The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught. - Isaiah 29:13
As I plan for a new year, make resolutions, and commit to certain disciplines, I must remember to check the motivation of my heart. I make my plans, I pray over them, I envision success, and I ask the Lord for guidance and help in making my plans become reality but is my heart truly close to the Lord? Would those I love, lead, and serve see me disciplined in my relationship with my heavenly Father? Would they see me dedicating time in my calendar to Him? Would they see me responding in love, grace, and mercy when I am frustrated or dealing with conflict? Or, would they see a relentless pursuit of materialism supported by financial debt and feelings of exhaustion from running as fast as I can to be "as good" or "as important" as the next person?
When I fail to draw close to the Lord, and worship Him from a heart that truly is in communion with Him - from a spirit that is quiet and still, listening to His instruction - then I am simply going through the motions. I am following the rules of religion instead of following my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. When I fail to draw close to the Lord, and make His will my passion - then my prayers and petitions are lip service to the Lord. They are simply a part of what I do - words that I hope illicit a positive response and favor. They are empty because they originate from a heart in communion with my human nature rather than my Lord and Savior.
Today, I am convicted to draw near to the Lord and allow my heart to truly be in communion with Him. I want my spirit to quietly come before Him in prayer and wait patiently for a response or instruction. I want my heart to be that of Christ's - relying completing on God rather than just plans, goals, or disciplines.
Lord, I open my heart to you today. You know the desires of my heart, my dreams, and my vision for my family and career. I put all of that at your feet and humbly come before admitting that I want you first and foremost. I want more worship to be a reflection of the deep love and fellowship we have together. I want my life to be a reflection of my belief in your holy word. I want my plans to be your plans, my goals to be your goals, and I want to be seeking your kingdom first and your righteousness. Amen.
- Do you see the Lord in your plans for the coming year?
- How does your relationship with the Lord reveal itself in your daily disciplines?
- What will those you love and serve see different in you this year because you are drawing closer to God?
Make it a great day!