Today's devotion from Hosea 5-7.These words struck my heart today. "What am I going to do with you, Ephraim? What am I going to do with you, Judah? Your love is like the morning mist and like the early dew that vanishes." (Hosea 6:4, CSB) You see, it's easy to separate myself from the issues of Israel at this time when God uses the language of promiscuity and unfaithfulness. It is easy to justify and excuse myself as being different, but when God laments that their love is like the morning mist, that is an allusion that hits a little closer to home. I know my intentions, but they rarely measure up. I never intend to drift from God, but like the morning mist or dew, as the sun rises and the day advances, my focus and intentions dissolve and evaporate into thin air. I lose my passion for God as heat is applied in the moment. That fervent passion dies out over time like the fire that is not being fed fresh fuel.
I don't think I'm alone in this. I think you probably understand all too well what I mean. If I were being completely honest, I would admit that my passion for pursuing God is only as strong as my prayer life. The mistake the Israelites often made is one I often follow. My love, affection, and desire toward God doesn't necessarily hinge on good works or moral interaction. It hinges on my pursuit of relationship with God.
There are many motivations for ritual and morality. Tradition and the threat of repercussions are an example of each that demonstrate how one might appear to be following God, but neither is actually motivated by God. For example, people can "go to church" out of tradition and never truly interact with Him. I may not have an affair more because I'm afraid of the ramifications on my life more than out of obedience to God's desire for my life.
I don't want to love God so shallowly that He is quickly removed from my mind and my heart. God, give us a deep and passionate love of You that refuses to evaporate as the heat of the moment rises.