Tuesday, 31 August 2021

Heart to Heart

 Scripture: Colossians 3 v 1 - 4:  "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

2  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 
3  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4  When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory."

This is our absolute reality.  We are dead to this world, and our only life is in Christ .  He is our life and outside of Him we are dead.  Death or dead means separated from God.  

That means whatever we do that is not inspired by God, no matter how good it seems to us, it is a waste of time, energy and money.  He says we must set our affection on things above, not on earthly things.  It's hard to comprehend how to accomplish this and in our flesh and carnal mind its just ludicrous to try.

When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, and the light of Jesus, a process of restoring our beings back to who God created us to be, begins.  Paul cried out in Romans 7 v 18 - 20:  "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me."

We are saved and forgiven of sin, cleansed by the Blood of Jesus, but the flesh still hankers after the forbidden fruit.  The preachers of super grace found a way round this dilemma, always forgiven always sinless.  But Jesus says in Revelation 2 that if we do not overcome this flesh we will have our names blotted out of the Lamb's Book of Life.  So do we believe Jesus or some preacher trying to bury guilt under a fig leaf?

If a man of Paul's stature struggled with the flesh, then we must be aware of it too.  We must identify our problem areas, jealousy, gossip, coveting our neighbours goods, love of money, selfishness, lust.  Then we must find the root of our problem and work with Jesus to kill that root and all its ugly fruit.

This is the part where we work out our own salvation through fear and trembling.  Breaking through these fleshly barriers is like taking off in a rocket to the Moon.  We first have to overcome gravity.  The gravity of offending our Father.  It takes the power of the Holy Spirit to do it.

He is doing a work of renewal in every soul.  And when we are trembling before God in recognition of how badly we have behaved towards other people, we begin to catch a glimpse of our true fallen nature and what needs to be done to be a pleasing child.  For He says whatever you do to another, you do it to Me.

Some people spend time on the couch with a psychiatrist getting a big dose of don't be so hard on yourself you are a really wonderful person.  Or you visit a hypnotist who mentally rearranges the deckchairs on the sinking Titanic by trying to unscramble your mind.  We cannot get to God through the devices of Man.  We only make matters worse.

We need to spend time in His presence, fasting, reading His Word, praying, seeking an answer to whatever is troubling our mind and flesh, and allowing God to put His finger on it and squash it like a bug.  It might hurt our pride to admit our faults, but sometimes we need to make right if we have offended somebody, or if they offended us.  We need to forgive, we need to be forgiven and sometimes go face to face, deal with the issues, agree to differ, find closure.

It's like watching the news in December before the pandemic.  Holidaymakers travelling to the coast, the number of deaths from accidents is tallied every day.  Apart from those who drink and drive, to my mind, the problem is impatience.  That slow driver holding up a long line of people who would rather be on the beach, causes one or more impatient people to try overtake this long line without being able to see around the next bend.  There is a truck coming the other way and multiple car, truck pile up provides more stats for the news.

So start with your behaviour on the road towards the strangers sharing it with you.  Do you have pride that you are the more skillful driver and are entitled to overtake even when its dangerous?  Then bring that pride that causes road rage to our Father and repent and ask for His help to conquer these urges.  This is just one example to give you a starting point to know yourself so you can have a heart to heart with the Lord.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father we need to have these heart to heart times with You very often to get Your mind on the way we need to change. You want us to be kind, courteous, loving, patient and peaceful people.  We need to examine ourselves under the magnifying glass of Your Word.  Help us to put wrongs right wherever we can.  Restore us to the way You want us to be.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.