En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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How is Your Heart?

Posted by Scott on May 12, 2008

Proudness and arrogance explains most of the hearts that are unrepentent today.  Let me ask a few questions:

What attracts us to go to the church we attend?

What messages bring the throngs of people to our churches today?

Are these messages concerning our self-esteem, anger management, better sex with our spouses, how to overcome depression, creating a better marriage, cooking healthy, and so on?  

Would you be attracted to a church that did not feature all the above attractions, but simply ask that you show to hear God’s word expounded and that God would show up?

A person attending the same church that President Lincoln attended once asked the pastor if the President would be attending the service today?  The pastors reply was, “No, but the Almighty God will.”

In coming to grips with the powerful jagged truth of Psalm 50 and its application to us in the 21st century we need to understand a simple fact:  God still desires to have a relationship with His people.  This Psalm is directed today as it was several thousand years ago to the church going, hand waving, scripture quoting, chorus singing, person with a strong head knowledge of who God is, but none of this activity is from the heart.  God calls these people wicked.  I mean, they look religious…they sound religious…they speak all the religious lingo, however, God calls them wicked.  Because God remains silent many times as we worship Him falsely, we should not think He is like us.  God tells us in Psalm 50:21

“…you thought I was altogether like you.  BUT, I will rebuke you and accuse you to your face.”

God is nothing like us.  He does not come to us with a cold heart, lying tongue, deceitful motives, and a stained sinful heart.  God comes to us desiring our hearts be in total obedience to Him, worshipping Him with truly humble hearts that have pushed aside the pride and ego to know our Almighty God.  Sadly, today we have churches being filled with filthy sin stained people that do not mind entering the church this way and do not mind leaving the church in the same condition.  Nothing they heard or witnessed at this church challenged their sin or called out for repentence before God.  All the worship was a lying, dirty, shameful display of religious philosophy that does not even come close to honoring or glorifying God.  During the time of the writing about Asaph and the Israelites they sacrificed animals to God.  In reality God cared nothing about the sacrifices, but cared deeply about the hearts that brought forth the sacrifices.  The same goes today.  He cares little about the actual event, but care greatly about the heart that is worshipping Him.  Now, do not take this to mean it does not matter how we worship…God is very clear as to how He wants us to conduct worship to Him, but in the end of it all we must come to Him with repentant humble saddened hearts about our sinfulness before Him.  This creates in us a true authentic worshipful heart.

I can find nothing wrong with addressing many of the topics in the questions above, but it should not be the attraction or the focus.  God’s word many times will draw out these themes, but a good pastor who expounds on them will not make this the attracting headline.  Understand, we are called to attend church to hear the word of God regardless of the specific topic or passages.  It is a heart that is attracted to the word of God that understands true worship and comes to God with something to hide, but still begs forgiveness for their uncleanness and sinfulness.  This gets the attention of our Almighty God.

Many of the Israelites of yester-year worshipped from a shameful heart.  They worshipped with empty repetitious rituals.  God desires from us righteousness not empty rituals that you will observe still today in many churches.  Communion is taken with unclean, unrepentant, heartless people that take it as a symbol rather than worship.  Over 50% of the marriages today make a mockery of the wedding ceremony.  This has become a fruitless ritual that neither honors God nor means anything other than a ritualistic gesture to make the consummation of the couple legal.  The wedding was designed to be a ceremony to honor God in light of the marriage, yet, today it is all about the couple and their selfish desires and little to with God at all.  Man looks at the outside and thinks the people involved in these rituals as righteous and true, yet, God looks at the heart and would call most “wicked liars”.  He knows our intentions before we even are close to thinking of them. 

2 Peter 3:9 speaks of the patience of God.  He is long-suffering concerning our sin.  If He was not patient we all would have been vaporized at the first hint of sin within our hearts, and still He waits patiently for us to repent and come to Him seeking forgiveness for the filthiness guilt and sin has placed on us.  He does not desire that we parish, but He will not tolerate our sin stained lives forever.

“He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me and He prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.”

My encouragement to everyone is to fall in love with God’s instruction.  Welcome His Word in your heart.  Be forever thankful for His patience and long-suffering with us and His forgiveness of our sins.  Become the delight of God’s eye and yearn for a great new relationship with our heavenly Father coming to Him in truth and faith.  God is not like us.  He is holy, righteous, and patient, but He desires for us to be like Him.

 Heart Specialists’ Heart Exam

“Some years ago, during the annual convention of the American Medical Association, a small group of doctors were listening to a lecture on a highly-specialized facet of their task as “heart men.” The lecturer asked how many of them had had a heart examination in the previous twelve months. If Time’s reporter can be relied on, not a man was able to lift his hand!”
 

Tan, Paul Lee: Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations : A Treasury of Illustrations, Anecdotes, Facts and Quotations for Pastors, Teachers and Christian Workers. Garland TX : Bible Communications, 1996, c1979

So, how is your heart?  Have you had it examined spiritually lately?

-Scott Bailey 2008

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2 Responses to “How is Your Heart?”

  1. M54 said

    I believe that praise and worship in some churches is about performance. There are two “mega churches” in the town I live in. Both are what you would call “seeker sensative”. Is there a place for that? Sure there is. But that is definately not all there is. Along with grace and mercy is justice.

    If I were to say my heart is pure I would be lieing. I am, after all, still a man. But am I keenely aware of what my short comings are and what the tell tail signs are that they may be on the horizon? You bet. Can I recognise when there is a spiritual battle brewing? Yep.

    One thing I was wondering just today. Where have all the Godly men gone?

  2. Scott said

    Many churches are leaving the biblical foundations for philosophy. Many of these are seeker sensitive or emergent churches. Truthfully according to scripture there really is no place for these churches are far as furthering the kingdom of God. They are doing far more damage than good. Are some people really getting saved? Probably about 10% of the numbers they claim are actually saved or become true Christians. However, these would have believed in any church is the point. God does this work not man.

    As far as where have the godly men gone? They are few and far between, but I am fortunate to be in a church that have several godly men. I cannot say all are, but many are. Across the country and even in England a few exist. However, the godly men are so few and far between now you can pinpoint them across the world.

    As far as a pure heart…each day we need to ask God to create in us a clean fresh heart. Pour it all out to Him. Each day ask the Lord to search our hearts for those impurities, but also be willing to deal with what He finds as well. That is the tough part in dealing with it, admitting those sins, and repenting of them in order to be pleasing to God.

    Glad you came across the post and was willing to comment.

    In Christ,
    Scott

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