THE HEART – The Issue of LIFE –

THE HEART
THE ISSUE OF LIFE

“My son, forget not my law;
but let thine heart keep my commandments
PROVERBS 3:1

In the life of the authentic believer every action and word spoken is a direct revelation of the heart. While there are many Christian adherents to a teaching, a code of ethics, a dress code or outward compliance to a perceived religious concept, we read here that God is only interested in an obedience that is heart felt. It is the internal motivation that determines whether or not a thing has merit before Him. True life consists in knowing His Word and following it with our heart. Many good religious works may be done with the desire to be seen of others, to ease our conscience, or to reap some other benefit. Obedience from the heart is true worship. God sees more than just our actions; he sees the motives and intentions of our heart.

“For the Lord is the God of knowledge;
And by Him actions are weighed”
1 SAMUEL 2:3

We measure deeds by our own criteria but God sees and values things from His own perspective and heart.

“And Jesus sat over against the treasury,
and beheld HOW the people cast money into the treasury:
and many that were rich cast in much.
And there came a certain poor widow,
and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them,
Verily I say unto you,
That this poor widow hath cast more in,
than all they which have cast into the treasury:
For all they did cast in of their abundance;
but she of her want did cast in all that she had,
even all her living”
MARK 12:41-44

Jesus drew the attention of his disciples to this incident so they would “see” the unfolding of everyday occurrences from His perspective. We live in a day of great religious works, buildings and programs but unless we can see things from His heart we will miss Him in the true opportunities that are presented to us in our daily lives. It is a process in our own heart that frees us from outward and seemingly good works into a walk of faith that is authentic and springs from a deep love of our Saviour.

“Now it came to pass, as they went,
that he entered into a certain village:
and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
And she had a sister called Mary,
which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
But Martha was cumbered about much serving,
and came to him, and said, Lord,
dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone?
bid her therefore that she help me.
And Jesus answered and said unto her,
Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part,
which shall not be taken away from her”
LUKE 10:38-42

Many are absorbed in the doing of numerous RELIGIOUS things FOR God while His real purpose is for us to be doing HIS WILL IN God.

“Truly, truly, I say to you,
the Son can do nothing of his own accord,
but only what he sees the Father doing.
For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise”
JOHN 5:19

The heart is the centre from which the core issues of our life are determined. What a man loves, what he treasures, and where his allegiance lies are kept in the secret places of the heart. How necessary it is that we invite Him to purify our hearts in order that we may obey His commandments uprightly and be freed from the outward works of religion.

“This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men”
MATTHEW 15:8-9

May our love for Him be the motivation from which we keep his commandments and honor His Name. This is true worship.

 

Brian Troxel

PSALM 23 – PART 13 – THE NEED FOR CORRECTION –

PSALM 23

PART THIRTEEN

THE NEED FOR CORRECTION

“Thy Rod…comforts* me”
PSALM 23:4

Freedom, Peace and Confidence are not possible without authenticity. Authenticity is the result of truth. Truth by its very nature must reveal and make manifest that which is false and superficial. Men may have knowledge and information concerning God without ever touching the TRUTH of God; for it is the Truth that reveals all untruths within me and the world around me. I can have great understanding of the scriptures and yet be totally blind to the true condition of my heart. This is deception of the highest order. It is called “religion” and never are we more susceptible to deception than within the realms of “religious truth”. Instead of the scriptures penetrating our hearts with the Holy gaze of His Presence we use them to “support” our own agendas, weaknesses and carnality; as a cloak to hide ourselves from the very truth that was meant to deliver us. It is to the honest of heart that the Word of God works to uncover and free from all that would hinder us in our growth and desire to SEE HIM. Purity of heart is the pre-requisite of seeing Him!

“For the word of God is living and powerful,
and sharper than any two-edged sword,
piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow,
and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”
HEBREWS 4:12

Authenticity (TRUE BEING) is not the result of a man being true to himself rather it is the fruit of a life that (by God’s Grace) has become TRUE IN GOD. It is in the seeing of HIM that I know myself (see Isaiah 6, Revelation 1:12 – 17). HE is the TRUTH and it is in the seeing of HIM alone are we changed from the corrupted Adam into HIS LIKENESS!

“But we all, with unveiled face,
beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord,
are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory,
just as by the Spirit of the Lord”.
II CORINTHIANS 3:18

The ability to understand and see truth is an issue of the heart not of the intellect. Therefore not only are we unable to see truth by our own efforts, we by nature hate truth because truth is that which exposes the ” untrueness” of all that we are (see John 16:18). When Jesus said “I AM The Way, The Truth…” He revolutionized the definition of truth. The religious Pharisees considered truth in terms of having knowledge of the scriptures and because of that they COULD NOT see HIM who is the truth standing before them, of which Jesus said…

“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life;
and these are they which testify of Me”
John 5:39

My knowing of HIM (who is TRUTH) is directly related to the degree that I truly know and see myself in the light of HIM.

“…but then shall I know even as also I am known”
ICORINTHIANS 13:12

It is because of these things that the Rod of our Great Shepherd is so important in the development of our life with HIM. There are times where I have missed God. I have misinterpreted HIS will and purpose for me and it was HIS mercy that prevented me from walking in the error of my own wrongness. David declares in Psalm 119 “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word” and again “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes” and yet again “I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me”! Our God is Faithful, Merciful and True and how vital it is that we acknowledge our need for His correction, rebuke, reproof and discipline in our lives. For all HIS dealings with us is to the end that “we may be partakers of HIS Holiness”!

Men who are only interested in being right will never be able to receive correction or instruction. In reality they do not have a LOVE FOR TRUTH but in fact (as of old) they have a desire for knowledge and understanding that can be used to support their agendas and their way of living. Well has the scriptures declared that there is a people who are “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth”.

It is in our journey into the discovery of HIM that we learn in truth who we really are. This is a journey filled with much of His correction and discipline and it is as we receive these expressions of His love that we are made soft and pliable in His hands. It is here that we grow in mercy and brokenness before Him and tremble at His word. These are the fruits produced by His Rod in our lives and the essential quality of heart that is greatly desired by our Heavenly Father!

“…but to this man will I look,
even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit,
and trembleth at my word”
Isaiah 66:2

Ω

“When a man’s heart is right with God
the mysterious utterances of the Bible are spirit and life to him.
Spiritual truth is discernible only to a pure heart, not to a keen intellect.
It is not a question of profundity of intellect, but of purity of heart”
Oswald Chambers

* See Psalm 23 Part 12 for the definition of the Hebrew Word used here

Brian Troxel