“And he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord.”
2 Chronicles 12:14
What is your heart set on? What occupies the inner thoughts of your soul? The issues, people, and things that frequently come to your mind without active effort are likely what your heart is set on. It is so easy with the busyness of life to devote our attention, time, affection, and resources to things other than God. The real danger is when the stuff that crowds God out of our lives appears to be good, honorable, and pleasurable.
For example, we often excuse our neglect of our relationship with God because we are committed to our families, our work, or even our ministries. Or, we excuse our failure to cultivate our relationship with God because we are working hard and we have to provide for ourselves and others. Of course, God wants you to be a good husband, wife, father, mother, or church member, right? We convince ourselves that we are making the right choice and appropriately placing our priorities.
While it might appear that we are doing a good or even a godly thing, if we allow ourselves to get disconnected from the True Vine, then even our most sincere efforts at ministry, family, and work will be ineffective. In John 15:5, Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” Even our most sincere efforts to do the right things fall flat when we are not connected to Christ.
Perhaps even more alarming, when we are disconnected from Christ, we become susceptible to doing evil. In 2 Chronicles, 2:14 (NIV), the Bible says of King Rehoboam that “he did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord.” Notice what the Bible does not say. It does not say that King Rehoboam did evil because his heart was wicked, or because he was on drugs or because of his ungodly upbringing. Instead, the Bible says that King Rehoboam did evil because he did not make his relationship with God a priority in his life.
Now, lets notice what happened because of this neglect. God had established Rehoboam as king of Israel when he was 41 years old. The Bible says, “he had become strong”, which simply means that his kingdom and reign had become securely established. But then Rehoboam and all of Israel “abandoned the law of the Lord” and became “unfaithful to the Lord.” Because of this, God allowed the Egyptian king to attack Israel and capture the fortified city of Judah.
When you allow the busyness of life to crowd God out, you become susceptible to disobedience and ultimately invite hardships and challenges into your life. You must actively fight this temptation and affirmatively set your heart on God daily. You do this by spending time reading and studying God’s word, by talking to God throughout the day, and by committing to fasting on a periodic basis.
Be encouraged to keep your heart focused on God. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and learn to follow Jesus one day at a time. In Psalm 10:4 (NIV), David says: “In his pride, the wicked man does not seek Him, in all his thoughts, there is no room for God.” Never allow the pressures and interests of your life to crowd God out. Instead, actively and intentionally make room for God in your thoughts, heart, and life by committing to prayer, studying and meditating on God’s word, and to fasting.
Published on Jan 04 @ 3:04 AM EDT
Excellent analogy of the Word of God!
Posted on Mon, Jan 4, 2021 @ 5:25 AM CST
Thank you Pastor Harris for enriching my life in the LORD! Sabaneta, Colombia ????.
Posted on Mon, Jan 4, 2021 @ 7:34 AM CST
I am always Blessed and being taught the about God and his son. I am thankful and grateful for pastor Harris and the first lady sister Monica.
Posted on Mon, Jan 4, 2021 @ 7:42 AM CST
Thank You for this devotion and reminder of what we need to do to stay focused !!
Posted on Mon, Jan 4, 2021 @ 5:51 PM CST
May God bless and continue to use you l was truly blessed by your words. To God be the glory
Posted on Mon, Jan 4, 2021 @ 6:35 PM CST
Thank you so much for posting the devotionals, I am unable to do the morning prayer at 700 as I have to be at work. My sister sends me the reading for the day and then I come home and watch the broadcast and read the devotion. It is truly a blessing for and to me. Thanks again Minister Dickerson God Bless and Keep you
Posted on Mon, Jan 4, 2021 @ 7:01 PM CST
I love reading your devotional for today. It's so easy to get caught up with stuff and things that leave no room in our life for God. Day by day I have to make a conscientious effort that nothing is more important than spending time with God. I like to start my day with God and end with God. And through out the day just thank him for his many blessings. Some days I'm faced with many challenges and obstacles that I have to remind myself who's in charge. Thank you for that devotion. Continue to let God use you and be Blessed.
Posted on Mon, Jan 4, 2021 @ 9:02 PM CST
Author: L.B. Cowman
“Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
When we have doubts or are facing difficulties, when others suggest courses of action that are conflicting, when caution dictates one approach but faith another, we should be still. We should quiet each intruding person, calm ourselves in the sacred stillness of God’s presence, study His Word for guidance, and with true devotion focus our attention on Him.
We should lift our nature into the pure light radiating from His face, having an eagerness to know only what God our Lord will determine for us. Soon God will reveal, by His secret counsel, a distinct and unmistakable sense of His direction. It is unwise for a new believer to depend on this approach alone. He should wait for circumstances to also confirm what God is revealing. Yet Christians who have had many experiences in their walk with Him know the great value of the secret counsel of the Lord as a means of discerning His will.
Are you uncertain about which direction you should go? Take your question to God and receive guidance from either the light of His smile or the cloud of His refusal. You must get alone with Him, where the lights and the darkness of this world cannot interfere and where the opinions of others cannot reach you. You must also have the courage to wait in silent expectation, even when everyone around you is insisting on an immediate decision or action. If you will do these things, the will of God will become clear to you. And you will have a deeper concept of who He is, having more insight into His nature and His heart of love. All this will be your unsurpassed gift. It will be a heavenly experience, a precious eternal privilege, and the rich reward for the long hours of waiting. DAVID
Keep still! When trouble is brewing, keep still! When slander is getting on its legs, keep still! When your feelings are hurt, keep still till you recover from your excitement at any rate! Things look different through an unagitated eye. In a commotion once I wrote a letter and sent it and wished I had not. In my later years I had another commotion and wrote another long letter; my life had rubbed a little sense into me, and I kept that letter in my pocket until I could look it over without agitation, and without tears, and I was glad I did—less and less it seemed necessary to send it. I was not sure it would do any harm, but in my doubtfulness, I learned reticence, and eventually it was destroyed. Time works wonders!
Wait till you can speak calmly and then perhaps you will not need to speak. Silence is the most powerful thing conceivable, sometimes. It is strength in its grandeur; it is like a regiment ordered to stand still in the mad fury of battle. To plunge in were twice as easy. Nothing is lost by learning to keep still. HANNAH WHITALL SMITH
I do not believe we have even begun to understand the wonderful power there is in being still. We are in such a hurry, always doing, that we are in danger of not allowing God the opportunity to work. You may be sure that God will never say to us, “Stand still,” “Sit still,” or “Be still,” unless He is going to do something. This is our problem regarding the Christian life: we want to do something to be Christians, instead of allowing Him to work in us. Think of how still you stand when your picture is being taken, as the photographer captures your likeness on film. God has one eternal purpose for us: that we should be “conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29 KJV). But in order for that to happen, we must stand still. We hear so much today about being active, but maybe we need to learn what it means to be quiet. Perhaps we simply need to learn to be still and watch God work out the details that challenged us so greatly and caused us so much distress. You will find that He works wonders if we can just still our hearts and sit before Him until He speaks.
Oh Lord, You know my heart better than I know it myself. You know my struggles and You hold each hope and fear in Your caring hands. Teach me, LORD, to be still and to know that You are God. I trust in You alone. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.
An excerpt from the book: "Streams in the Desert: Morning and Evening"
Published on Jan 31 @ 12:46 AM EDT