Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Is Jesus within or without?

There are many scriptures that we tend to funnel through our own societal norms. This is dangerous and defies all the rules of hermeneutics. It leads us into an idolatrous religious experience, just as the people in Jeremiahs day. When scripture says something it is a fact and should be weighed as just that: Truth.

Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Luk 16:13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."

As we go about our lives Jesus is either at the center or He isn't. He is either the "filter" that every thought, every word and every action is brought through or He isn't. He is either the closest friend, confidant and lover that we have or He isn't. He is either the One we live for or he is at arms length.

One of the things we have been able today to do is to separate out belief and belief or intellectual assent to believing something verses believing the truth and acting upon that truth. For instance if I said you won the lottery and you believed me...would you just believe me and go on with your day or would you appropriate the winnings into your life? With Christ we have much more than any lottery could ever give us...we have God Himself.

These two statements of Jesus are fact: where your treasure is there your heart will be. The heart is the deepest part of a person and what we tend to hold most preciously. And it can be many things: cars, houses, the way you look, the way people think about you, your husband or wife, your kids, whatever it may be it cannot share the space with Jesus. To many Jesus is just a part of their life instead of the one that gives life and if this is the case you cannot (not a matter of desire but a matter of ability) share that space between Jesus Christ and things.

A.W. Tozer puts it very succinctly in his book "The Pursuit of God"

Before the Lord God made man upon the earth He first prepared for him by creating a world of useful and pleasant things for his sustenance and delight. In the Genesis account of the creation these are called simply "things." They were made for man's uses, but they were meant always to be external to the man and subservient to him. In the deep heart of the man was a shrine where none but God was worthy to come. Within him was God; without, a thousand gifts which God had showered upon him.

But sin has introduced complications and has made those very gifts of God a potential source of ruin to the soul. Our woes began when God was forced out of His central shrine and "things" were allowed to enter. Within the human heart "things" have taken over. Men have now by nature no peace within their hearts, for God is crowned there no longer, but there in the moral dusk stubborn and aggressive usurpers fight among themselves for first place on the throne.

This is not a mere metaphor, but an accurate analysis of our real spiritual trouble.

So what should you do if this is the situation you find yourself in? Confess (agree with God) that this is and has been sin in your life and that you have put things before Him. Repent - turn away from the act of doing those things and turn to God in truth...ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what is getting in the way of living the life of victory. And persist in faith...God wants those that will love Him with all of their heart, mind, soul and strength.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me." I have learned that there is no cessation, no truce, not respite. The flesh is forever tainted, and will always ware against the spirit. On the days that I remember to deny myself and take up His cross, I have great joy. On the days that I forget I have greate defeat. Also when I remember that He said, "Follow me" does not mean some teaching, some denomination, some pastor or teacher or even my own preconcieved idea of who I think Jesus is but rather a real living relationship with the creator of the universe, then I have both peace and joy. Each day I must accept his invitation to follow him anew. I need to remember that I am not driving the car, in fact I am not even a passenger in the back seat, but rather in the trunk so that I won't be tempted to take the wheel. - shuhite211