I think this is an important issue that Selwyn raises in today’s study.
To maintain the context, I’ll repeat a lot of what he says: “As you meditate with me on this issue of adoration, I wonder if you might be thinking this is something best left to contemplative order of monks – to those who have the time for such things. Possibly some readers – activists perhaps – are thinking: ‘All this is fine, but in a world such as ours we would be better given to social reform or works of charity. This is how we can best glorify God’.”
Of course, works of charity etc – in themselves, are not the best way to glorify God. I can’t understand how anyone could reach this position if they have taken into their heart all of what the Bible says about God.
We cannot truly love another unless we first love God. To be very clear about this issue – I’m using the word ‘love’, in the same way as the Greek word ‘agape’ is used – I’m not referring to the other forms of love which can only be expressed appropriately when included under the umbrella of ‘agape’, the perfect love of God. To love God above all other creation – is the highest priority, how could it be any different?
Selwyn goes onto say: “Work for God is important, but I stress again that the most effective service for God is accomplished by those who know Him intimately. … Contemplation of God and nearness to Him enables Him to direct His willing servant to the tasks that He wants done. … Adoration disinfects us from egoism (Henri Bremond).”
If we don’t have God as the highest priority – we run the risk of putting ourselves or others as the highest priority – this risk is often seen when we do works of charity etc, with the aim (sometimes unconsciously) to produce a feeling of self-satisfaction by doing ‘good’.
Deuteronomy 10:12-13 (NIV): “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?”
Now – let me say once again; ‘why is it critical to have the love of God as our highest priority? It is our loving contemplation of God and nearness to Him that enables Him to direct His willing servant to the tasks that He wants done!