“Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;” (Joel 2:12, ESV)
We have spent the last few days dwelling on Joel 2:12.
- “Yet even now” – We have learned there is no situation beyond God’s redemption and help.
- “Declares the Lord” – We have emphasized the importance of powerfully declaring God’s truth in the face of the world’s challenges.
- “Return to me” – We were reassured we can always reconnect with Jesus.
Today, we come to the words: “with all your heart.”
Our relationship with God is not some hobby or leisure activity. This is our life. This is our everything.
But we have a way of making God to be a hobby. We occasionally show up at church on Sunday morning. We have our potlucks and Bible studies. We volunteer for our Easter egg hunts. So many churches are buzzing with activity. We are doing good things. But often there is little urgency or sense of mission. Our church experience becomes just another social club and we lose sight of the life and death nature of what we do. Our calling is not to occasionally show up and go home. Our calling is a calling upon our life.
My family enjoys watching superhero movies. What is it that draws us to these movies? Is it the action? Is it the special effects? No! The things that is so compelling about these movies is the willingness of the characters to lay it all on the line. They go to great lengths because they are well aware of what is up for grabs. The fate of the world!
Know that we are playing for keeps. It is winner takes all. And it is more than the fate of the world that is at stake. It is eternity!
We are the Justice League. Our churches are the Halls of Justice. And if the battle is to be won, it will not be done half-heartedly. We are called to bring it all!
Make no mistake; there is a battle going on for our hearts and affection. And Satan will exploit any little weakness where we find ourselves half-hearted. That is why we are to take up the full armor of God (see Ephesians 6:10-20), not just some of the armor of God.
The work of God is more than a passing endeavor. Today, I invite you to ask God to show you where your heart is divided. Ask him to reveal those places where you serve more as a hobby than as a calling. Then as God reveals those areas of vulnerability, let him strengthen you by his Holy Spirit so you can engage in the greatest mission of all. We live for a cause that is worth the giving of our lives. Yes, the life of faith is much more than a hobby!