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Posts Tagged ‘Jeremiah 17:9-10’

Appetites

June 28th, 2013

“Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness.” Matthew 5:6 NIV

Your passions foretell your direction and destination.

My thoughts and comments today are about “appetites.”

Everyone is hungry for something at some time. Here’s what I’ve learned: hunger insists on attention, resists attempts to ignore, and persists until satisfied. Original sin resulted from Adam and Eve’s appetite for something God was accused of withholding. Read Genesis 3:1-6 NKJV. They were tempted and sinned when they would not trust God to be enough. 2 Corinthians 9:8/10 NIV. If you are not wise and careful, physical desires can displace spiritual values.

My thoughts today are about far more than physical appetites. There is a God given desire in your spirit that is stronger than any physical hunger, yet can be overlooked if your priorities and preoccupation are on physical desires alone. How you satisfy your natural desires can foster appetites that become more controlling as you indulge them. Right appetites ennoble behavior; wrong appetites cause unproductive conduct. Guard your inner life carefully. Avoid the whim of momentary desires, and you will choose well and live prudently.

Appetites you allow determine choices which impact your life, for better or worse. Those lesser appetites produce strong passions, difficult to control if not scrutinized and rightly directed. Wrong appetites can easily become addictions, which are increasingly insatiable when gratified without constraint. Be careful what you want, because you just might get it. Lives have become shipwreck, and too many remained so, simply because they neither deliberately chose nor conquered the cravings that drove their passions. Apart from God, the heart is “Deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it? But I, the Lord, search the heart . .” Jeremiah 17:9-10 NKJV. Expose your heart to God. He knows you better than you know yourself.

Your passions foretell your direction and destination. Consider the power of centering your heart and passions on God. Outside of Jesus Christ, satisfaction is illusive as well as elusive. Jesus was crystal clear about where your soul finds satisfaction, “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be [satisfied].” Matthew 5:6 NIV. Jesus chose words that were not casual; His words are extreme, desperate even, about strong yearning, “hunger and thirst.” Jesus spoke of intensity and focus on a clear and noble objective, “Righteousness.” Right desires produce right results. I love Paul’s description of people whose whole heart was on serving God and others: ”The house of Stephanas . . have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints.” 1 Corinthians 16:15 KJV.

Here’s what your passion for righteousness would look like. Love and obey the Word of God. Job 23:12 NIV. Prioritize quality time in God’s presence. Psalm 16:11 NIV. Observe quiet times of prayer and Biblical meditation. Psalm 1:2 NASV. Cultivate the spirit and practice of worship. Psalm 29:2 NKJV. Practice the discipline of fasting. Matthew 6:16 NIV. Fellowship with others who mentor your spiritual growth. 1 John 1:7 NIV. If you are going to run with a crowd, run with people who are going the direction you want to go.

My prayer for you today is that your strongest desires are directed toward righteousness.

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Secrets of the Heart

August 29th, 2011

“Search me, O God, and know my heart.” Psalm 139:23 NIV

“Until you allow God to redeem and rule your heart, it will remain unholy and unruly.”

My thoughts today are about “secrets of the heart.”

The heart! Who knows their own heart for sure? When it comes right down to it, none of us really know our own heart as well as we think we do. The prophet Jeremiah, wrote, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart; I test the mind, even to give every man according to His ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah 17:9-10 NKJV. The heart is the source from which both affections and actions come, often overruling your mind and misdirecting your will. Until God is allowed to redeem and rule your heart, it will remain unholy and unruly.

One’s heart, as used in Scripture, refers to something more than the physical organ that beats, pumping blood and life-giving oxygen to every part of your body. The Bible uses the word to describe an aspect of God’s wondrous creation even more spectacular and critical to your well-being – the central part of your inner being where God desires to dwell and rule righteously.

Your heart can lead you to God or turn you from Him. God begins in your heart to accomplish His work of redeeming, and cleansing, and changing you. “And I will give them singleness of heart (undivided) and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their hearts of stone and give them tender hearts instead, so they will obey My laws and regulations. Then they will truly by My people, and I will be their God.” Ezekiel 11:19-20 NLT. Your heart has to be right before your relationship with God and others can be right.

Your heart’s cry must be as the Psalmist pleaded, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24 NIV. Notice the sequence of verbs – “search, know, test, see, and lead?” Are you willing to invite him to “test” you? See 1 Timothy 5:24-25 NIV. God’s tests are to prevent you from failing the final exam“. . his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day shall bring it to light . . I saw a great white throne . . the small and great standing before God, and books were opened . .” Read 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 NIV/Revelation 20:11-15 NKJV.

God uses ordinary circumstances to expose repressed feelings, carefully controlled reactions, buried emotions, old grudges and resentments, hurtful jealousies, suppressed anger and fears, or habitual behaviors. Those tests in everyday life are not for God’s enlightenment, but to reveal the secrets of your heart for redemption, not destruction. God knows your heart; there are no secrets from Him hidden there. See Luke 12:1-3 NKJV. You may try to hide things there, but will not succeed. If invited, God will test your heart so that you will know what is hidden there in order to deal with it, inviting and allowing Him to cleanse and renew. Such an invitation – “Cleanse me from secret faults” – comes only from a heart disgusted with its secrets. Read Psalm 19:7-14 NKJV.

My prayer for you today is that your heart is clean and pure before God.

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Listen to Your Heart

February 11th, 2011

“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace.” Isaiah 55:12 NIV

“Never rush ahead of joy; never push past peace.”

My thoughts today are, “listen to your heart.”

Ever feel an unexplainable sense of uneasiness about a decision you were about to make, or a direction you were about to pursue? Did you stop to ask God for wisdom? Consider other options? Or maybe you rushed ahead with even more determination. How did that work out for you? You need to pause where you are and in what you are doing, listening for God in those moments; you will save yourself a lot of regrets.

“Act in haste; repent in leisure!” I have no idea who first said that, but it’s still a pretty accurate prediction. Even if and when they know better, it seems that a person’s human nature is inclined to be always in a hurry to do what they want, yet slow to obey what they know God is saying. If you do not learn to process your impulses in a wise and Godly manner, especially the ones that are persistent and insistent, you are living on the edge of inevitable regret. Your mortal enemies – the world, your flesh, and the devil – push; God leads!

By experience, I have learned that often the thing I most wanted to do – right then – was not necessarily the best thing to do. And if it was the right thing, it will still be the right thing to do. When you feel too great a push, you may be rushing past the warnings that God placed there.

There are times I was thankful I didn’t mail the letter I rushed to write. I remember when I said what I felt like saying and regretted it badly, and when I did not voice what I felt like saying, and was grateful. Current technology can be dangerous when you have an unchecked impulse. The immediacy of email and Facebook can be an enemy of friendships and an embarrassment to good manners. I keep an unsent message in my email “Drafts” to remind me that it and others were best not sent. (I have since removed the email address so it could not be sent accidentally!)

Learn to listen to God in your heart; give Him a pure heart that desires to do only His will. Make sure that God rules in your heart. See Psalm 139:23 NLT/19:14 NKJV.  That inner voice is likely then to be God protecting you from an error of judgment or timing. Be warned; your heart without Jesus as Lord can mislead you. See Jeremiah 17:9-10 NKJV. If you lack joy or peace your heart is misleading you. “The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.’” Psalm 32:8-9 NLT.

God promises, “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace.” Isaiah 55:12 NIV. Never rush ahead of joy; never push past peace. Joy marks the path where God leads. Peace accompanies the journey where God directs. “And the peace of god, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 NIV. I want to always walk with joy and hold God’s peace in my heart and mind.

My prayer for you today is: be more sensitive to God’s voice than your own or others’.

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