"He, therefore, is the devout man, who lives no longer to his own will, or the way and spirit of the world, but to the sole will of God, who considers God in everything, who serves God in everything, who makes all the parts of his common life parts of piety, by doing everything in the Name of God, and under such rules as are conformable to His glory.
We readily acknowledge, that God alone is to be the rule and measure of our prayers; that in them we are to look wholly unto Him, and act wholly for Him; that we are only to pray in such a manner, for such things, and such ends, as are suitable to His glory." (A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life - William Law, A. M. 1686-1761 *see note below)
One thing I am reminded of every time I read a book or writing from an early church writer is the need to live a life holy and devout and completely for the Lord. This quote from William Law is right at the beginning of his book and sets the tone for how we should be living our life today as a Christian. It isn't about legalism or performance, it is solely about being completely sold out to Jesus in everything we say, do, and think. Living a devout life comes from a heart that has been renewed by the spirit of God and can only be done by the power of God.
Are you desiring to live out the will of God in your life? Do you put forth effort every day and try to do the right thing but it just seems to be an uphill struggle? I encourage you today to walk in the spirit of God. (Gal 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.) When we look to God and spend our time in devotions to Him rather than wallowing like a hog in the ways of this world we can use the power of the Holy Spirit to guide our lives. He is the vine and we are the branches. A true follower of Christ understands that everything we do is done through Him, by Him, and for Him. Our job is to abide in Jesus and the fruit of the spirit will come. (Joh 15:4 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.)
So how do I abide in Jesus? That is a question I have asked myself over the years and every time I found the answer I thought to myself, "surely there is another way, I don't have time to do that..." To abide in Jesus means to stick to Him. To be by His side every moment of the day. To spend my time with Him. Not my extra time, but all my time. He doesn't want the 5 minutes of leftovers at the end of the day, Jesus wants my entire heart, mind, and strength (deut 6:5) to be captive for His eternal glory.
"Abide in Me" Jesus says. When we allow the distractions of our job, family, entertainment, and other activities to keep us from Him we are a making them a higher priority than Him. Psalms 1:1-3 says this: How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.
William Law continues, "But we can no more be said to live unto God, unless we live unto Him in all the ordinary actions of our life, unless He be the rule and measure of all our ways, than we can be said to pray unto God..."
Jesus is our Lord and Savior who deserves all of our affection. When we grasp the depravity of our condition prior to meeting Him and the glory of our salvation and what that means for our eternal well being, then how can we not want to devote our entire being to Him? Even in the ordinary things we should see Jesus working in our life.
Lord, I pray today for my heart to be like your heart. I want to be a mirror to the world and have it display the reflection of your love. Help me meditate on your ways day and night and put aside all the distractions the world tries to throw my way. Amen.
*note: The William Law quoted in this post is not the Latter Day Saints William Law from the 1800's. This William Law is the British Theologian...