Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.
On my last post I left off on the matter of God being the exclusive one to circumcise our hearts, his way . In addressing the nation of Israel in the wilderness under the leadership of Moses God promised He would circumcise their heart and the heart of their seed. This would accomplish two vital aspects to their relationship with God, to love him and cause them to live. We know through scripture that when God says "live" he desires his life to encompass all areas of our life. Ultimately, following His plan for life will lead us to eternal life, for he created mankind to live forever.
So many people today are after life, fountain of youth, longevity etc. trying in vain to prolong the inevitable, death. But it's through the death of self that God has designed for people to obtain life, some people refuse and reject willfully or ignorantly these waters. Death is the path to life in God's plan. It was through the death of Jesus on the cross that we obtain life.
Why does God need to circumcise the heart? Well let's see what the Bible says. (Proverbs 20:9)
Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin? Sounds like Romans 3:23 For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. This is just a fact. Let's look in (Jeremiah 17:9,10) The HEART IS DECEITFUL ABOVE ALL THINGS, and DESPERATELY WICKED: who can know it? The Lord can know it and does, in the following verses says "I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins . . . (Acts 1:24) . . . "Thou, Lord, which KNOWEST THE HEARTS OF ALL MEN . . .
Looking at this verse God said the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Deceitful in strong's concordance is apate (539) it means "to cheat, deceive, beguile, that which gives false impression, whether by appearance, statement or influence. Don't we have in this world an over supply of this. We witness this every day the people of this world and even believers lying to themselves, putting on airs because fear of dealing truthfully, and for fear of being themselves with all its short comings.
It's an inherent problem and will power, behavior modification, self empowerment does not even start to address this problem. Circumcision of the heart and replacement with a new heart is God's remedy for this, the problem is spiritual and it takes spiritual power to accomplish this. Human effort no matter how well intentioned cannot solve this heart problem. Circumcision requires God to cut away our fleshly nature and all it's ugliness. He uses the spirit of the word which is very sharp to accomplish this in our hearts.
This is a gradual process and it can be painful at times, but the reward is holiness and life.
Before we move on I want to give a few verses that would show us some signs of a troubled heart or a heart in need of spiritual circumcision.
If we find ourselves with these spiritual faults then all God desires is for us to take this to him at His mercy seat and ask him honestly that we don't want these things in our hearts, he will gladly remove these things and replace it with the traits of His heart. He will not compel us, we need to give it to him. Create in me a clean heart O God and renew a right spirit within me. If king David can do it so can we, for in Christ Jesus we can do ALL things.
Even though we are born again we have not arrived, as long as we live in this flesh we will always face trials, temptations, challenges of all sorts, it's a journey. We must be willing to admit to God that we in our strength cannot meet these challenges without Him, there is no way we can get around that without Jesus we can do nothing, He designed it this way. God does resist the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.
Some people say they are atheist, I submit to you that there is no such thing as an atheist. The Bible calls such individuals fools (Prov.12:23) . . . but the HEART of FOOLS proclaimeth foolishness. (Psalm 53:1) "The FOOL has said in HIS HEART, There is no GOD" . . . and what is a fool? Fool (aphron 878) signifies "without reason" "want of mental sanity and sobriety, a reckless and inconsiderate habit of mind" or the imprudent ordering of one's life in regard to salvation". This world is full of these type of people and I don't say this in a condescending holier than thou manner.
The term atheist is a man made society word to avoid the truth of God and hide themselves behind fancy terminology, today there are many terms, words, phrases that are used by the world to mask fear of God's infallible word, the world can run but they can't hide. Usually, the people behind these words,phrases, teminology are the unregenerate or even unlearned believers. Let us not fall for things which society says that clearly are contrary to God's infallible word. When the word of God is rooted in your heart the Holy Spirit will give you the ability to discern it all for what it truly is, lies, cover ups and denials.
Read (Luke 2:35) (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that THE THOUGHTS OF MANY HEARTS MAY BE REVEALED. The word is sharp, sharper than any twoedged sword (Heb. 4:12) this is why God uses it to cut away at our stony and fleshly hearts. The sharpness of this also uncovers what we truly are inside no matter what airs we put on, God knows the whole truth of our inward man.
