I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might."
We live in a world that encourages our hearts to roam where it will; to let it wander and find its belonging in many places. Rather than being anchored by one thing, we are lured be free in our pursuit of many.
On the contrary, all throughout Scripture, we see God’s instruction for His followers to devote their whole hearts to Him. To anchor their hearts in Him and Him alone and not be tempted by anything that can fragment their devotion in Him and to Him.
In the Old Testament, we are reminded of this truth in King Solomon’s story. Solomon was the son of King David and was chosen by God to rule after David’s death. Before David died, he reminded Solomon of God’s Word and promise to him,
“…if your sons are careful of their way, to walk before Me in truth will all their heart and all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.” (1 Kings 2:3).
Solomon sat on the throne and followed the Lord with all his heart. Even when the Lord appeared to him in a dream and offered him whatever he desired, he chose to be given discernment and understanding to rule the people God had given him rather than riches and long life. God was pleased with his selfless answer and gave him not only wisdom, but riches. God said of him,
“Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you…” (1 Kings 3:13).
He would be the one to build the temple for the Lord to dwell with His people (1 Kings 8:22-66). Many would travel great distance to hear the wisdom of Solomon. And as he aged, he continued to grow in wisdom and riches and God blessed the works of his hand, as long as he walked in His ways and devoted his whole heart to Him (1 Kings 10:23-29).
We read this part of Solomon’s story and are encouraged by his devotion to God and God’s faithfulness to His people through Solomon life and obedience. But then we are confronted with the reality that our heart “is more deceitful than all else and is desperately wicked; who can understand it” (Jeremiah 17:9).
You see, the wisdom that God gave Solomon didn’t keep him from the wickedness of his heart’s desires. We are told in 1 Kings 11 that, “King Solomon loved many foreign women...” God deliberately warned against marrying women of other nations because He knew they would “turn your heart away after gods.”(vs. 2) Nonetheless, we are told that “Solomon held fast to these in love.” (vs. 2) In his old age we find that “Solomon’s heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God… and he went on to do evil in the sight of the Lord and did not follow the Lord fully” (vs. 4-6).
It’s tragic to see a life whose heart was wholly devoted to God be ruined by that heart. But it can happen to any of us. Our maturity in the Lord shouldn’t lead us to boast in our own strength or wisdom but it should lead us to daily depend on God’s mercy and grace to keep us and to guard our hearts all the more (Proverbs 4:23). I would venture to say that as Solomon grew in wisdom and riches and saw the way God had blessed him, he let the guards of his heart down, forgetting the enemy of his soul who desired to turn him away from God’s path.
In the same way ladies, growing in our knowledge and love for God is also growing in our discernment that the evil one is always lurking, desiring to sift us as wheat (Luke 22:31). More so, in our fallen nature, our hearts are prone to wander, to be distracted and fragmented. Sadly, our hearts are quicker to hold fast to the things of this world than of God. But it doesn’t mean we can’t walk wholly devoted to Him. It takes intentionality. We don’t have the luxury to be lazy with our walk in the Lord. As my spiritual mother would always tell me, “we can’t have any competing passions with the Lord.”
As we continue on in the newness of the year, my prayer is that our hearts would have no competing passions outside of the Lord. We will encounter distractions. We will be tempted to go for what seems good rather than what is God. May our hearts be found wholly in Him. May we guard our hearts diligently, feeding it with the truth of God’s word, soaking it in the glorious presence of God through prayer and worship, uplifting it in sweet fellowship with His saints and daily renewing it with the promise of grace and forgiveness through humility and repentance.
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:
1 Kings 2-11 (I really encourage you to read Solomon’s story this week and let God speak to you in them)
Psalm 1 (whole chapter)
Questions to reflect on: