Tuesday, August 5, 2014
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9 KJV)
You know, those two things just are not always compatible. That’s why when I saw that graphic posted on Facebook, my response was: “Not so much.” Then, I wondered how biblical my response really was. Look with me at those who lived their lives they way they wanted to.
Let’s start with Eve. She had instructions, but that fruit really looked good and surely her instructions were in error and it couldn’t possibly hurt anyone, could it? She lived her life the way she wanted to – for a moment, then lived with the consequences. Check it out in Genesis 3.
Moving on, let’s look at Moses. He was sent out of Egypt because he followed his heart and killed a man. He overcame that, built a family and was comfortable when God called him. Check it out in Exodus 3, where God lays out the program. Then read Moses’ answer:
And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee. (Exodus 4:1 KJV)
It is so easy to follow our hearts! Even when God has spoken to us. As a man after God’s own heart discovered (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22). He saw a woman, liked her, and with his power, took her. It cost her husband, it made her son king, but brought division into David’s family for generations. Because he followed his heart.
Let’s move on to the New Testament. Saul was following his heart and his religious training when he made “havock of the church”, imprisoning Jesus’ followers (Acts 8:3). As Moses did, he met and talked with the Lord, and ceased to “live it the way you want.”
Satan tried to get Jesus to follow His heart, too. Check it out in Matthew 4 and Luke 4. Satan offered this world – without death. Jesus died. And I think the explanation lies early in the Lord’s prayer (check it out in Matthew 6 and Luke 11):
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:9-10 KJV)
After we acknowledge who He is, praise His name, call for His kingdom – then we seek His will. Not our own. We need to count the cost, as Jesus taught:
For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. (Luke 14:28-30 KJV)
God finishes His work, even when it means death on a cross, knowing what it will accomplish:
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 KJV)
Trade what God has in mind for me simply to live life the way I want? Not so much.