Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Devotion -Revisited

In late 2011, I spoke to a group of women in Des Moines on the topic of devotion. Here's snippet of that, with a new tweak or two...

Devotion is defined as: Profound dedication; consecration; earnest attachment to a cause or person. When we think of devotion, a number of images might come to mind.  Perhaps a mother to her children, a devoted citizen, worker, wife or husband. But Paul takes it one step further. In Romans 6:16-18 he says,

 "Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?  But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness."

He goes on to call us "slaves of God" in verse 22. Don't miss this gals!  Paul just called us slaves!

Take a look at the definition of a slave (courtesy of 1) One bound in servitude as the property of a person or household; 2)One who is abjectly subservient to a specified person or influence; 3)One who works extremely hard or doggedly; to toil.

That certainly redefines this concept of devotion, doesn't it? We are called to be slaves for Christ!

While our husbands are certainly the head of our home (or should be anyway,) we as women carry a certain “power” or dare I even say, “responsibility” to set the tone of our households. What I mean is simply this: When it is apparent that you are devoted, or enslaved, to your walk with Christ, then your home, your husband and your children will be uplifted and inspired- and are more likely to follow suit. We’ve all heard the saying, “When Mama ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy.” Well, the opposite is also true! When we find ourselves devoted and joyful, no matter our circumstances- that has power!  I know if I’m in a bad mood, my husband will shortly follow. If the girls are with us, they sense it too and it sets a tone for our evening. Sometimes I don’t like having that type of power- but I do. We all do.

Our sense of devotion- to anything, bad or good- can be contagious. Have you ever seen someone so dedicated to a cause of some sort that you find yourself excited, and even interested, even if you may have never been interested in something like that before? Our fervor for Christ can be just as contagious.

So how do we gain this devotion, or this attitude of servitude? I think the base we build it on is what I call the triple-D: DEVOTION DESPITE DETAILS. Circumstances change, we change, others change, moods change. But He never does. Despite anything that may be going on in our lives, He is still sovereign. He still reigns! He still deserves our devotion. When we can recognize that…IT …CHANGES…THE…GAME!

Have you witnessed someone seemingly so devoted to Christ, only to fall away after a parent or loved one is stricken with a disease? Maybe someone, heaven forbid, loses a child and they walk away from the Lord. I don’t pretend to know or ever want to know this kind of loss. But we’ve all seen it.

I was watching a 9/11 10th anniversary special recently. It was talking about the faith of some of the family members of those lost, after the tragedy. They were asking, “Where was God on that day?” One woman, who lost her precious husband, said she now can’t even bare to speak to God anymore, let alone worship him because she feels so abandoned.  I have tried to put myself in that place and think how I may feel, although it’s impossible to know. I pray to God that I wouldn't make the same statement!  I love my husband- Y'all, I love that man! I don’t want to know this life without him. I plead with God that I never have to know. But what I do know is that whether he walks into the house and gives me a loving hug every day or not…God still reigns! He is still sovereign, and He still deserves my devotion.

Where was God that tragic day? He was everywhere. He was under that rubble. He was outside those windows. He was on those planes. He was in the midst of every family who received bad news that day.  Do you know that 50,000 people worked in those 2 buildings? 50,000! And while every single life is beautiful, precious and significant, we only lost 3,000 that day. 3,000 out of 50,000! Oh, friends, God was there that day. But here’s the thing: even if we had lost 50,000 souls that day, guess what? God still reigns! He’s still sovereign, and He still deserves our devotion.

We frequently hear of pastors or Christians in other countries that refuse to renounce their faith and are imprisoned.  That’s devotion! That’s enslavement!

Devotion despite the details, no matter how tiny or enormous those details may be.  When our children witness that kind of devotion in our lives, it plants a seed that we can’t fully grasp! God can do a lot with a tiny seed. A seed with Christ is beyond what we can comprehend! When our husbands see this type of devotion, it inspires them to be a better leader for their families. It can change everything. Devotion is contagious!

This is the foundation we must lay. When that foundation is understood, and applied, everything else falls into place.  Let's plant a seed and change the game.

Photobucket © 2012 Chrissy Tucker.

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