…the eagerness with which men engage in political disputes, take which side they may, is unfavorable to a zealous adherence to the gospel. Any mere worldly object, if it become the principal thing which occupies our thoughts and affections, will weaken our attachment to religion; and if once we become cool and indifferent to this, we are in the high road to infidelity. (Andrew Fuller)
Drift is easy. All it takes is a mild distraction to one thing that is not the glory of God (or at least not looked at through the lens of the glory of God). Here Fuller is mentioning political engagements. He could have substituted anything. Anything that isn’t Jesus that starts taking up our principal thoughts and affections will weaken our attachment to Jesus. And when this happens we are well on the road to infidelity.
Notice what the Apostle Paul says to the Corinthians:
For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
Anything can quickly become our mistress.
Jesus wants (deserves!) my highest thoughts and affections. But there is a myriad of distractions clamoring for the attention of our minds eye. Many times we turn our eyes to take a peek at lovers less wild. And yet even in the midst of our harlotry Jesus still shines brighter—drawing, loving, forgiving, staying.
But I desire to be more faithful. I want that sincere and pure devotion of which Paul speaks. I want to have my eyes fixed on Christ and His glory. I truly do want all that I do to be for the purpose of making Christ the only boast of this generation. (At least I want to want these things).
So as to make this more than simply a neat little thought, I think it would be beneficial to come clean and confess those things that take my affections from Jesus.
Lord, here are a few of the things (some are Your things, good things even) that have lured me away and stolen the heart that belongs to Jesus:
- Theological questions—an attempt to figure You out instead of simply resting in Jesus and savoring that which You have clearly revealed
- Life, worry, etc.—trying to put my life together and “serve you” neglecting that “I have nothing that you have not already given you”
- Drive to be successful in the kingdom—this seems noble, but it is more for pride, selfish ambition, and a residual fear of man (or a need to prove myself worthy)
- Reading a ton of books
- Trying to be palatable in writing, speech, etc. to the detriment of the gospel
- Fear of Man
May You replace these that have been turned into idols with a firm and fixed devotion to Jesus. I want the sincere and pure devotion that Paul speaks of. Give me Jesus…let everything else be only a means to drive me to this greater end!