The Bible tells us “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick” (Jeremiah 17:9). The Bible also tells us belief in Christ Jesus is the cure. Belief is the cure for the sick human heart that has followed the way of sin. Belief also keeps us from sin. Belief is needed even where sin has no foothold. Proper Christian belief is about a person… or better put, persons… God Himself. The Lord speaks to this well in addressing His people in the following verses:
Jeremiah 17:5-13: “Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. 6He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. 7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. 8 He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” 9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? 10 “I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” 11 Like the partridge that gathers a brood that she did not hatch, so is he who gets riches but not by justice; in the midst of his days they will leave him, and at his end he will be a fool. 12 A glorious throne set on high from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. 13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you shall be put to shame; those who turn away from you shall be written in the earth, for they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living water” (ESV).
In the heart of a human being, belief is what we mirror. Whatever sits on the throne of one’s heart is what they are all about!
It can be any of the above things or some combination for there are many people and things we put on the throne of our heart. The result is to place self-interest over God’s intent for us. For the one who seeks and yields the throne of their heart, the Lord is the result. For the yielded heart, the believing person needs to have a growing understanding of more than rules or law or they will likely fall back into trusting flesh. Belief is more than obeying rules.
Jesus Christ put it this way: “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 5:20, NIV). Belief is more than copying behavioral instruction which many people have done to puff up their fleshly desires.
Reflecting (mirroring Him) truly occurs when we see God as Persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and reflect God in believing-faithfulness. We do this for Himself and not His blessings or just the benefit of clean living. It is lovefor God on the throne of the human heart that brings forth God’s glory.
But let’s be honest! It is hard to keep God first 24/7 because THE HUMAN HEART IS DECEITFUL AND DESPERATELY ILL. We must remember that walking in the spirit of God is dependent on our being faithful (2 John 1:4). We trust God will provide of His Spirit. God is willing to provide, but we must deny self and follow Him. Spiritually speaking, this means crucifixion of the flesh because we were created the reflect God. Yes, God is much more than we are, but the good news is we can become more like Him. It is not by our own might or some self-driven power, but by His Spirit, God Himself (Zechariah 4:6). We must always remember that salvation is a free gift and reflecting God is the goal.
You and I should never see godliness as a means for personal gain, but rather as giving back to God the glory due to Him. To live with the goal of godliness for the benefit of self is wrong. Sometimes we do just that having a bend in our human hearts towards weakness. Praise God for His Spirit in us that alone leads us out of the way of destruction. As Scripture says: “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5, ERV).
Therefore, as Paul the Apostle teaches, Let’s remember what he tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:9-12: “Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for languages, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.10 But when the perfect comes, the partial will come to an end” (HCSB).
Questions for Self-Reflection:
Are there issues in your life where your heart is deceiving you?
What or who is on the throne of your heart?
Why is belief more than “obeying rules?”
How can you open yourself to the power of the Holy Spirit to resist sin?
Is it true that we can pursue godliness for person gain? Is that possible?
In what areas do you need to surrender so that your whole will is subject to Christ?