22
Jan
09

wholehearted

I began reading Deuteronomy this morning and was stirred by a passage: “Not a man of this evil generation shall see the good land I swore to give your forefathers, except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the LORD wholeheartedly.”

I consider myself a follower of Jesus, but if I am honest, at times (often) I follow with less than a whole heart. My pursuits, my interests, my motives are divided in my heart. Yet, Caleb was able to follow wholeheartedly. Not a single person around him followed the Lord fully, yet he did?  Everyone else was halfhearted; Caleb was wholehearted in following the Lord. Where did he develop this? Where did he find this resolve?  Looking at the context, one might say he listened to God and obeyed him. It seems so simple.  Yet, as I try to muster this following in my own heart, it often eludes me.

When I first became a follower of Jesus when I was 15, they told me to read my Bible and pray every day. 14 years later, I believe that is the most solid advice I will ever hear about following Jesus. It is so simple, and yet, sometimes I have become so “sophisticated” in my faith that I forget to listen to God and obey him. There are duties to perform, there is an image to portray, there is a certain way to speak and act. Yet, all that is really necessary is to listen and obey. In the Gospels, this religious “sophistication” was an annoyance to Jesus. He listened to the Father, and obeyed. So, even though there are other important things, if we are to follow Jesus wholeheartedly we must listen and obey. First things first, read the Bible and pray. A simple complexity and a complex simplicity.

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