A Declaration of Devotion
Romans 8:28 | Psalm 102 | Psalm 103
Every 4th of July I find myself thinking these three things: 1) how happy I am to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave 2) how thankful I am for those who fight/fought to protect our freedom 3) and lastly, how desperately America needs God. The Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 delegates to fight off tyranny and taxation without representation, but today I see a new “declaration of independence” being signed by many people…a declaration of independence from God.
We need God! Instead of independence from Him, we need a declaration of dependence on God. This starts with you and me. We may not be able to change our country overnight but we can pray, personally turn to God, lead our family to follow God, and impact our world and community from where we sit. In order to make a difference though, we need to be all in. We cannot afford to be undecided. We have to be “Mission True,” not “Mission Drift.”
Mission True or Mission Drift
Romans 8:28-29 helps us know if we are Mission True or if we have fallen into Mission Drift. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”
Many people say they love God, but the real question is, are we truly living according to God’s purposes? We all have a choice: His purposes vs. my purposes; His image vs. my image. Our “mission” is to become more like Jesus in character and to live to fulfill His purposes. When we are mission true, we live our lives to fulfill both. When we mission drift, we pull anchor and lose sight of both and drift away from God.
The Israelites struggled with mission drift. As we study their story and history we see two very distinct roads, one leading to destruction and the other to deliverance. There are lessons we can learn from looking at their journey down these two roads.
- Road to Destruction: This results in desensitization, disobedience, destruction.
- Road to Deliverance: This results in desperation, declaration, devotion.
Which one will we choose? Will we choose to stay Mission True? If so, here are 3 steps to get and keep right with God.
Step #1: Desperation – We must realize our plight (Psalm 102:12-17)
The greatest threat to our faith as individuals (and certainly as a nation) is to become lukewarm, desensitized, and calloused. We need to guard against this and renew our hearts in the Lord. Here is what Israel did when they started on the road to recovery:
- Repent of our sin.
- Reaffirm our commitment to Jesus.
- Rid ourselves of compromise.
- Run hard after God.
It is not doom and gloom to say that we are sinners who are selfish and sell out our convictions far too often. You need God, I need God, our church needs God, and our community needs God. It’s about time that we get serious about God if we are going to get serious about representing God to a desperate and lost world. We need to tell ourselves everyday:
- Character matters
- Compassion wins
- Conviction anchors
- Consecration renews
2 Chronicles 7:14 reminds us that “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Step #2: Declaration – We must cry out to God (Psalm 102:1-11)
The Israelites were desperate and, to their credit, they realized it. They didn’t candy-coat it. They didn’t soft-sell it. They knew they were in trouble. And what did they do in response? They prayed.
Today, right now, is the time to start praying. Pray for your family, your church, your community, your country. If you need prayer, reach out and contact our Prayer Care ministry. There are people willing to pray with and for you.
Step #3: Devotion – We must serve God wholeheartedly (Psalm 103:1-16).
Here are three tremendous reminders about what devotion looks like.
- Remember the Wonder of God: Revere Him. (Psalm 103:1-16)
- Remember the Word of God: Obey Him. (Psalm 103:17-18)
- Remember to Worship God: Adore Him (Psalm 103:19-22)
With another 4th of July now passed, let’s continue to take time to pray for our nation, community, church, friends and family.