“A right heart leans on Christ, hangs on Christ, builds on Christ and cleaves to Christ.”
— J. C. Ryle (1816–1900)
Devotion to Christ is the disciple’s account of responsibility. Of all the tasks of the Christian life, taking up our crosses and following Jesus is most fundamental. Such devotedness is the platform behind the energy for worship, our love to invest in fellowship, the desire for spiritual growth in God, the motivation to engage in ministry, and the inspiration for evangelistic activism.
If devotion is what we are called to, we must know devotion begins in the heart.
Leaning on Christ
Proverbs 3:5-6 calls us to “Trust in the Lord with all our heart, and not lean upon our own understanding.” We are to lean on the knowledge of God—by the Word and Wisdom of God, and through ethical dealing out of the discernment of love. Love is other-centred.
Leaning on Christ is essentially about having the humility to place our lives in the Saviour’s care, such that by leaning we are admitting our need of a Lord in order to make the best use of our lives.
Hanging on Christ
When we prayerful we hang on God, as we discern the Spirit’s communication through God’s Word, as it speaks into our lives. We are actively seeking Spiritual revelation. But hanging on Christ is not an instinctive activity. It needs to be intentional.
Hanging on Christ means we must refuse ourselves the luxury of hanging on anything else.
Building on Christ
Colossians 2:6-7 talks about how we are to be “rooted and built up in Jesus and established in the faith.” If we were to consider the capacity of our faith in Christ when we were baby believers we would be astounded for how much we have grown. This should be the way.
It would be abhorrent to the Holy Spirit for a so-called Christian to remain affixed to the unregenerate state—beyond reach for growth. It’s non-negotiable for Christians to grow—to be built up—in their Lord and King.
Cleaving to Christ
Cleaving, in some ways, is similar to leaning. We must adhere, cling to, and stick fast—in faithfulness—to our initial conviction of surrender in faith.
If we have taken our discipleship seriously from day one, our adhering devotion will only have gathered inertia and momentum. Our confidence in Christ has become consolidated and our confidence is safe because we have cleaved to a King who puts all life in perspective.
A right Christ heart is the prize for the disciple of Jesus, who leans upon, hangs on, builds on, and cleaves to Christ. A right Christ heart is a blessing to all.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.