Submission and Obedience

A Christian Deceitful Heart?

"The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds" Jeremiah 17:9-10.

A number of years ago I became aware of certain things happening where I worked that were not above-board and were being covered-up. Once, that area of responsibility had been mine, but no longer was. While it wasn't my place to change or correct them anymore, the knowledge that all was not well was troubling. However, my own walk with God was not affected and I continued living my faith in Him.

It was several months later that the Holy Spirit halted me at Psalm 37. As I read to verse eight, I was shocked when He gave me a rhema revelation:

"Cease from anger and forsake wrath; do not fret; it leads only to evildoing."

I read and reread the verse but could get no peace. "I'm not angry, God," I argued. "I have your peace and am walking in obedience to You." But He persisted in driving home to my heart: "Cease from anger."

I was puzzled. What was I angry about? I could think of nothing. I searched and searched my heart and pled with Him to show me what He meant---and He did! I was immediately humbled. He revealed anger in my innermost being at the situation at work and detrimental changes that would not have been made if I were still in that position. Knowing what I knew, I believed they ought to be corrected. Yet, it was no longer my responsibility or authority.

God was right! I WAS angry! But I had not been able to see that anger by myself. I was blind to it. The Holy Spirit had to take the Word and apply it to my heart by the Holy Spirit in a special way. My heart had tricked and fooled me!

" The heart is deceitful..." People confess all the time, "I love God" or "I love Jesus with all my heart!" But do they really? I don't know, but possibly neither do they! In 'feel good' moments at church or when with other Christian believers, do they count that good feeling as true love for God WITH ALL THEIR HEARTS?

Nothing will prove to us that our heart, our motives, our affections are 100 percent for God and Jesus except the word of God under the searchlight of the Holy Spirit's probing. It is hurtful to pride to submit to the scrutiny of the Holy Spirit, to lay ourselves bare before Him and let Him search us out. But, when we do, Hebrews 4:12 says:

"...the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."

I am not qualified to determine that my heart is perfect toward God in motive and intention. Only God can do that. Only God can mine the depths of my past experiences, hurts, extremes, examples and all the happenings of life that have molded me to the point of today. Only He can uncover and lay bare places in my character that are not 100 percent His.

Our consciousness, our subconsciousness and our unconsciousness have been affected by life. They influence and project our behavior every day of our lives. It is as we feed on the Word of God and submit to the knife of the Holy Spirit's probing that all the depths of our personhood are cleansed more and more deeply and put under the Spirit's jurisdiction in actual experience. He wants to control and use us as a vessel or hand tool, but that can be true only when we are cleansed moment by moment by the Word and Spirit!

Read the Word. Don't merely read it---feed on it. Don't just study to learn more about the Bible. Let the Word become who you are. Put on Jesus as a garment. Meditate on His words. Listen for His voice to energize a verse or passage specifically to your own heart. Let it come alive in you, either to convict and change you or to shed new light and grace in your heart. Then you will not be the person James refers to:

"For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways" (1:8).

Come more and more into union with the God of salvation and glory as you saturate yourself in Scripture, so that the shine on your face is His glory! Let the world see Him in you! Become a stable man or woman in God! It is His will for you and the reason Jesus died and rose again! Your birthright is His rightful expectation for you,.

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Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®
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