First John 3:18 says, “Let us not love in word or in tongue.” Words are cheap; anybody can utter them. But we are to love with deeds and in truth. Your actions show where your devotion truly lies, and God wants your undivided devotion. He wants you to give your time and your heart wholly to Him.
So take an honest look at your own heart. Would you classify it as united or divided?
“Well, I serve God,” you say. “I go to church.” Good! But is there any division there? Think back over this past week. To what did you devote yourself? What activities took up most of your time?
“I devoted a lot of time to my garden,” someone says. “I devoted a lot of time to the beach,” somebody else says. To what did you devote your time? It can be quite an eye-opener to look around and see what is absorbing your energies, your time, and your mind.
The truth is, those are the things to which you are devoted.
Attending church week after week is no guarantee of singleness of heart. Even as you sit there, your mind can roam. You may be in the house of the Lord on Sunday morning, but thinking about going to some bar that night. You may spend Sunday in church, but have no other contact with God the rest of the week.
That’s a divided heart.
Again, make an honest personal inventory of yourself. Would you describe your relationship with the Lord as hot? Are you fervently following Jesus Christ? Is He truly the Lord and Master of your life? Is He first and foremost? Is He above everything else? Do you esteem Him above everything else? Or do you have more of a casual relation- ship with Jesus—it’s nice, but you could easily do without it?
If you cannot say, “Yes, I have a fervent relationship with the Lord. He is everything to me,” then most likely you have a divided heart. You’re lukewarm. And God is calling you to make a change. So what can you do about a divided heart?
After Jesus commended the church of Ephesus for all of its marvelous activities and works, He said, “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love” (Revelation 2:4). The Savior accused them of a divided heart. Somehow they had drifted away from their former burning love of God—but then He gave them the remedy, a cure with three parts.
First, He said, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen” (v. 5). Can you remember those days when you first discovered the glorious love of God in Jesus Christ? Recall the delightful time when you realized the grace of God had washed you and cleansed you of all of your sins. You felt so excited and so thrilled about the Lord. You were so in love with Him when you realized how much He loved you. You just couldn’t get enough! Every time the church doors opened, you were there with your Bible, hungering after God and thirsting after the things of the Spirit. And oh, how your life bubbled over with joy and excitement as you walked with Jesus in close fellowship!
Secondly, Jesus says simply, “Repent” (v. 5). That is, turn around! You’ve drifted so far away that now you’re way out to sea. Turn again! Ask God to forgive you for the coldness you’ve allowed to come into your relationship. Don’t let things stay as they are. Repent!
And finally Jesus advised them, “Repeat.” That is, “do the first works” (v. 5). Go back to the things you were doing when you were so in love with Him. Maybe it was regular Bible study. Maybe it was evangelism. Maybe it was helping out at the local rescue mission. Whatever it was, repeat what you once did.
Remember. Repent. Repeat.
Ask God to give you a singleness of heart toward God. Do not come to a place of deception, where you think that attending church on Sunday morning is okay.
Ask God to unite your heart to serve Him. Pray, “God, just take away this divided heart. I know I cannot serve two masters. I know I’m being divided; I’m being pulled. Give me a united heart, that I might love and serve You.”
When God unites your heart, then you too will praise Him with all of your heart. Once more your heart will overflow with love for God and you will gladly serve Him with everything within you. God yearns for that kind of undivided love from us.
- excerpted from Love The More Excellent Way by Chuck Smith