"And his [Solomon's] wives turned away his heart." -1 Kings 11:3
We say people don't influence us. Can't.
"I haven't changed." We say it. But is it true?
How much has love for Christ drowned us? Our relationships are a barometer - they will tell. You've never truly been deluged with the love of Him? Most likely your relationships are keeping you away.
Even David, the man after God's own heart, could be turned away through relationships - a pretty woman, or a close friend. It takes a man utterly humbled to really thrive.
Where is your heart? What is it loving? Is it loving the world of relationships, or Christ? Is it turned toward Him, or away? Is it dry?
He sends the rain.
When I think of loving Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, one picture comes repeatedly to mind. It flashes across the screen. But is it just fantasy, unrelated and inapplicable to real life in Him?
Or is it real Life in Him?
I don't know; I see it so few places. A desert. And the oasis of solitude, Scripture, and prayer. Preservation of Word. Preservation of Life. Holy community under divine guidance. The Body of Christ, visible.
All the great saints and missionaries through the ages have somehow caught this piece. It's constantly trying to wiggle away. We don't like the idea of this confining self-denial - this reaching always up when the world glitters round.
But what does devotion look like in our world of lights and glitter everywhere, and is comfort something that can become so ingrained that we can't separate it from life? Does that schism bear the name legalism?
I've borne it.
Because I seek Him first (Psalm 63), wear authority on my head (1 Corinthians 7), and desire to flee the typical "Christian" dating scene (2 Timothy 2:22). If obedience makes me a legalist, I'll be one 'til my dying day.
In fact, let it grace my tombstone.
Elsie Anne 1994-?
Follower of the Way. Legalist. Daily Martyr.
Victorious in the Name.
I won't tell you what the highest, most abandoned love for Him should look like. His love is a raging river that threatens to sweep us away. And your bend of it is different than mine. I'm not that kind of legalist.
Just consider this. If the world doesn't think us utterly ridiculous, and hopelessly legalistic, yet strangely attractive and refreshingly free - we haven't gone far enough.
Our God and His raging river of love are infinite - we can always contain more. Every day assume you didn't drink enough.
And tomorrow drink deeper still.