Devotion to the Lord
Open Your Bible
Deuteronomy 4:1-43, Exodus 34:5-9, John 14:15
We use the word “devotion” a lot in the Christian life. There’s a whole bookstore sub-genre for devotional writing that offers reflective meditations on God’s character and work in our lives. These may include short, digestible pieces—like this one—that many of us orient our days around as a way to center our hearts on God. You know the rhythm: set the hazelnut coffee on the desk, adjust the throw blanket on the chair, open the pages of your favorite Bible or app, and ask the Holy Spirit to meet with you.
I genuinely believe, as you probably do too, that the heartbeat of a devotional time isn’t the hazelnut coffee or throw blankets or apps. It’s the moment when we choose God. It’s the decision to focus on our holy, glory-filled God and say no to the thousand other things vying for our attention. There is power here. Because the heart that is open before God is the one transformed by Him.
When we read today’s passage, we are reminded of just how easy it is for our attention and devotion to gravitate toward anything but God. It’s all over these pages. Moses cautions the Israelites against this distraction and points out all the specific replacements for worshipping the Lord that he observes in their culture: hand-crafted idols (Deuteronomy 4:16), heavenly bodies (v.19), and other forbidden things.
I don’t know about you, but my heart is easily tugged and pulled when other things look like they can deliver on promises sooner or better than God. When our attention wanders, our actions wander with it. But we are called to another way, one of faithfulness, commitment, obedience, and devotion. This is our response to the God who wanders in the wilderness with us, who offers “faithful love to a thousand generations” (Exodus 34:7). A thousand! He has been faithfully guiding His people since even before this generation of men and women preparing to enter the promised land, and His guidance extends to you and me today.
I think it’s important to hold grace for ourselves and recognize that, despite our best efforts, there will be days when our hearts will wander again. It’s all over these Scripture passages—an acknowledgement that we will wander. God sees it coming. And, still, He calls for us to devote ourselves to Him once again.
Today, may we choose the God who keeps choosing us. We can do that in the stillness of the morning or out in the heat of the day. Whether we already have a burning desire to walk with Him, or we’ve turned toward other loves that promise to deliver quicker or better, let’s remain faithful to the One who remains faithful to us. “He will not leave you, destroy you, or forget the covenant with your ancestors that he swore to them by oath,” said Moses to the Israelites, “because the LORD your God is a compassionate God” (Deuteronomy 4:31).