Proverbs 21 4-21-20

Looking like Jesus in a Christ-less world: Do you feel His calling? Are you motivated? Are you connected?

2 A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart.

Our hearts are the center of our being. The heart is the filter for everything we think, say and do. It is the amplifier of every feeling we have, every craving (good or bad). We are self-centered beings, so we can be called self-hearted beings.

When we gave the Lord Jesus our hearts and He came to live in them, our hearts were quickened–made alive. Jesus “replaced” our cold, dead hearts of stone with new, living hearts of flesh, hearts that could feel Him and would pump new and fresh blood–His blood– through them. Based on Ezekiel 36:26-27 and 1 John 1:7.

Why is this concept important? Because it’s the basis of our motivation. Without Jesus in our hearts and our hearts beating with His heart, we have NO motivation to be godly. Read verse 4 from today’s chapter and then view verses 5-8 with it in mind. What you will see is that a haughty and proud heart (self-centered and liking it) and a fallow field (one that has not been worked by the Holy Spirit) will NOT produce anything righteous, but only wickedness (things contrary to God).

Jeremiah dealt with people who knew the law and heart of God, but had no desire to be righteous nor to please Him as He prescribed. Instead, they did the minimum and then did what they wanted–a dangerous attitude!

16 This is what the Lord says:

“Stand at the crossroads and look;
    ask for the ancient paths [God’s ways from the beginning],
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
    and you will find rest for your souls.
    But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
17 I appointed watchmen over you and said,
    Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’
    But you said, ‘We will not listen.’
18 Therefore hear, you nations;
    you who are witnesses,
    observe what will happen to them.
19 Hear, you earth:
    I am bringing disaster on this people,
    the fruit of their schemes,
because they have not listened to my words
    and have rejected my law.
20 What do I care about incense from Sheba
    or sweet calamus from a distant land?
Your burnt offerings are not acceptable;
    your sacrifices do not please me.”

The people of Israel and Judah would sacrifice to God on the prescribed days and in the prescribed ways, but their hearts were far from Him. They would go through the ceremonies and then rush home to their sin. They missed the entire point of the sacrifices. They had no desire to please God. It would be easy to say, “Well, they had no Holy Spirit in them to cause them to desire God and godly things.” True, but what about David? He stands in judgement of them and holds them accountable because he was just like them, yet he was a man after God’s own heart. See 1 Samuel 13:14 and Acts 13:22.

We have the Holy Spirit, Jesus Himself, inside us and, yet, we fight the same internal fight that the Israelites did! We want to get done with God’s will and get on with our own desires, with feeding our flesh. “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” James 3:10. How do we move from where we are to where we ought to be?

  1. Check your heart and make sure that Jesus is there!
  2. If He is, then give Him the throne of your life.
  3. Sit at His feet and enjoy His nearness; study His face; feel His love and pleasure in you; determine in your heart to be just like Him and acknowledge His continuous (ever-present) participation in your life.
  4. Encourage that prompting of the Spirit to be zealous for Him. Be a person after God’s own heart. “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” Romans 12:11

Do you want living waters flowing out of you? Do you want to shine like stars in the universe? Do you want to be just like Jesus? Then, let’s get busy!

Abba, I answer “yes” to all of these questions. May You motivate me throughout today to think like You, act like You, and be like You. It’s a tall order, Lord, but I know You’re up to the task. I can feel you say, “Challenge accepted.” May the words to this song be the anthem of my heart: “Change my heart, O God, make it ever true; change my heart, O God, may I be like You.” Amen.

Change My Heart, O God-Maranatha

 

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