Half-Hearted


Many of us have heard the verse “your sin will find you out…”  Typically, it’s a threat of sorts which our parents might lay on us to ensure that we know God is watching us.  Yeah, we know… except that isn’t what the verse is aimed at.  It’s all about being half-hearted…

23 “If you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the Lord; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out. ”
Numbers 32:23

57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”

But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”

62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
Luke 9:57-62   

Moses was dealing, in Numbers 32, with a group of Israelites who didn’t want to fulfill their responsibilities with the rest of Israel in securing the promised land.  They wanted to build cities for their families as their priority.  They came to an agreement with God through Moses to settle their families on the one side of the Jordan, and then wholeheartedly support the rest of Israel until the land was secure.

The idea of their sin finding them out relates to their perseverance in living up to their commitment to the Lord.  Keep your word, God was telling them.

How’s your word?  Are you dedicated to keeping your promises in life?

Jesus covers some similar territory in his lesson about being half-hearted in following him.  There were people who had personal things to ‘take care of’ prior to wholeheartedly following Jesus.  He wasn’t impressed.  Why would he be so hard-nosed?  Doesn’t he realize what we go through in life?

There is our commitment to keeping our word here, which is an important virtue in life, and then there is the compulsion of the movement.  When we think about how compelling it would have been to have God leading Israel through the desert by cloud or fire, and how compelling following Jesus was as he performed miracles and taught the masses, there isn’t much room for half-heartedness.

In the face of the living and almighty God, the things of life ought to become small.  Yet still we struggle with this.  God made us to love and care for our families and friends, yet he also expects undivided devotion.  And perhaps the bottom line is that we ought to be careful to not compromise our priority of God being first in our lives.

I believe that the times in which family, for example, conflicts with our commitment to the Lord, will be few and far between.  That is, unless we are half-hearted.  If the Lord sees that we are only partially committed to his service, we can expect this to come up over and over as God confronts us with our commitment. In that case, our sin of half-heartedness will find us out…

Amen.

Marc Kinna

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