“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?” Deut. 10:12-13
“I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.” Jer. 17:10 NKJV
“Serve the LORD with gladness…” Psalm 100:2
Your attitude is unacceptable to me. The words came. Interrupting my thoughts. The Spirit of God was speaking to my heart.
I had been right in the middle of morning work. First this, then that. Taking care of my little crew of sweet special needs and senior dogs. Getting ready to begin preparing tracts and devotionals to mail out. Ready to write whenever He would lead me, which often is in the middle of everything else. How could my attitude be unacceptable to God? I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing that morning. Except –
Except the Lord doesn’t just care about our obedience in terms of physical action. He cares about the attitude behind it. He doesn’t want us to just serve Him. He wants us to serve Him in love and humility, and with gladness. With joy, thankfulness, kindness, mercy, compassion, care, etc. God doesn’t just see our outward actions. He sees our hearts. Our minds. Our thoughts. And, if the truth be told, like with me that morning, we can be doing the actions He desires – with the wrong heart attitude.
His greatest command is to love Him with all our hearts – and minds. How are we loving God when we have a bad attitude?
That morning, I was tired, disgruntled, frustrated, and impatient. I wasn’t joyful and glad, nor was I filled with love and patience. My flesh had taken over. Just like His Spirit showed me, my attitude was unacceptable to Him. I needed to repent.
Repentance isn’t simply, “I’m sorry God, please forgive me in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.” Repentance is true remorse over the fact we have offended God. We have hurt God. We know we are wrong. We admit our wrong. We know we need His forgiveness, mercy, grace. It is genuine sorrow, so genuine we are resolved to learn how to not repeat the sin, but to please God instead, to learn to walk in His ways instead of our own sinful ones. It comes with a determination to do things differently, to turn away from our wickedness and learn to follow Him. And though we might fall again, and need to repent again, true repentance comes with a desire to turn to the Lord and His ways. In His strength. For His glory.