Journal Entry // July 12, 2022
And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed forever. (ESV)1 Samuel 2:35
The faithful priest is an obedient priest. A priest that doesn’t just follow and obey the letter of the law but is walking according to the heart and mind of God. Meaning that this faithful priest is living according to the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. This is typically the spot that trips up many a person including myself. There is a misunderstanding that God will be pleased with me as long as I am following the letter of the law but this is not a wholly adequate understanding of the importance of the law or its purpose. It’s not enough to just tick the boxes of obedience like a task list. The underlying importance of the being obedient to the spirit of the law is this… that we do according to what is in the heart and mind of God.
Honestly, I lose sight of this truth. I lose sight of this understanding. I forget that the heart of God was on display in the life of Jesus. Do I want to see what it means to be a faithful priest that does everything according to the heart and mind of God? Then I need only look to the gospels and see the heart and mind of God fleshed out for me in the life of Jesus. Jesus was the ideal faithful priest. Everything he did and everything he said was all in accordance with the heart of God. There was a perfect mix of doing what was right and obedient with a righteous heart.
What does this mean for me? It means that my outward obedience and faithfulness should in no way be compromised or diminished. It is of extreme importance that the letter of the law be followed. I am to live an outward holy life in full view of the watching world. The letter of the law is of vital importance and it is the means by which the world will see the goodness and glory of God at work in the world. Just as critical though is the underlying hidden faithful obedience of my heart. My motives are critical. They are just as important and valuable as the visible outward obedience. If my motives are incorrect, then even my good deeds can be sin and lead me down a path of pride and self-indulgence.
If I give all of my time and money and resources to building up the church but secretly, I am seeking applause and the prideful acknowledgement of my good deeds, then of what value are they truly? I can serve in various areas of the church and do a lot of good for a lot of people but if my motivation is the applause of those I serve or the feeling I get from feeling important and needed, then my heart is straying away from the Lord. I should not neglect these good and right things. I should serve the Lord and his church. I should give of my time and talents and treasure to the building up of his church. This is right and obedient. I can’t neglect my heart in this. I must serve and give with all that is within me. My inward motivation should be in line with my outward obedience. My heart should be engaged with the heart of God.
My motivation in all of life is Christ and his glory alone. Everything I do should be for this simple purpose. Whether I am serving on the missions team at church; whether I am sweeping up the floor after and event; whether I am teaching to a room of people; whether I am listening to someone who is hurting – my heart should be engaged with the heart of Christ. Then I will be a faithful priest obedient to the very heart and mind of God. Then I will find joy and peace and rest in the presence of Christ forever.