So you think you’re a Christian. At least you’ve been told you are because a priest sprinkled some water on your head when you were an infant. Or, you remember being baptized when you were a youth, but with school, sports, the junior and senior prom, as well as all those “fun” movies and video games out there you just let devotionals slide. God is crowded out.
Suddenly, when confronted with your lifestyle choices, you think, “I’m not so bad a person. God knows my heart. Certainly He will save me even though I can’t remember the last time I really spent time with God. Surely He will keep on loving me forever. After all, Jesus said He will always be with me, never leave me, etc., etc., & etc.”
What does the Bible say about the importance of worship in the form of personal devotion time with God?
“The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just. Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.” KJV, Isaiah 26:7-9.
But it really doesn’t take much to distract us. We are not naturally inclined to seek after God. Even when we profess with our lips to love God, we show by our actions that we love the world more. When this happens, God will sometimes grab our attention by some test or trial or affliction to redirect our focus upon what is of real importance, real value. Sin separates us from God. He desires to bring us back to Himself.
“I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.” KJV, Hosea 5:15.
“Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.” KJV, Psalm 119:67, 68.
Jesus told a parable that gives tremendous insight into the importance of personal devotional worship from the perspective of the spiritual realm, the spiritual battlefield for our souls. “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.” Matthew 12:43-45.
The simple fact is, we love most that which we most desire, and with whom we most spend our time. The telling point is we will sacrifice time, health, wealth, and of anything else that is connected with ourselves for the person, the entertainment, the sports team, or even the career opportunities we love most. God deserves supreme love, praise, gratitude, obedience, and devotion. Let’s not let anything come between Him and us.