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When we marry someone, we want their full heart. We want their devotion. We don't want to share it with someone or something else. When Les and I were first married, we didn't have a computer. I worked for a full year babysitting to save enough money to buy our first computer. When we at last bought it, my husband was quiet enamored with it. He spent hours learning it. He would stay up late arranging his files, setting up the desktop, and researching information. I started to get jealous. I lay in bed night after night by myself. I threatened to buy a wig for the computer monitor and name it Fanny. He didn't think that was too funny. Why was I so upset? I felt like something was interfering with his devotion to me.
The newness of the computer did wear off eventually and we laugh about those days now, but maybe I experienced some of what God feels in his relationship with us. When he sees me constantly distracted by things in this life, when I'm spending more time on earthly pursuits, and when I have little time left for him, he will question my devotion. He sees my loyalties are divided. He knows the truth. The truth is Only God and God alone is sufficient for me. Without recognizing that truth my heart's loyalty will become divided. It will eventually be choked out by the world.
This is why God is a jealous God. Remember the story in I Kings 18. The people of Israel were torn between Jehovah, the one true God, and Baal, a false god. God was sick of their divided loyalties. He had Elijah call the people together on Mt. Carmel for a contest. The prophets of Baal built an altar and called upon Baal to consume their sacrifice. From morning until after midday they implored him to answer. No answer came. Then Elijah built an altar. He dug a trench around it. He had water dumped on the altar three times until the water filled the trench. Then he prayed, "Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again." (I Kings 18:37) Fire fell from heaven and consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the soil, and the water. And the people fell on the ground crying out, "The Lord--he is God! The Lord--he is God!"
God wants my heart. He wants all of it. He knows that is what is best for me. He does not want to lose me to the world. He is jealous for me. He is passionate about me.
May I be as passionate in my love for Him!
Study Guide for An Undivided Heart.