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Treasure it

But he knows where I am and what I’ve done. He can cross-examine me all he wants, and I’ll pass the test with honors. I’ve followed him closely, my feet in his footprints, not once swerving from his way. I’ve obeyed every word he’s spoken, and not just obeyed his advice—I’ve treasured it. (Job 23:10-12)

Devotion is the character trait which really cannot be "seen" in the way we dress, what we drive, or the things we amass around us. It is "seen" more in the people we hang around with, the way we spend our time, and the attitude of heart which is exhibited in the actions we take toward others. Devotion is just a synonym for love, evident in where we find our foundation for life, who it is we emulate in our actions, and what it is we commit to without wavering. Devotion also determines our delight - there is very little in which we take delight that does not first begin with an appeal to our hearts. Throughout scripture, devotion is linked with determination - for what we come to value we develop a strong determination to obtain and make our own. God is always searching for even the smallest hint of us being willing to align with his heart. When he sees this tiny bud of devotion, he begins to nurture it until it becomes a fully adorned "tree" of dedication - anchored with three strongly attached roots of commitment, allegiance, and loyalty.

When our roots are solid, the growth produced and the ability to withstand the various influences which seek to uproot us are evident. If we "align" ourselves within "good soil", the chances of giving into every wind of change which comes across our lives is a little less likely. We will remain securely rooted in that which gives us "grounding". Even a tree firmly rooted will begin to grow "toward" the most influential "winds" in their life. This is where we need the "winds of devotion" to blow stronger than any other wind which might seek to change the course of our growth. One thing which consistently catches my attention is the way trees grow in various regions. Trees often give into the "prevailing" winds in their lives. Devotion occurs when we determine which "wind" we will accept as "prevailing" in our lives. We can give into the winds of the times, or even the winds of circumstance. Nothing makes us grow as strong, tall, and "equally balanced" as the gentle breezes of the Holy Spirit in our lives! When we are determined to grow, not toward the "loudest" winds, but toward the gentle breath of God, we have a much more balanced growth!

It is really the heart of God that each of us "delight" in the tender care of his watchful "gardening" of our lives. We need those withered "branches" lopped off - for they only take up space, hindering other growth from appearing. We need the soil "turned over" on occasion, because we only get new growth when the soil of our hearts finds new "oxygenation" on occasion! Delight is really a result of our determination and our devotion. I guess you sum all three of these into one word - desire! Job said it well, "I have not just obeyed his advice - I've enjoyed it - treasured it!" He had made a determination to make God his primary desire! He delighted in the counsel of God - determined to have it affect his course. He had devoted himself to God's plans - no matter how difficult they may have seemed at the moment (and heaven knows Job faced many a tough blow in life). He made no attempt to remove himself from being aligned with God's best - no matter that "all hell was breaking loose" around him. He was devoted, determined, and he took great delight in the things and choices which pleased the one he had the greatest desire to please - not himself, not his peers, but God! Now, that is something which "tickles" the heart of God! Just sayin!

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