(Mark 7: 21 - 23) For from WITHIN, OUT OF THE HEART OF MEN, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, laciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness All these evil things COME FROM WITHIN, and DEFILE THE MAN. Now in Rev. 21:27 And there shall in NO WISE ENTER into it ANYTHING THAT DEFILETH, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie.
These are the things that are defiling the world and God has promised that none of these things will enter into His presence. God is not mocked people for all of us will reap what we have sown. Let's use his patience and longsuffering toward us for our eternal benefit and not our demise.
This is why we need to pause our lives and do the inventory of our hearts to find out if these Adamic traits are existent within us. If we do have these things we need to submit ourselves to the devine KNIFE. It's o.k. God is waiting and we don't have to go to our pastors, brothers, sisters in Christ or anyone seeing they themselves need to go also. We don't have to shout it on the roof top because people will know when we have truly been sitting before God the change will be undeniable that God's love is working on us.
Another sign of a troubled heart is when the heart is froward. (Proverbs 6:14) Frowardness is in the HEART, he deviseth mischief continually, he soweth discord.
He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.(Proverbs 17:20)
In (Prov. 14:14) The BACKSLIDER in HEART shall be filled with HIS OWN WAYS. The backslider shall be filled with their own ways. If we want our way then at some point in our walk we may fall away because in the Lord if we find our life we will lose it at the end. There is no room for selfishness for it must be dethroned by Jesus. God will require it from us at some point to lay it down on the cross, but it is up to us to lay it down voluntarily as we seek and have fellowship with him in prayer.
In a closely related verse in (Hebrews 3:12) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you AN EVIL HEART OF UNBELIEF, in DEPARTING from the living God.
This strong admonition here is for brothers in Christ to take heed, because if we don't backsliding or departing from God is a real possibility, due to not nurturing and being diligent about our salvation. Departing from the living God is deemed an evil heart of unbelief. If we depart from God we will be filled only with our fleshly selfish ways. The nation of Israel is our example of such a decision. Their hearts were far from God, they just paid God lip service and pursued their covetousness, much like today.
Another sign of trouble in the heart (Prov. 18: 2) A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that HIS HEART MAY DISCOVER ITSELF. Here we have it a fool is out to satisfy his own desires and has no interest in Godly wisdom, knowledge, instruction, or understanding. There goal is self discovery, the problem with these type of souls is that they discover it was all in vain and the regret will be too much to bear on their conscious.
They go through life knowing within themselves that they are on the wrong track (because God has shown it to their conscious) but they rather hang tight to their pride, even though within they are crumbling with stress, fear, anxieties of all sorts. So much turmoil and pain just to protect a false concept of self discovery.
(Proverbs 19:21) says There are MANY DEVICES in a MAN'S HEART; . . .
We have seen only a few examples of these inward devices. Strong's definition for device in this context; 4284 machashebeth; a contrivance, i.e. (concr.) a texture, machine, or (abstr.) intention, plan (whether bad, a plot; or good, advice): cunning (work), curious work, device, imagination, invented, means purpose, thought.
I want to focus on the thought part of devices, most of the good and ills of society come from our hearts, but they generally most times start with the thoughts we harbor within us. Look at (Proverbs 23:7) For as a MAN THINKETH IN HIS HEART, SO IS HE: . . .
What we think, we are. Humanity thinks about a zillion things and we see those things all around us good or bad. God has made it possible to think and do like him ("for we have the mind of Christ") or we can think and do evil. Depending on the treasure of our heart. What kind of tree are we?
The way this process plays out is we get various thoughts by the things we invite into our hearts. Our hearts are like a gate, and we are the gatekeepers. Our natural senses play a prominent role in how our thoughts are formed whether through Godly influence or ungodly they take root in our hearts and spring out through our tongues and then actions. Most people are under the notion that the thoughts they have are their own, this is not true and if you closely consider this you will also conclude the same.
We need to pause and consider is that thoughts always come from the outside in, they don't start with us they are presented to us and we decide to agree or reject the thoughts. I see it like this we get thoughts from God through His Spirit, His word or we get thoughts from Satan through his lies or the lust of the flesh. We are vessels, containers or temples of the Holy Spirit or the world's spirit.
