How do we keep our love for God from growing cold? It’s hard to sustain a one-sided relationship…
15 The way of [arrogant] fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice [from the Holy Spirit].
24 Diligent hands will rule [our own hearts], but laziness ends in forced labor [in bondage to sin].
Jesus made a comment in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24) that applies to today’s times,
12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. Matthew 24:12-13
We tend to be influenced by our surroundings, be it work, TV, internet, books, those with whom we hang, media, etc. There are a thousand voices out there, but there is only ONE to which we are to listen, and that Voice is the Holy Spirit who is within us.
A one-sided relationship is one that only one person in the relationship is trying. One is a giver and the other is a taker. What makes a relationship work is when both parties are givers. In order for us to determine who is the giver and who is the taker in our relationship with the LORD, let’s read:
4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:4-6
You will notice that we are BOTH givers and takers. We are in a partnership with the LORD. Our relationship is symbiotic. The problem comes when we don’t recognize when He’s giving to us. Let me set your mind at ease: We don’t have to work so hard at our relationship with the LORD; we just have to work diligently. In other words, let’s be steady in our walk with Him.
Most people think that praying to God, reading our Bibles, and going to church is the extent of our responsibilities as a good follower of Jesus Christ. Yes and no. HOW we do these things makes ALL the difference in the world. If you’ll notice, praying to God and reading our Bibles are seen as two different things. NOT SO! Reading our Bibles is God talking to us! When we open the Scriptures (the Bible is what we call the collection of God’s love letter to us), we open a line of communication between God and us. The Spirit speaks to us through God’s Word. For instance, when we read about King David, we “realize” (via the Holy Spirit talking to us) that we are capable of great love, but also great failure; when we read of King Solomon, we “realize” that the things of this world, in his case his many foreign wives, can lead us astray; when we read of Paul, we “realize” that a true encounter with the LORD Jesus will change our minds and hearts in an instant.
If you want to know what God thinks, ask Him and then read His Word. He wrote it down for us so that we wouldn’t miss it! He even instilled the Holy Spirit to interpret His Words. Do you really want to know? It’s a question of Lordship.
Abba, I pray for my readers that they would choose You to be LORD of their lives today, and then tomorrow to make the same choice. I know that if I do it categorically, then I am much more likely to make every decision based upon that first decision. May they find this truth for themselves as You call us to our commitment. If we listen, You are calling us into a permanent, lasting, intimate conversation with You: “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and I will show you great and wondrous things that you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3 (God’s phone number). I’m calling, LORD. Let’s talk.