Meditations on the Heart

October 5, 2008 — 3 Comments

Commute. Work.

Commute. Sleep.

I’ve gotta car at home to feed.

Oh we’re so quite and comfortable in our A –> B lives.

But our complacency won’t last much longer.

Although its rather easy to drift into that mode even here at seminary. Maybe if I didn’t have to actually live a semi-normal life and have a job and pay bills and get insurance, it might not be that bad.

But then I would just drift into self-absorption and just sit around the pool and read and write papers literally day.

Although I guess I do already do that on the weekends.

Oh self-absorption how easily you entangle me. I suppose that frames the battle more realistically.

“Its a fight between my heart and mind…no one really wins this time.”

Its a fight between being chiefly concerned with my own interests, or actually giving a _____ about other people.

I left it blank so you could fill in your choice of a word, not so I could avoid being crude.

Anyway, that’s probably the general stuggle, but at the same time, that just betrays a deeper struggle still.

For as John seems to make pretty clear, if there is a problem loving other people, that only points to a less than loving relationship with God which somehow connects even deeper still to actually knowing God.

Not memorizing God’s facebook mind you, or sitting down to dinner with Charnock’s “The Existence and Attributes of God.” (A nice little 1000pg tome for extended digestion).

Actually knowing God in a relational sense…the fountainhead of any real growth and change at the heart level.

Anything less apparently is just peripherally being involved in Christianity and knowing Christ from a distance but not actually knowing Him.

This is harder still when you realize your heart is sometimes nothing more than an idol factory, but then that is why we have a God whose “goodness like a fetter binds our wandering hearts to Thee.”

With a heart so apt to wander no wonder complacency is just around the corner.

How foolishly some might pray “Father save us from your followers,” when really the prayer that should leave our lips most ardently is “Father save us from ourselves!”

I’m finding more and more the problem is not without but within…the problem is me.

But God…

The only way to turn this thought vomit around is found in those two words.

But God…

Being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us though we were dead made us alive together with Christ…

…that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith, so that, because we have been rooted and grounded in love, we might somehow be able to comprehend…and thus to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge so that we may be filled up to all the fullness of God!

To know that which surpasses knowledge…that’s what I want right now.

But God…

Demonstrated His own love for us, in that while we were still idolaters at heart, Christ died for us…

So that while our hearts still create idols, we now have a hope to rejoice in and a grace in which to stand obtained by faith in Christ..and this hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Don’t wanna leave this world knowing I preach in vain
Looked out for myself, so sorry so ashamed
Don’t wanna leave this life knowing I barely tried
Chased all my dreams that I can’t weigh on the inside

Live…I wanna live on fire
Die…I wanna burn out brighter
Brighter than the Northern lights
I wanna live to feel the daylight

The more I live I see

That this life’s not about me

Nate

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I’m an avid reader, musician, and high school Bible teacher living in central Florida. I have many paperback books and our house smells of rich glade air freshners. If you want to know more, then let’s connect!

3 responses to Meditations on the Heart

  1. A silly Texas girl. October 5, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    You really hit the nail on the head here. I can only imagine Chandler’s sermon spured some of these ideas on. The conclusion however is quite beautiful.

    “The father of lies
    Coming to steal
    Kill and destroy
    All my hopes of being good enough
    I hear him saying cursed are the ones
    Who can’t abide
    He’s right
    Alleluia he’s right!

    The devil is preaching
    The song of the redeemed
    That I am cursed and gone astray
    I cannot gain salvation
    Embracing accusation

    Could the father of lies
    Be telling the truth
    Of God to me tonight?
    If the penalty of sin is death
    Then death is mine
    I hear him saying cursed are the ones
    Who can’t abide
    He’s right
    Alleluia he’s right!

    Oh the devil’s singing over me
    An age old song
    That I am cursed and gone astray
    Singing the first verse so conveniently
    He’s forgotten the refrain
    Jesus saves!”

    Shane and Shane, Embracing accusation

    I hope you’re coming along finding the balance between shame and the freedom that grace brings. This is a narrow and dusty road to travel to such a beautiful destination.

  2. I find that as I am thinking along the right lines, sermons and lessons generally coincide with my thought processes rather than generate them. It’s interesting how God works in that way, its like an on-going conversation in my mind and Matt just happened to join in with his sermon. I like the lyrics, but I’m not quite sure what you are referring to by a balance between shame and freedom on account of grace. But its a terminology issue, but I don’t generally think of shame and freedom being on a continuum, but rather slavery to sinful desires and freedom to follow Christ’s desires as being what constitutes the continuum. Shame comes into play almost always in a negative sense, so I’d rather not strike a balance involving it. You are right though, it is quite the narrow dusty road, but the Person at the end of it makes the journey’s end and means worth it.

  3. A silly Texas girl. October 14, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    I was referring to a paradox that seems to baffle me if not thought out well; but is most certainly there. We’re supposed to confess our sins and repent of them. This happens at the time of salvation (justification). However, because we are still sinners, our road of sanctification seems to be an interesting one (both painful and rewarding at the same time). We struggle with the conviction of our sin (as the Spirit opens our eyes to it), while at the same time resting in the power of the Spirit to overcome the sin at the same time. If we have too much grace (entitlement; and the idea that because we’re saved, we keep on sinning), we could suffer from disregarding our sin all together and miss the point of needing a savior and changing at all. However, we should not dwell so much on the guilt and shame of being sinners because of the grace that God showed us at the point of salvation and continually shows us in our walk. That’s the balance that needs to be struck as not to disregard either.

    The song lyrics helped me with lies that the enemy was taunting me with (that i’m not good enough because of my sin; which is true and like you said, “the problem is me”)…”but he’s forgotten the refrain…Jesus saves!” I guess it’s just a great reminder that in the midst of our shame (feeling far away from the righteousness of God), the work of Christ and the Holy Spirit covers our sin and provides us with hope and power to overcome! That point is so easy to forget when you’re in a cloud of shame. The balance is acknowledging our shame, confessing, and then putting it off (by way of forgiveness) to embrace a new way of being, but both are necessary components-even after justification.(This resembles Spiritual Life a little too much so I’ll stop.)

    I was trying to provide some encouragement with what helped me, due to compassion I felt because of similar issues. Take it for what it’s worth. 🙂

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