Serve God truly with your whole heart.

2 Chronicles 19:9 “You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the LORD.”

Jehoshaphat set up priests, princes, and Levites to rule over the people of Judah and to serve as judges. He gave them the order that they must judge according to the Word of God, the Law, and do so justly. The king even admonished them in how they were to serve as judges. They had to serve God faithfully and wholeheartedly. If they did not do so, they risked bringing the wrath of God upon themselves.

When God calls a person into “ministry” to lead people, they must still honor the words of Jehoshaphat. The thing to note here is that his words are not a request but a command. If we believe that the whole of the Bible is, as Paul states, “God-breathed,” then the words recorded of both testaments carry with them the authority of God. I must clarify that we no longer live under the old covenant, but there are truths of wisdom and love contained therein that agree with the new covenant and therefore should be considered.

Jehoshaphat’s warning of serving God faithfully and wholeheartedly bear great importance to those in positions of spiritual authority as one would think. However, these words have a greater application to the whole of Christianity. The very idea of serving God faithfully and wholeheartedly is at the very core of our beliefs. Take faith for example. Does not the author of Hebrews say, “without faith it is impossible to please God”? Likewise, did not Jesus say, “the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength”? Thus, we can see the importance of the king’s words. Jehoshaphat did not have the writings of Hebrews or the gospels, but this message was contained in the Law. He knew of the rewards (blessings) that came with following God’s Word of that day. He also knew of the stories of his grandpa David and how he was blessed for seeking after God faithfully and wholeheartedly.

In our pursuit of the Truth, we need to keep these words of Jehoshaphat on the front burner of our spirits and souls. Did not the same Hebrews author write that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him? How do we seek God if not by faith and faithfully serving Him? How can we truly love God and serve Him if not wholeheartedly? Yet, we are to do so “in the fear of the Lord,” which Job and Solomon both stated was “wisdom.” Is it not great to know that “[serving] God faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the LORD” IS wisdom? Additionally, what did James write on the subject of wisdom? If any man lacks it, then allow him to ask it from God, who gives it liberally to all who ask. Be wise; serve the LORD in faith and with all your heart.

Father, help me to fully understand and learn the truth of the wisdom in King Jehoshaphat’s words. He spoke to his judges, who ruled over Israel, about this matter to ensure that everyone that faced them would receive fair and just application of the Law. He also told shared with them this wisdom to help them avoid Your wrath as meted out under the Old Covenant. Thus, I admire and respect the intent of what he said, and ask You to help me apply it in my life as appropriate in this age under the New Covenant. Without faith, I cannot please You or even begin to seek after You. Accordingly, not serving You with my whole heart is paramount to not loving You at all. Please never let either case be true in me. Show me the way, please, that leads me toward Your kingdom and Your righteousness in order that I may have hope as I put my trust in You. Thank You; I love You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.