Devotions

God Wants Our Whole Heart

September 23, 2021
“Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.” Hosea 10:12 (NIV)
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God wants us to settle some things in our hearts. Especially whether we are all-in when it comes to our relationship with Him. Do we want to walk in the fullness of His love and His plans? Or do we want to spend our lives chasing after the world’s empty pleasures?

Why not push the limits, live for the now and worry about eternity later? the enemy whispers.

The enemy is very strategic with his plans to derail and distract us. He cleverly makes his temptations seem so harmless.

The problem is that, by “living for the now,” we miss the whole point of our existence, the very purpose for which we were created. God made us for the relationship of His perfect love. But if we’re always chasing after other things, we’ll never experience the fullness of that love. There’s a big difference between a halfhearted approach to God and wholehearted devotion.

That halfhearted approach is where we find God’s people in a passage of Scripture I have been studying recently.

Hosea 10 opens with the initial appearance that all is well for the Israelites. They’re flourishing and in a season of plenty. (Hosea 10:1) Anyone looking at them from the outside would probably assume God is pleased with them and greatly blessing them. But Hosea lets the Israelites know God is anything but pleased with them, and their season of plenty and fruitfulness is about to be replaced with one of destruction and barrenness.

Why?

Hosea 10:2 explains the reason: “Their heart is deceitful, and now they must bear their guilt. The LORD will demolish their altars and destroy their sacred stones” (NIV).

The Hebrew word for “deceit” is חָלַק, ḥālaq (pronounced “Ha-Lack”) and means “divided, smooth or slippery.”

God didn’t have their whole hearts.

Their hearts were deceived and divided. Instead of worshipping God with their whole hearts, the Israelites turned to their pagan altars. (Hosea 10:1) Instead of trusting in the Lord, they put their faith in their rebellious and evil kings. (Hosea 10:3-4; Hosea 10:7)

They ignored God’s warnings to tear down their altars — failing to realize that divided affections will always be detrimental to a life of devotion. And as they chased after their idols, they wandered away from their covenant relationship with the Lord.

Thankfully, God is gracious in the midst of our wandering — beckoning us back home, calling us to repentance, offering us the chance to begin again.

He holds out hope to the Israelites and to us in Hosea 10:12: “Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.”

I don’t want us to miss the original Hebrew meaning of the word “seek” in this verse. The word דָּרַשׁ, dāraš (pronounced “Da-Rash”) is translated as “turning to the Lord.” I love that! Can’t you just hear the Father’s voice calling out to His people? Calling out to us?

As if He’s saying, My wayward and wandering children, turn back! Turn to Me! The path you are on is one that leads to destruction. One I cannot bless. But it’s not too late! You haven’t wandered too far. You can stop right now, right where you are, and return to Me. You can make wise and holy choices. Starting now. You can sow better seed. Today. Draw near to Me once again, and I will draw near to you. Repent of your sins and receive the fullness of My mercy, grace and forgiveness. Welcome Me even into the parts of your heart that have perhaps been hard and resistant to Me. Turn to Me. Seek Me. You will find Me waiting and ready to move in your life with amazing grace, unending love and incredible power.

Oh, how I pray we will answer His call today. Let’s seek God like never before. Let’s turn to Him, follow Him and offer Him all that we are and all that we have.

Father God, please forgive me. You know how my heart can get so divided and stretched and pulled in a million directions, especially in a hard season. Thank You for reminding me that You want every single piece of my heart. Please reveal anything I have been turning to instead of You. Teach me to rely on Your strength and power in the areas where I am weak. My deepest desire is to fully follow after You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

OUR FAVORITE THINGS

If you’ve felt your heart wandering or you just need to refocus on the absolute faithfulness of God in a fresh way, Lysa TerKeurst invites you to join her for a study trip to Israel in the fall of 2022 or for an Alaskan cruise in July 2022! Lysa will be teaching and digging into Scripture alongside special guests and friends on these once-in-a-lifetime trips. Find out more about the Alaskan cruise here or how to reserve your spot for the Israel trip here.

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Keep up with the latest from Lysa TerKeurst when you visit her website.

FOR DEEPER STUDY

Psalm 86:11, “Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” (NIV)

Would you say God has your whole heart? What things or people have you been looking to for comfort, for hope, for fulfillment more than Him? How can you purposefully turn back toward the Lord today? We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.

© 2021 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.


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