Worship With Your Whole Heart

By Pastor Scott Flaten

When I was in high school, I decided to join the cross-country team. For those of you who don’t know what “cross-country” is, it’s running.  Just running.  No jumping, no shooting, no touchdowns, no points.  Only running. Sounds fun, right?  The only problem with my plan to join the cross country team was that I didn’t particularly enjoy running. In fact, I hated it.  I joined the team because my friends did.

The season started before school did in the Fall, and cross-country practice was at 6AM.  I was slacking from the first practice-cutting corners, walking through sections of practice, and basically not taking the training time seriously.

Fast forward to the first cross-country meet.  The gun went off, and I took off down the 3 mile course.  I was running my little heart out, keeping pace with those around me, and generally feeling pretty good about myself.  Mile 1 came and went, and I was near the front of the pack.

It was around mile 2 that I realized that I was in trouble.  I had set a pace for myself that my body couldn’t sustain.  Around mile 2.5, my knees got weak, my vision got blurry, and I felt as though I might just die right there on the course-probably because I had been basically sprinting for 2.5 miles. I wanted to keep going, to do well and finish with the top racers, but I simply couldn’t.  I had to stop and walk through the rest of the race. I hadn’t put the time into training to keep my body performing at the level I needed to finish well.

2 Chron 25:2-  “He (King Amaziah) did right in the sight of the Lord, but not wholeheartedly.”

This passage of scripture is scary to me.  It reveals something that, as believers, we all know to be true.  Namely, that we can do the “right” things, go through the “right” motions, but have hearts that aren’t totally committed to God.

As worshipers, our goal is to worship God “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24), and to, “‘love the Lord [our] God with all [our] heart[s] and with all [our] soul[s] and with all [of our] strength and with all [our] mind[s]…” (Luke 10:27). We want to live our lives with “hands and hearts [that] are pure,” (Psalm 24:4).

The first step towards pleasing God and living your life for Him is to surrender your heart to Him.  All of it.  Not the convenient parts, or the parts that you won’t miss. Everything.  He wants it all. Pray as David prayed “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me andknow my anxious thoughts.” (Psalm 139:23).

Before God hears your songs, He sees your heart.  Let’s be people that surrender our whole hearts to God.  Let’s engage the Lord with wholehearted devotion and commitment to Him.

Dear God, help me to be a person that loves you and obeys your Word with my whole heart.  I want to do the right things for the right reason. I surrender all that I am to you.  Help me to be pleasing in your sight in everything I say and do.  Amen.