Today's devotion from Psalms 99, 100, & 101.
D.A. Carson wrote:
People do not drift toward holiness.
Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord.
We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated. (For the Love of God)
That first phrase has stuck with me since I first encountered it. Godliness, holiness, faithfulness are intentional. We will never accidentally find ourselves being the disciples He has designed us to be. Does that mean that we must strive in works? No. But we should be inching closer toward the ultimate goal of Christlikeness because of the wondrous grace we have received.
This is David's cry in Psalm 101. We must determine to set our faces toward that end. We must make decisions, no matter how small, that will incrementally lead us closer to Him. Closer to God. David calls this "integrity of heart." It is integrity because it is not a show or gimmick. Instead, when you search for the definition of this word, you will see that it means that one has a strong sense of values to which they are committed. It means being sound, unimpaired, undivided, and complete.
It is integrity of heart because it is not the desire to be legalistic, but wholly committed in the inner person to honoring God in all things. While their is much said about the Law in the Old Testament, we must also realize that many verses lament the fact that Israelites were going through the motions of worship, but not giving their hearts to God.
Let us take a deep, long look into our own hearts. Realizing that I will never drift toward holiness with my faith on autopilot, what am I doing today that intentionally moves me closer to God? How about you?