1 Kings 8:61 “But your hearts must be fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time.”
Once again we have clear proof that being the instrument for speaking God’s truth doesn’t necessarily mean you do it. Solomon spoke the conditions for continuing to receive the blessings of God, but then he didn’t fulfill those conditions himself. One phrase in this summation is translated differently in the NIV and the Japanese, and it is the key to the whole issue. Where the NIV says “your hearts must be fully committed to the Lord,” the Japanese says, “Your hearts must be totally one with the Lord.” I can understand how those could each be a good translation of one original, but the Japanese brings to mind Jesus’ words in the Upper Room, where He talked repeatedly about our being in Him and Him being in us, using the metaphor of a grape vine. (John 15:1-10) Then in His final prayer in the Upper Room He doubled down on the issue, praying for succeeding generations of believers with the words, “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:21) That’s what “one heart with the Lord” is all about. That does require consistent choice on our part, which is why “fully committed” isn’t a bad translation. God supplies His Spirit to indwell us and transform us into the likeness of His Son, (Romans 8:29) but we must choose to yield ourselves to Him, to receive and operate in the unity He desires of us and offers to us. To the degree we do that, walking in all He has said to us, we will enjoy the totality of His blessings.
This is as true of me as it is of anyone. As a preacher, speaking the Word of the Lord regularly, I have the huge temptation to feel that because I’ve said it I’m doing it. If only it were that simple! The words of my mouth are important, (Romans 10:9-10) but words without action are empty. (James 2:14) I must choose to draw near to my Lord, not just daily but continuously. I don’t want to be like Solomon, who squandered the riches of God by feeling he deserved them. I’ve got to walk in constant awareness of my total dependence on God, staying focused on Him so that His Spirit may flow through me and His power be manifested in my weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9) We are in intense spiritual warfare right now, so this is of utmost importance. I know that He who is in me is greater than all the forces that are against me, (1 John 4:4) but I’ve got to abide in Him for His victory to be manifested fully in and through me.
Father, thank You for this very timely reminder. Thank You that the real estate agent agreed to sell us all three building plots, just as we had prayed. The devil is not at all happy that Your plans for us are proceeding, and he’s doing all he can to mess with us. Help us keep our focus on You and on what’s really going on, so that we won’t attack one another by mistake. May we not be deceived into using fleshly tools in the battle, but rather let Your truth flow through us all in love, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!