Monday, January 4, 2021

Is Your Faith In Your Head Or In Your Heart?

if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9

There is a difference between knowing something and believing something. You can acknowledge Jesus is who He is and did what He did in your mind but knowing in your mind is not enough.  Head knowledge versus heart knowledge.  Many people go to church and fill their heads with information about God and faith, but it never makes it to the heart. Faith rests in the heart. It is that thing that causes you to act in ways that confound the natural world. To trust .. to have confidence when every natural thing around you shouts that you should not. Our mind is the gateway to our heart.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” – Proverbs 4:23

We used to have that verse sitting on top of our television. Our five senses are the means by which that which is external finds its way to our mind and eventually to our hearts.  Because of technology, what is on the outside has greater access to what is on the inside.  I must confess that I struggle with the enticement of accepting what I know to be contrary to the Word of God to enter my home and my thoughts. Before I was born again, profanity was a part of my vocabulary much like drinking excessively was part of my social life and private life. Typing those words seems like I am talking about someone else – I suppose in a way, I am.

“… do not give the devil a foothold… ” – Ephesians 4:27

That is all he wants – just a little bit of our attention – he will take it from there. Someone once said “Give the Devil an inch and he will become the ruler.” It is a full time job guarding your heart and your devotion to God. Your senses and your mind are bombarded with temptations to embrace the world.  The temptation to compromise your relationship with your Father. 

When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” – James 1:13-15

What may seem to be an innocent flirtation is actually the Siren’s song to sail your heart into the rocks.  What seems to be “really not a big deal” is actually your old nature being tempted. Think about this. When Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted (Matthew 4:1-11) it was Jesus – the man – that was being tempted because you know that God cannot be tempted. And so it is our old nature that is tempted – not our new nature.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20

We must be careful that we do not let the things of this world, things that our old nature is willing to embrace, to find their way to our hearts. What is it that you are clinging to? Those things that if someone should tell you that what you are doing or saying is contrary to the new life you have been called to, make you defensive? Do you bristle up at the thought that someone – anyone, would challenge what you have decided is OK? When we first moved into the house we presently live in, the backyard was overtaken be peppervine.  Think Texas Kudzu.  We started fighting the plant at the point that is revealed itself, which was everywhere, but our daughter told us that we had to find the root ball.  The place where the plant originated with remove it. That is the way that the sins that we embrace are.  They are symptomatic .. they pop up in our lives but their root is what we must deal with. That which is giving birth to our sin.

Why am I writing this? Well, because I felt the Spirit prompt me to. Allowing the influence of the world into my life is something that I must defend my heart from. I imagine that you have the same struggle. Why is it important? Because we are called to be salt and light in a world that desperately needs Jesus.

You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” – Matthew 5:13

We are living in a desperate time in our generation – our tendency is to focus on the trouble – but what we should be doing is focusing on being salt and light in a world that has no hope.  Look to Jesus. Guard your heart. Trust in the Lord and not your own understanding. In all your ways – that is all your ways not some of them – acknowledge God – and His right to be preeminent in your life. Resist the Devil.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” – Philippians 4:6-8

Shine Bright my friend and glorify God with your life.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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