I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
By Yodit Kifle Smith
The days that we live in allow us to create a façade where we can easily deceive others about who we are and be easily deceived about who others are. How many of us have ever scrolled through social media and instantly created assumptions on how someone’s life is based on their posts? Or how many of us have believed the lie that if we post certain things, people can perceive us a certain way? It’s an easy trap to fall into if we aren’t guarding our hearts consistently.
When it comes to our walk with God, we may deceive others and even deceive ourselves, but we can never deceive our Father. He knows the deep intentions of our hearts even when we aren’t aware of them (Jeremiah 17:9-10). He has called us to love Him with all of our heart, mind and soul (Matthew 22:37). However, we are tempted to keep parts of our heart, mind and soul for what may seem like our gain, but it turns out to be our destruction.
I recently read a short fictional story that paints the condition of the human heart when it comes to how our words and actions about our love for God can sometimes be misaligned:
“An ancient story is told of a King of Spain who was to visit a poor country village. Upon hearing of his plan to visit them, the people seemed excited to offer a great celebration that would show their adoration and love for their king. But the villagers didn't have much to offer.
In the midst of their quandary someone proposed that, since so many villagers made their own wines, they might each choose his best wine, and combine them in a barrel to present to the king as a gift from the village. So they did, each wine-maker bringing a flagon with which to fill the barrel. Then, they anxiously awaited the arrival of their sovereign.
When the King arrived, he was ceremoniously presented with a silver cup and invited to draw wine from the barrel. As he filled his silver chalice, he was surprised when he tasted only water. Where was the wine? Each villager had reasoned, "I'll withhold my best wine and give water. There will be so many cups of excellent wine poured into the barrel that mine will never be missed."
Here was a town full of people whose private greed completely overcame their public enthusiasm. The indictment of Isaiah the prophet suited them perfectly: "these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me.(Isaiah 29:13)"
Sisters, the Lord will always want all of us. There will never be a time when someone else’s walk with God will be sufficient for our own relationship with Him. He calls us to Himself through Christ and keeps us through Christ, not others.
There will never be a time when the service we give to our local church will be sufficient for our own personal service to Him. We can find ourselves serving in ministry in a variety of capacities and completely miss God.
There will never be a time when the scripture verse or captivating caption we post on social media will be sufficient for indicating our maturity in God. While our words can impact others, if it doesn’t originate from a heart captured and secured in Christ, we can easily think that our gift to write or any other girl will sustain our walk.
There will never be a time when the praise and worship we give to Him will be sufficient to express our love for God. Praise and worship have become an important part of the “church experience.” And for many, it has become THE experience and rubric to how one “knows” God. Our walk with God isn’t determined by how loud our praise is or how emotional our worship gets.
Each thing I mentioned has its role in our walk and can be the fruit we bear on our walk but without the root of our walk being planted in the sufficient work of Christ, we will open the door for deception to take a foothold.
Sisters, He wants our words with our heart. He wants our mind with our hearts. He wants our worship with our heart. Because truth be told, He knows when our “wine” is really “water.”
He wants every part of us. And if we find ourselves going through the motions of a walk with God, the invitation to repent and re-surrender is always available through Christ (Psalm 119:10).
The weekly devotionals seek to encourage you to dig deeper into Scripture as you take the time to daily read, meditate, and internalize the verses in the devotional, along with the passages provided below to give greater context. Take the time to read them throughout the week (repetition is important) and ask the Holy Spirit to help you grasp what God is showing you about Himself, about you, and how to live in light of these truths.
Passages to read/memorize/meditate:
Questions to Reflect on: