing nothing more than filling your head with wisdom like Solomon. And look where that got him. Be a David. Live a life of devotion and worship. I guarantee you won't be sorry! 



6 comments:

  1. I think our society sometimes put too much emphasis on all the extracurricular church activities anyway. If you go back a few hundred years ago, you would not find people going to Monday night prayer meetings, Tuesday morning men’s breakfast, Wednesday evening church services, Thursday small groups, Friday night Bible study, Saturday evening church services, and finally Sunday school and church on Sunday mornings and again in the evening. They would never of had time for that because most people had to work from sun up to sun down. They got very little time for anything else. Their religious activities would have been limited to church on Sunday (depending on locations), personal scripture reading and prayer, and possibly short family devotions. They would never of had time to do all the extra stuff we do. And the more I think about it, the more I like that idea. I like the simple faith of our ancestors. Less busy, but far more devote. I bet many of them had a far better understanding of scripture and were far more godly than we are, even though they did not have the resources or the time like most of us have today.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Church should only be a part of your life....I believe that a one-on-one relationship is the most important part of our lives. Only when we get quiet can we hear from God. There is way too much going on in churches today. I like Emma's comment. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh yes--definitely! I was just talking to someone last night about how relationships have disintegrated tragically to interactive connections with others. God intended from the beginning--in the garden of Eden--for humans to have close intimacy with Him and close intimacy with each other. Intimacy = heart-to-heart bonding. I am actively seeking a deep, intimate relationship with God, and as I grow in Him, I will be able to develop deep, intimate relationships with those in my life. Thank you for highlighting this very important heart issue.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Amen, MaryLu!! It is my feeling that bible study, sermons, etc. are only words - unless there is a personal relationship with God involving prayer and worship, to back them up!! One has to KNOW God personally before he can be an effective witness FOR Him!!

    Hope your Monday is joyful, peaceful, and blessed - MaryLu!! Praying for you!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks Ladies! This also includes my books too! If my books are keeping anyone from spending time with God, please please please put them down! I'm guilty of doing this very thing.. wanting to learn more about God from resources but then neglecting Him altogether. We humans are weird, aren't we?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Challenge accepted...'be a David'! Thanks for this perspective! You encourage and challenge me so much. God bless you. Back when you wrote the "Is God enough?" (may not have been that exact title..) article, I wrote a response to it, but never posted it because it was more like an essay than a comment. Here's a link to it on my blog, though:

    http://mybookthoughts.over-blog.com/article-my-god-is-enough-for-me-123990550.html

    Callie

    ReplyDelete