I recently came across a book entitled “All I want is you.” It appealed to me, and so I bought it, because I long to be able to say that to the Lord, from a heart totally devoted to Him. However, I had mistaken the title. In prayer the author was telling the Lord that he would give anything to Him and do anything He wanted him to do. The reply was, “All I want is you.”
‘Surrender’ is the word for completely giving oneself to the One who gave Himself for us. It means we have a heart that is fully devoted to Him – not for what we can get but simply because, by His grace, we have seen the magnitude of love displayed at the cross. It has set our cold hearts on fire, so that our relationship with Jesus is a wholehearted one in every aspect.
We are told to love the Lord with all our heart (Matthew 22:36-38). We cannot muster up love – in the believer it is poured into the heart by the Holy Spirit. We are not very good judges of our own hearts, but there is One who knows every single motive and thought of the heart. He will convict us if our love grows cold. The person or thing we think about most is the love of our heart. If we are half-hearted in our love for Jesus, we have a divided heart and we are double-minded.
Jesus said that, if we love Him, we will obey Him (John 14:15). We are motivated by love (His love for us) to obey Him with all our heart. Obedience is proof that we love Him in return. Half-hearted obedience is, of course, disobedience, and often results in disaster. Compromise is not a biblical word. It is often symptomatic of a heart that has lost its first love.
As we read Scripture, we see that as the Lord expects us to love Him with all our heart. He also expects us to trust Him ((Proverbs 3:5). He tells us not to lean on our own understanding and to acknowledge Him in all our ways. There is a wonderful promise for those who trust Him wholeheartedly. He will direct our paths – lead us in the way we should go, in His plan for our lives. Of course, to live the way of faith requires that we let go of control and trying to fix things ourselves and simply trust Him with all our heart.
In many of the psalms the writers say, “I will praise you with all my heart.” Praise rises from grateful hearts, from hearts that have seen the glorious One who is worthy of praise. Half-hearted praise falls far short of true praise, which is independent of circumstances. Life is hard sometimes, and maybe we don’t always feel like praising, but praise delights God’s heart. In our uncertainties, and through our hard times, we praise Him out of gratitude for who He is – the faithful one who never changes. As our text for today says, ‘I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart. I will glorify your name for ever.’
To conclude, here’s a great promise – ‘The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him’ (2 Chronicles 16:9).
Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship. Provided full acknowledgement is made to Seeds of the Kingdom as the source, you are also welcome to use it in a non-commercial way and reproduce it in magazines or other Christian websites. The copyright for any commercial use of the material remains with Ellel Ministries International.