Desire or Devotion?

This is our first stay in Florida without Barb. The glimpses of her here blow in and out like the gulf breeze that cools us down so easy right when we need it. That’s just how she was, taking care of everything we needed in her graciously easy way.

“Sit, let me do that.”

“I’ll take the kids, you go for a walk.”

And always, “Can I get you anything?”

I was telling Keith today, that was her gift, taking care of everything and everyone. But as I’m walking now writing this and thinking of her, I’m appreciating another one of her qualities, one that probably made her so notable in all of her other gifts.

Barb was consistent. She did what she said. She stayed the course even if that meant wrestling through the ugliness that comes with living on this side of heaven. She filled in the gaps and never wanted a prize.

Barb had figured out what I am only beginning to learn. The joy she had found in consistently doing what needed to be done was not the same joy the world shouts will be lived when we achieve dreams, goals, and desires of our hearts. Those joys are different because they come from two different places, from desire and devotion.

Desire sits on the surface of who we are. It’s the things we want to see, hear, or attain. It’s our want, but it’s not our why.

Devotion sits deep in our hearts. It’s what we know, trust, and believe. It’s why we do what we do.

Because these two come from different places, it’s important that we ask ourselves which place we are moving in when we work on our own consistency.

How many times do we say…

“I want to lose weight. I need to be more consistent with eating healthy and exercising!”

Our desire is to lose weight and look better, but we also must establish our devotion. Whats our why? Maybe we add to our phrase…

“I want to lose weight so that I can play and be present with my kids.”

When our lives are built on desires, inconsistency can quickly take over. But, when we lay down a foundation of devotion, it is a lot harder to give up when our consistency starts to wane.

What I’m learning is that you don’t always need consistency to meet your desires, but that consistency is the only means to show devotion, especially when it comes to devotion to our Lord and Savior, who is the key to the whole thing!

Barbs joy wasn’t found in her desire to crush goals or earn praise, Barb’s joy was found in her devotion to please God.

Maybe you’re reading this today and you’re not a Christian. You probably think what good is being devoted to a God you can’t see?! But see him you will, all over your life, when you consistently give him the praise, honor, and glory. Being consistently devoted to God will improve your relationships, your attitude, and your mindset. The rewards of this world will run out, but a life lived in devotion to God will last forever.

How are You and Jesus Doin?

Serious question: How are you and Jesus doin?

I remember the first time I heard this question and I think of how it shook me for so long after. It shifted my whole mindset, it changed my whole heart. And that’s why I wanted to ask you, how are you and Jesus doin?

Usually this question is asked of a relationship.

How are you and your husband?

How are you and your friend?

But it had never clicked for me that I was in an actual relationship with Jesus. I guess I just looked at Him as this Father-like man that was just there watching over me. I wasn’t getting to know Him better, I wasn’t listening to Him, and I sure wasn’t doing my part to build the relationship. I wasn’t loving Him, I wasn’t in love with Him, and He had every reason to dump me, but thankfully He’s Jesus, and He never will. He’ll never leave you either.

I heard a very wise friend say,

“the only thing that can separate us from our Father is ourselves.”

We forsake Him, we curse Him, we dump Him. But He will always stand at the door knocking to see if we will let Him back in.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20

It’s been years now since I heard that question, and I’m thankful today that I have a different answer. Jesus is so so good to me. I see His goodness all over my life. He has held me through dark ugly nights that felt like years, He’s given me peace in the middle of sorrow so low, and He’s spoken words of truth in my ears as lies of this world tried to take me down. He pleads for me, He champions me, He is my dearest friend, and I love Him deeper every day. It’s strange how this relationship works. There is nothing I can do to earn His love, and I sure don’t deserve it, but He still calls me worthy. He is in me, and everything I have is through Him.

It has taken awhile to get here and I know He’s still working on me. And maybe you’re not here yet, maybe you’re far from it. But wherever you are, He sees you, He loves you, and He is knocking on the door of your heart waiting for you to let Him in.