David said, “With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments” (Psa. 119:10).
Many religious folks talk about “heart-felt” faith and about seeking after God “with all my heart,” but “they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they confidently affirm” (1 Tim. 1:7). This is seen in the case of those who speak derisively and disparagingly about “seeking to find God between the pages of a book.” When faced with the fact that their doctrines and practices are human traditions, the inventions of men, they smugly and confidently assert that their faith is “spiritual and deeply imbedded in my heart, and not in the keeping of commandments.” They assure us they have “more confidence that Jesus is in my heart than you do that he is in your commandments.”
But note the Psalm above. Assuredly, one must seek God with his “whole heart.” Certainly, we must let Christ “dwell in (our) hearts by faith” (Eph 3:17). But how does “faith” (through which Christ dwells in our hearts) come? “Faith cometh by hearing,” by hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17). So, one must seek God and faith in him “between the pages of a book,” the Bible.
Further, after David spoke of seeking God with his whole heart, he said, “O let me not wander from thy commandments.” Let that sink in. The Spirit connects whole hearted seeking and service to God with one’s not wandering from the commandments of the Lord.
Therefore, those who would divorce “whole hearted faith in God” from “keeping commandments” are separating that which the Holy Spirit joined together, and we would remind them that “what God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” God joined whole hearted faith and trust in him with the keeping of his commandments. Those who would sever them do so at their own peril (Matt. 7:21-27).
–Larry Ray Hafely; www.biblework.com