Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Becoming Careless with my Heart

Yesterday we talked about the danger of a “Bewitching spirit in the Church.” Paul, Peter, and Jesus warn the church that in the last days there would be “Sheep in wolves clothing” that would infiltrate God’s church. These “wolves” portray themselves as HOLY and ABOVE REPROACH. In fact, the deception of the enemy is so strong upon them, they will have a following…for a time. However, as time goes by, the more discerning of God’s people will begin to figure out that the SUPER SPIRITUAL side of the “wolf” was only a covering to hide what was really in their heart. For you see, God knows the heart of men and women. But that is not an excuse to sin. Quite the contrary!

Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:8 that only the “pure in heart will see God.” Then Solomon tells us in Proverbs 4:23 “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.” In this text, God is showing us the importance of making sure that we do everything possible to keep our heart PURE. Then David shows us the danger of becoming CARELESS with our heart: Psalm 51:10-12 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me. (11) Cast me not away from Your presence and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. (12) Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit. David had sinned greatly, and now his heart was corrupt. You see, my friend, that’s what sin does to your heart. It is a dangerous thing to allow sin to remain in the heart and spirit for the child of God without REPENTING of it, and changing! Repentance does no good if you just say “forgive me Lord”, but keep doing the same things over and over again. What will happen to someone that keeps sinning and justifying it, without leaving that lifestyle through TRUE repentance? Well, listen to some of the saddest, yet most revealing Words in the Scriptures: Judges 16:20 She said, The Philistines are upon you, Samson! And he awoke out of his sleep and said, I will go out as I have time after time and shake myself free. For Samson did not know that the Lord had departed from him.

As I sit here in the Sanctuary typing these words, my heart is tremendously saddened and troubled by those words. Samson had become so CARELESS with his life and RELATIONSHIP with God, that he honestly thought that God would UNDERSTAND his situation and allow SIN to continue in his life with no consequences. He was deceived into believing that NOTHING would change between him and God, because he was a SPECIAL, ANOINTED man of God. He would just do what he had always done…allow the power and Spirit of God to come upon him, and win the battle when he needed to. However, he learned a lesson that I hope we all learn from him. The lesson is that you may get by with cherishing sin in your heart for a season, but mark my words, friend…NO, mark God’s Word…there is coming a season in your life, when everything will crumble around you if you continue in the careless way that you have been living. You won’t even realize that the Lord’s Spirit has departed from you, until much damage is done. Listen to Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me; What a powerful, yet sobering verse. This word “regard” means to cherish, or to see the sin in your heart, but think it’s not a big deal. Of course, iniquity is sin, breaking God’s Law (Word). So God makes it plain that if we allow sin to remain in our heart, the ONLY thing He understands is that HE WILL NOT HEAR our prayers. Continued, habitual sin damages our relationship with God. That is very evident and plain in the Word of God.

So, what can we do to rid our HEARTS of the sin? Well, just saying “God forgive me” is not what repentance is. 2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly grief and the pain God is permitted to direct, produce a repentance that leads and contributes to salvation and deliverance from evil, and it never brings regret; but worldly grief (the hopeless sorrow that is characteristic of the pagan world) is deadly [breeding and ending in death].

Then John the Baptist gives some insight about repentance as well: Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent (think differently; change your mind, regretting your sins and changing your conduct), for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 3:8 Bring forth fruit that is consistent with repentance [let your lives prove your change of heart];

So, to truly guard our heart, we must stop being CARELESS with our heart, and start striving to be BLAMELESS with it. To do this, we must make sin our enemy. As long as sin is a FRIEND that we justify then we will NEVER be victorious over it. God never promised to give us victory over our friends, but over and over again, He promises to make us victorious over our ENEMIES. My prayer is that all of us will begin to hate sin so much, that God can help deliver us from that ENEMY. When David sinned, it broke his heart, not just because he had been caught, but he began to realize what his sin had done to his relationship with His God. He asked God to please, not take His Holy Spirit from him, and he then asked Him to create a new, steadfast spirit within him. And above all else, he asked for a CLEAN HEART! Even after he sinned, because of his true repentance, God was able to call him a “man after my own heart.”

1 John 1:9 If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

What a promise that I John 1:9 is. Thank God, that we can come to the Heavenly Father, through Jesus’ blood and have forgiveness and deliverance from the bondages and strongholds in our lives. My prayer is that we will all guard our hearts, and strive to be BLAMELESS through the blood of Jesus Christ!

God bless you, and thank you for reading this blog. I had planned on writing about “The temptation of Saul’s Armor” and even had that title above, but as I began to type, I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to talk about the Heart. If you would like to comment on this blog, please do so below.

Rejoicing (and spinning) in this wonderful day,

Pastor Rusty L. Blann
First Assembly of God
West Memphis, Arkansas