I wonder what all those starry-eyed, romantically inclined teenagers would think if they knew what God meant when He wanted you to “devote” something to Him.
Behold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, declares the LORD, and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these surrounding nations. I will devote them to destruction, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting desolation. Jer 25:9
Jerusalem was to be “devoted” and that meant “destroyed.” And no, it’s not a onetime use of the word.
But you, keep yourselves from the things devoted to destruction, lest when you have devoted them you take any of the devoted things and make the camp of Israel a thing for destruction and bring trouble upon it. Then they devoted all in the city to destruction, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys, with the edge of the sword. And they burned the city with fire, and everything in it. Josh 6:18, 21, 24
Jericho was “devoted” to God by fire. It was totally destroyed. When Achan “took of the devoted thing” he was stealing from God.
So here’s the question for today. How do I devote myself to God?
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. Rom 6:6
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Gal 2:20
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23
The cross you bear is not some illness or disability or trial you go through. Most of those things just happen to us. Jesus is talking about something you do voluntarily, and everyone knew that if you saw a man carrying a cross he was on his way to his death. Jesus says you kill that old man, crucify him, daily. Then and only then can you be “hopelessly devoted” to him.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Col 3:5-10