Where Is the Heart? Stepping Out of the Darkness
I was doing some light reading in the book of Leviticus today and it has an answer for about everything pertaining to living life. When reading it I could quickly see that some of the “questionables” in our everyday living, were not questionable at all in the words God gave Moses. Just look at Leviticus 19:21-37. We tend to give argument for things we want and try to make it seem better by watering down what God “meant” in a certain scripture, at a certain time. The children of Israel had the same problem, but in Leviticus those laws (and lots of them) were put on paper and they included many very conservative ways of living life. Of course, we know about the children of Israel and how they would become distracted by every new thing coming down the pike and then they wanted to get rid of God “cramping their style.” The end result would be God distancing Himself from them and they would realize their sin and come back and on and on it would go. The laws that were given were more to priests at that time and were designed to help keep sin in check and set a standard for living that showed the holiness of God when put beside man. In reality God was showing them exactly what to do to live a pleasing life to Him both spiritually and physically. And still they strayed. So, why the rules if no one is going to follow them. Why keep on putting up with these people that so easily stray. Why take these nuggets of pure truth and waste them on halfhearted commitment? Because God loved them!! He loved them enough to show them the inner workings of what it means to be holy. He showed them through rules. And still they forgot!!
Warp ahead to today. Does God love us? Yes! Does God want to show us how to live a holy life? Yes!! Has He done everything that can be done to make that happen? Yes!!! Does He do it through some priest telling us how to live our lives and that is our source of strength? NO!!!! He has gone further than that. Waaaaaaaaay further. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die once and for all for our sin. He offers that salvation through faith in His Son. He takes every bit of what he wrote through Godly men on paper and puts it in our heart when we receive Jesus. He makes each of us priests, who have a calling or commission when we come to know Him to live for Him and thus represent the holiness of God. He confirms all of this through His Holy Word and enabled Godly men to write the truths of God in the New Testament. He takes away the uncertainty of life, of whether we will go to heaven or hell, by giving the ultimate sacrifice, His Son, on the cross. He defeats death, hell, and the grave to give us the awesome hope of eternity with Him. You would think that with those of us who are Christians that would be enough to compel us to follow Him. But it’s not! We sit on our hands and never raise a finger when it comes to standing for His truth. Not standing on his truth like a soapbox to hurt someone or beat them up. But show them God’s way, the better way. We have become so nonexistent in our world that now they not only ridicule Him, but us for following Him. And we smile and walk away….defeated. We have everything we need to reach this world for Christ as never before and we are still caught up in making excuses to get what we want. We trivialize the truth to the point that it looks more like an outdated mode of thinking…..BUT IT’S NOT!!
His truth is still the only pure truth, whether our nation follows it or not. His truth is still the way to living a life of purpose and conviction. His truth is continuous promised land, but we won’t take one step in it’s direction. We have begun to believe the lie and discount God’s Truth. Where is this battle being lost? In the heart…
I was talking to a group of Christians the other day about some of the questionables in our world. Things that we have made ok in our lives resemble the world more than God and thus waters down our witness. We say, “I want to let the lost know that I am approachable, so I will do questionable things to be hip and cool and thus share the message of Christ.” Wow. Did you see the fault of that reasoning even before I finished the sentence. Since we have been enabled to be priests through the gospel of Jesus Christ, we surely know the truth. Since we have been put in this world to make an impact, we surely live the truth. Since we are to be lights in the darkness, surely a light must shine. Step out of the darkness in your heart and step into the light. It must be done now!! But not with questionable lifestyles. You know what I mean by questionable don’t you? If you know Christ, here’s how it goes. You see something that is no doubt worldly, but you desire it. All of a sudden you feel something is wrong with it (conviction), but you want it so bad you start finding ways to get it and still be “good.” Here’s a realization Sherlock!! It’s wrong and cannot be made right with your standard of righteousness, because your righteousness is filthy. God won’t make it right, just because you want it. You have been marked as an easy prey by satan and he will be back for more to make your witness weaker with time. Your heart is not pure and your motives are selfish because God is not in the mix. What do you do? Repent and plead with God to bring you back to the freshness of your salvation and then walk the path with His righteousness and purpose. Paul said it well in his letter to the Philippians in Chapter 4 verse 8, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute. if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on those things.”
Are you dwelling on Godly things or are you dwelling on too many worldly (sinful) things? You cannot truly worship God if you don’t have this resolved in your heart with God. In John 4 Jesus told the Samaritan Woman that God was looking for true worshippers who worship in Spirit and Truth, not sin and dishonesty. Just keep this in mind….Just because you raise your hands in the air doesn’t make you a true worshipper. I think about that every time I lift my hands to Him in worship. Total honesty. It’s a bummer, but it works. Let God show you where your heart is by showing God how much your heart is turned to Him.
We don’t follow a book of rules….We follow a God who shows us the best way to live. It’s up to you to show if you really believe He knows the best way or not by how you perceive things. His way is the best way. Don’t live a dumbed-down faith. Where is the Heart?? It’s right here. Ready to be used by God.
The Pilgrimage continues….