Monday, February 9, 2015

Regarding the hard heart

I've found that few things are mysterious as the bent and disposition of my own heart. Is the condition of my heart something that I can influence, or am I lost to its whims and desires? When I follow the story of Saul, what breaks my heart is that he knew God was real. He knew God's plan for Israel was David. Yet with this knowledge he could never actually transition his heart and life to come alongside these truths.

What is more frustrating - all that David did, all of his innocence, all the words spoken by Samuel, Jonathan, all of the tragedies experienced by the inaugural king of Israel... none of this affected his heart in the least, other than to harden it further.

So I have a confession to make: I don't know what I think about praying for the lost. Hear me out, I'm not jumping around.

Normally, this is the point where we conclude, "It is only God who can change hearts, so pray to Him save the lost!"

And this is a fantastic conclusion but for one thing: I cannot think of a single place in Scripture where this example is given. In the midst of all the prayers recorded for us, I cannot think of one where Paul, Jesus, Peter, or John actually stop and pray for those whose hearts are hard.

Instead, their prayers revolve around the glory of God and the hearts of His children.

With all this said, there is an established orthodoxy of praying for the lost in the world. Is it tantamount to heresy to doubt?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

You know that time in life when you reach the point you had always anticipated to be the goal line only to find that it is simply marked the start of a marathon?

Yeah. I'm right there.

The difference is that this is more of a 100 yard dash drawn out over 5 months. This is necessary, methinks.

From running, priorities are crystalized. Breathing? Check. Water (but not in excess)? Check. Quality shoes? Check.

Conversation is limited to what is vital. What we bear is limited to what is needed to finish the race without violating propriety. In I Samuel 7, Israel had been beaten over and over and over by the Philistines, and they were threatened again. Samuel's response to the crises: Figure out what you actually need. Let me help you out - it's God. Get rid of anything in your heart or lives that is competing with Him.

I want both. Always my heart lingers on the luxury and addictions that give a temporary shot of joy at the end of the day.

It is fascinating how our hearts see this truth in the crises, yet so quickly deny it in the mundane.