What happens when we deny God access to our life and then follow the ways of the world? Things get pretty dicy from there on and Paul shares in Romans 1:21-23 just how bad it can get. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Man, that is messed up!! But that is the end result of pursuing the things of this world instead of pursuing God. It develops a black heart that is so far from God, and that wilderness is unyielding to a person’s desire to come back to reality, God’s reality. Someone who chooses this path thinks, in their mind, that they are making wise choices but Paul says 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools. Blackened hearts are hearts that are controlled by sin and darkness, not much different than Darth Vadar’s heart in the Stars Wars stories. In those stories there was a good side and a bad side. The force was the power to be wielded and they had to choose good or bad. The bad side is always trying to draw us to it’s ways and the good side is a strong deterrent to following those ways. But a person must choose. It is no coincidence that right after being baptized God sent Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil to prepare Him for his next steps. In Matthew 4:1-3 it is described as follows Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.2 And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. The devil was trying to stop in any way he could the completion of prophecy as told by Isaiah and Micah the prophets many years before. The. prophecy was that the Messiah would come and save the people from their sins. In Micah’s prophecy he even told where Jesus was to be born in Micah 5:2
“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village in Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.” The devil knew He was coming and also knew he was here and his attempt to blacken the heart of the Messiah was met head on by Jesus, and the devil failed. PRAISE GOD!! Jesus took the punishment we deserved upon Himself and defeated the owner of the black heart at every turn. Isaiah 53:All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.
So why would someone reject him and set out on a path that leads to that blackened heart? I cannot answer that but I pray for those who reject the Lord and pray for their release from the chains that hold them. If they will just ask Jesus into their heart their Black Heart will be white and pure because of the blood of Jesus. As you can see we have a battle ahead of us and those who have chosen the way of the world are many and the devil has his chains bound tightly on them, but God is more powerful and the power of His Word can change lives forever and release them from the bondage of sin. There was a song that came out years ago that talks about this battle and the lyrics are below.
When you’re up against a struggle that shatters all your dreams And your hopes have been cruelly crushed by Satan’s manifested schemes And you feel the urge within you to submit to earthly fears Don’t let the faith you’re standing in, seem to disappear
Praise the Lord, He can work through those who praise Him Praise the Lord, for our God inhabits praise Praise the Lord, for the chains that seems to bind you Serve only to remind you that they drop powerless behind you When you praise Him
Now Satan is a liar and he wants to make us think, that we are paupers When he knows himself we’re children of the King So lift up the mighty shield of faith for the battle must be won We know that Jesus Christ has risen so the work’s already done
So it would stand to reason that praising the Lord will get you through the tough times that satan puts before you. It would stand to reason that you cannot do it without being born again. So, what are you waiting for? Trade in that Black Heart for a heart that is cleansed with the blood of the lamb, Jesus Christ. Time to admit the problem and turn to the solution.
The Pilgrimage continues….