Becoming Wholly Devoted
I was reading this morning in 1 Kings and came across a verse that stuck a cord with me, it deals with being wholly devoted to Christ. Here is the verse, 1 Kings 8:61,
“Let your heart therefore be wholly devoted to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and to keep His commandments, as at this day.” (NASB).
Particularly it was the first part of the verse that says “Let your heart therefore be wholly devoted.” What does it mean to be “wholly devoted”? To understand it, we must first define it. Webster defines the word wholly, as 1) to the full or entire extent: completely and 2) to the exclusion of other things: solely. Webster also defines devoted as “characterized by loyalty and devotion.” So wholly devoted would be described as “completely loyal (devoted) to the exclusion of other things.”
Being Wholly Devoted Today
Unfortunately, in our day and age, the natural bent of our heart is to lean towards ease and to fulfill our desires, not towards devotion to someone or something else. Devotion has been skewed, and it is this skewed view that has crept into the church and the life of Christ followers. Devotion has been replaced with temporary commitment. We are devoted to one another as long as it serves us but at the moment we are no longer getting what we want the desire of our “devotion” to that person seems to change. We are “devoted” to our local church until we are offended. We are “devoted” to Christ until He chooses not to answer our prayer the way we think it ought to be answered. We are “devoted” to our marriage until we no longer feel “loved.”
Our Call As A Christian To Be Wholly Devoted
As Christians, we are to be wholly devoted to the Lord our God. That means we are to be completely loyal (devoted) to Christ to the exclusion of everything else. If it does not line up with His statutes, then we are to let it go. Once we make the decision to follow Christ we willingly surrender our will for His will. Being wholly devoted means, we no longer have a choice in the matter because we have already made our choice once we accepted Christ as our savior.
So how do we walk wholly devoted to Christ? We are told exactly how to walk wholly devoted to Christ if we continue to read the verse. The first way we walk wholly devoted to Christ according to the text would be by following His statutes. (“to walk in His statutes”). The statutes of God can be found in Deuteronomy 5; they are the ten commandments (Deut 5:1), thankfully Jesus simplified this for us in Matthew 22:36-40
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
We fulfill the law (statutes) of God by following these two commandments. The first one is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind. The second one is to love your neighbor as you love yourself. I believe many of us have the first one down or at least are working toward it. It is usually the second part of this that gets me in trouble personally.
For the next few weeks, I will be talking about these two commandments and how they pertain to us being wholly devoted to Christ.
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