We must guard our hearts and minds beloved. Psalms 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the MEDITATION OF MY HEART, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Judas is an example of spiritual carelessness at its worst, he opened his gate to the devil (John 13:2) And supper being ended, THE DEVIL HAVING NOW PUT INTO THE HEART OF Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to BETRAY him. In this scenario we see that Judas heart received the seed of betrayal from the devil. The devil gave Judas these thoughts and when the moment was ripe it sprung out in betrayal. Thoughts are very powerful indeed they are the foundation of our utterances and actions. I guess we could ask advertisers. For they seek our attention constantly to influence our thoughts toward their products and services.
I wanted to look at a couple of more examples of signs of a troubled heart, I believe this will enrich our understanding a bit more.
Proverbs 28: 14, 26 In verse 14 the second part of the verse says . . . but he that HARDENETH HIS HEART shall fall into mischief. The first part of verse 26 says He that TRUSTETH IN HIS OWN HEART is a fool: . . .
In the Hebrew epistle chapter 3 verses 8 and 15 the saints are admonished to not harden their hearts if they heard the voice of God or the word of God. In the wilderness Israel hardened their hearts and tempted God. Today we have a very hardened generation of people, people who just don't believe the word of God.Pharaoh is an example of a hardened heart. God said to Moses that He would harden Pharaoh's heart, but when we look closer in Exodus his heart was hardened after Moses delivered God's word to him to let the people go, but he refused. When the word comes to us to correct or instruct us we have two choices either accept or reject. If we make it a practice to reject God's word then the heart can and will become hardened through unbelief, such as the case of Pharaoh to his own detriment, the loss of his firstborn. All rejection of God's word ultimately leads to His righteous judgment.
The next example deals with trusting our own heart. Most of us simply trust in our own heart because frankly we have been brainwashed to be independent, self willed and rulers of our own destiny. Eve was duped in the garden because she was led to believe that she would be like God, (she should have understood that she was already created after the image of the only glorious God) in reality her decision resulted in her independence from God. We have all been programmed to think this way throughout our lives. To rely on God for our lives just does not compute with many in today's self seeking world.
Even Christians are not properly taught that this is how we ought to walk with God. The heart of self has to be replaced with the heart of God. At this present time this is what the Lord is teaching me in my walk with him among other things, it's a good thing for me that God is patient.
Up to this point I have been pointing out what some of the signs of a troubled or uncircumcised heart manifest. I am now going to share some characteristics of a sound or circumcised heart manifest.
I am sure that most of us who have been in the word for a while are familiar with the proclamation that David was considered a man after God's own heart. Even though David committed murder and adultery as his biggest transgressions David always found his way to God. In the Bible I could not find another person as open about how he felt within, toward God then David. David knew how to repent and turn to God, it was his practice. I believe that though David committed such ungodly acts he never let any of these things keep him from going after God. Sin did not cause David to run from God like Adam, but run to God.
I believe his pursuit of God for repentance, worship, praise, teaching, etc. for whatever he needed demonstrated to God that he loved God in spite of his faults and shortcomings, for our pursuit of God is greater than our shortcomings. In reading the book of Psalms we could find just about every scenario in life and how we too can respond to God anytime, about anything. David did not depart from God in unbelief, he knew that God is merciful and slow to anger and that there was no other that could help him like God could. The Lord is not a criticizer, or neither does he throw us under the bus or breathe out condemnation like Satan does when we fail.
God is our father and we are His children and children need love, mercy, guidance, food, correction, forgiveness,instruction etc. and this is what the Lord is interested in providing us, not condemnation. He knows what we are made of so he suffers long with us. This spiritual walk is not a cake walk we do go through things and make mistakes but it is what we decide to do when we fail that really tries our hearts of what sort it is. The key is not to wallow in our failings.
David decided to run to God and pour out His heart before Him because He knew it as a safe harbor, a high tower from this world. A lot of us want to portray strength, but God wants us to admit weakness so his grace would rest on us. Hallelujah! Remember what Apostle Paul said (2 Cor.12:9,10) And he said unto me, MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR THEE. FOR MY STRENGTH IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS. Most gladly therefore will I rather GLORY IN MY INFIRMITIES, that the POWER OF CHRIST MAY REST UPON ME. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for CHRIST'S SAKE: FOR WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN I AM STRONG. Praise the Lord!
