Every morning, the minute my alarm begins to play it’s cheerful little melody and my body returns to the rhythm of the day, I get the privilege to choose well. I get to decide if I burrow back under the warmth of my cozy blankets and snuggle deeper into my pillow or if I swing my legs over the side of the bed and make my way towards my already brewing coffee and the Bible and journal that I’ve left out beside my favorite corner of the couch. There are times when physical rest is my best choice, but more often than not, for me, choosing well means moving towards international connection with Jesus.
This morning, cozied into the crook of my couch with coffee on my side table and the dogs curled beside me, I read the words of 2 Chronicles 25:2 NIV and began to think about what it means to choose the Lord wholeheartedly.
He (Amaziah) did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not wholeheartedly.2 Chronicles 25:14-15a
I asked myself, and God, what it means to wholeheartedly follow Him. As I’ve read through the Old Testament this year, I see a pattern that emerges as kings and leaders start out on a path towards God then divert into a different direction. I don’t want that to be my story. I want to stay faithful.
In the margin of my Bible, I penned a quick question and a prayer.
What does it mean to be whole hearted?
Father, help me not only start well but to stay faithful and follow you whole heartedly.
I sipped my steaming coffee and continued on in my reading until these words pricked my Spirit.
When Amaziah returned… he brought the gods of the people of Seir. He set them up as his own gods, bowed down to them, and burned sacrifices to them. The anger of the Lord burned against Amaziah.”2 Chronicles 25:14-15a
In my own life, I know the things that I choose to make gods. I recognize the things that so often creep into first place in the fight for my time and attention.
One attribute of God that I’ve come to adore is that He gives us free will and the right to choose. He is not one to force Himself. He patiently waits for our invitation. In His graciousness, though, I sometimes mistakenly slide Him off the throne of my heart and allow things to take His place.
Priorities have a funny way of misaligning until God is so far down the list that I’ve failed to connect with Him or acknowledge Him at all in the course of a day filled with busyness and distraction.
I’m not exactly sure what following God wholeheartedly looks like for you, but this morning I was reminded that, for me, wholehearted living looks like choosing well.
Being wholehearted means that I choose Him first. It means that I choose to intentionally connect with the Father, Son, and Spirit each morning before something else has the chance to slip into His place. It means that I choose to invite God into each moment, each action, each task, each conversion, and each decision throughout my day.
I choose time with Him. I choose look for Him in the minutes spent cooking meals, going for a run, doing my chores, completing my work, spending time with my boys and my husband, and in all the simple tasks and to dos that fill each day.
Wholehearted, for me, means that my priorities, my plans, my work, my play, my relationships, and my whole self include His presence. I give Him full access and no corner of my life is kept from Him.
I’m far from perfect at this, but my Father is kind and merciful, gracious and forgiving. He knows my heart and He welcomes me each time I choose to turn towards Him. It’s progress, not perfection that He’s after.
So, this morning, as we swing our feet over the sides of our bed and step into the endless possibilities of a new day, let’s choose well. Let’s be intentional people who wholeheartedly turn towards and not away from God as we invite Him into the moments that fill our days.