Joyful Devotion

It would be difficult to find a more intense expression of devotion in all of the Old Testament than Psalm 84:10: “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.” This would be a strange desire to many. Few would sympathize with such a fanatic. Even good people might relegate such an expression to a mad man! The language here is an expression of one who greatly delights in God.

What is the source his joyful devotion? First, there is the joy of praise. “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1). Second, there is the joy of communion with God. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1). Third, there is the joy of fellowship with God’s people — the common prayer, the harmonious praise, and the sharing of a common salvation. Fourth, there is the joy of service — the privilege of opening the door of God’s kingdom as a refuge to the lost, and a place of consolation for believers. In Acts 9:31, the churches in Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had “peace and were edified” because “they were multiplied.”

Unfortunately, there are others who would deem such service as “weariness” (Malachi 1:13). To them a sense of duty exceeds a sense of privilege, and obedience means constraint rather than joy! Joyless service is neither profitable nor acceptable. What a disappointment to the Father when His children take no delight in drawing near to Him!

Here is a challenge for you, the reader. Which one truly brings delight? Which one truly has your heart’s devotion? Is it God’s service or the world?

George Slover