I believe if we meditate on this God's Spirit will bless us to understand this as Paul did and this will serve as an aid to rely on God when we are going through things. Let's not be ashamed when life doesn't turn out the way we planned because God has a better plan for us all. I mean isn't that one of the reasons that we come to God in the first place, to make him Lord of our lives. Our plans always lead us to selfishness and away from God's will for us. I am currently learning this the hard way and in some future post I will share with everyone exactly what I and my family have gone through.
Let's look at some of the things a heart does under the influence of the Holy Spirit. (Lamentations 3:41) Let us lift up our HEART WITH OUR HANDS UNTO GOD in the heavens.
(Lamentations 2:19) Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches POUR OUT THINE HEART like water BEFORE THE FACE OF THE LORD: . . .
(Proverbs 23:26) MY SON, GIVE ME THINE HEART, and let thine eyes observe my ways.
As we look at these verses it is clear that the invitation is for us to lift, give and pour our hearts before the Lord. Our hearts are safe in His hand he will touch our hearts and divinely so, but we must be the ones to lift, give and pour it out before him in faith. Jesus did this with the Father and as I mentioned earlier David amongst others. We are not accustomed to doing things God's way and He knows this better than we. It takes time, practice and our commitment to God to see godly fruit in our lives. Jesus did it ALL for us and all He is requiring is that we believe Him fervently and allow his workings in our life.
One of the fundamental things we should start out doing is what Ezra did in (Ezra 7:10) For Ezra had PREPARED HIS HEART TO SEEK the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments. (Job 11:13) If thou PREPARE THINE HEART, and stretch out thine hands toward him;
Out of all the things that we as believers could do to help our relationship with God is to prepare, give, lift, pour our hearts to God. It is our part to seek Him, a lot of believers truthfully are not doing this and are just going to church in the physical and that is where it ends for some. Instead of concentrating on church attendance we really need to lock ourselves in with God first and touch him and He us, then go. Your worship will be transformed this way.
It seems like all we ask God about is our needs, wants and personal desires. Jesus said we should be seeking HIS KINGDOM AND RIGHTEOUSNESS FIRST. We need to ask God to circumcise our materially covetous hearts and to remove our selfishness. Our priorities are all wrong before God and we are grieving his Holy Spirit because we are being led away to think that gain is equal to godliness. While we pursuit these things the world continues to suffer because the people of God have been snared and have become so earthly minded that we are unprofitable to God's service. Going to church does not mean anything if we have not allowed God to clean our hearts out of all that hinders Him from working through us. Something is seriously wrong with our Christianity in most circles because we have stopped being sincere with the One we need to be sincere with most.
May God bring us all to our knees in confession to Him so we would learn to be sincere and honest with Him first in our private times with Him and then it will be easier to be sincere with our neighbors and brethren and fulfill the will of God on earth.
We don't know the depths of our hearts as God does and this is the point of it all. The heart has to be surrendered willfully by us, the beauty of this is that through Christ doing everything for us as pertaining all spiritual matters we don't have to stress and be anxious about how am I going to accomplish this. You see modern day Christians are relying solely on human self effort and will power and this is why there is so much hypocrisy and stumbling trying to live this life out.
True Christianity is spiritual and not fleshly. We seem to want to help God when all the Lord is basically requiring is to believe Him in all the aspects of our walk with Him. Let's look briefly at (John 6:28 - 29) Then said they unto him , WHAT SHALL WE DO, that we might WORK THE WORKS OF GOD? Jesus answered them and said unto them, THIS IS THE WORK OF GOD, that ye BELIEVE ON HIM whom he hath sent.
When we truly believe we will let God do things His way and not our own, for without Him we can do nothing. Christianity is not about what we could do, it's about what Jesus will do through us. In the words of Paul in (Galatians 2:20) I am crucified WITH CHRIST: nevertheless I live; yet NOT I, BUT CHRIST LIVETH IN ME: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD, who LOVED ME, and GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME.
Since Jesus has positioned us for eternal spiritual blessing through His death we can come to Him in the manner of (Heb. 10:22) LET US DRAW NEAR WITH A TRUE HEART in full assurance of faith, HAVING OUR HEARTS SPRINKLED FROM AN EVIL CONSCIENCE, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Father on behalf of all those who desire you, Create in us a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within us. In JESUS name I ask. Amen.
Bro. Pete Mojica
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.