“…know the God of your father and serve Him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek Him, He will be found by you…” (1Chronicles 28:9 ESV)
There are some things that many times as Christians we tend to forget as we serve our Lord and maker. Many times, we serve Him with all our hearts and willing mind but according to our terms.
Other times we serve Him doing what is commanded but just as an outward show
so that others may see and we may fit in with the people around us.
David, talking to his son Solomon gave him this charge just before giving him the plan and
instructions of how to build the temple and everything in it, as he had been instructed by the LORD.
It is important to note that the first instruction he gave Solomon was to know God. This makes me think of Jesus talking to His disciples in what is known as “The Sermon on the Mount”.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)
Many times, we think we know God and seem to be doing all the right things as a result of it while in reality, we have created our own god. Knowing God means that He too knows us.
It’s the difference between the wife to the president saying she knows him and a child in a village saying he knows him. The wife lives with him and has a relationship with him while the child in the village knows about him and has heard about him from the TV or Radio. Knowing God means having a relationship with Him where He does acknowledge you as a son and by His Spirit, you cry out “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15). Anything short of this and we risk being told on that day “I never knew you; depart from me.”
The LORD has given us the Bible that we may know Him and therein know how to serve Him. As we study the Bible, we get to know Him and understand how He wants us to serve Him and live.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV)
The next instruction to Solomon was to serve God with a whole heart and a willing mind. After knowing the LORD and His ways we are then to serve Him with all our hearts, no parts within it being left behind, wholeheartedly. We are to serve Him with a willing mind too. This reminds me of the command given to the Israelites (Deuteronomy 6:5) and later repeated by Jesus as the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37) to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (Deuteronomy says might). It is in knowing the LORD and loving Him that we are able to fully serve Him. Once we love Him with all our heart and mind then it surely does follow that we will serve Him with a whole heart and willing mind.
Once we know God then we will for sure know that He knows all things. We cannot deceive Him with outwards appearances and doing things in His Name when our hearts and minds are far away from Him. We saw how God replied to that “I never knew you; depart from me”. Or as Jesus told the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (Matthew 23:27-28 ESV)
The LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. We, therefore, cannot deceive Him by acting in pretense. We have to be all in or not at all. Love Him with all heart, soul, and mind or not love Him at all. Serve Him with the whole heart and willing mind or not at all. Why? Because He knows our hearts and we cannot hide from Him.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:12-13 ESV)
Let this not discourage us from knowing, loving and serving our God but be encouraged as David encouraged his son “if you seek Him He will be found by you”.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8 ESV)
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13 ESV)
Let us, therefore, seek to know the LORD and serve Him with a whole heart and willing mind.
By Julia Kiama
Julia Kiama is a sinner saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus. She is a homemaker, married to Brian Kiama and are blessed with two kids.