Human nature is a tricky thing. On the one hand, we were created beautifully in the image of God, right? And our humanity is what sets us apart from the other creatures God has made, and we can do and have done wonderfully good things out of the out-pouring of our hearts. But, are we correct in assuming that what our heart tells us, even pleads and begs of us, is holy and just and righteous in the eyes of God?
Because, on the other hand, our human nature (which I’m using this term in reference to the desires which our heart would naturally lead us) can lie to us, and our heart can be wicked and so deceive us.
Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Mark 7:21-23 – For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
Ecclesiastes 9:3 – This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of men, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead.
So, this means that there are times in which we must deny our hearts of it’s desires! Because, ultimately, we are either living to please ourselves (and our hearts) or living to please and serve God.
Proverbs 16:9 – In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.
Which brings us to a word that I’ve been thinking so much about these past few months, a word that so many “Christians” would like to simply side-step for the sake of convenience, selfishness, “modernism”, and whatever other reasons they can think of: Sacrifice.
Let’s look at this in terms of an earthly love relationship. If you are un-willing to sacrifice, to set yourself and your own desires aside at times for the sake of your partner, then many people would argue as to whether you are really LOVING that person.
So, why is it any different with God? If I am un-willingly to take the things he says seriously, and to set aside my own agenda and my own desires, then IS HE REALLY MY GOD, or do I BECOME MY OWN GOD?? If I decide that because my heart desires certain things that the Word of God speaks of as sin, that I’m just going to side-step and ignore those parts of the Bible, but believe other parts that don’t challenge my choices in life, then, sorry to rattle some cages, but I don’t really have the right to call myself a follower of Christ. I have more of a “Buffet-Style” spirituality, which, ultimately, puts ME in charge of what’s right and wrong, and therefore, I am my own God.
So…are you willing to give up your rights to follow God? And if not, who are you following?…
Matthew 16:24 – Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.