Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cleansing of Our Hearts

As the Lord speaks to Jeremiah in chapter 9, it only deepens the sadness and sorrow for his people in Judea and Jerusalem. He must've been totally exhausted much of the time, from his intense weeping for these people. It shows to me, that his heart was as the heart of God - he had a real love for the people, and wanted so badly for them to turn their hearts back to the Lord.

Today's verses are 10 -16 - where the Lord continues to outline the coming events to the land and of it's people.

"I will weep and wail for the mountains and take up a lament concerning the desert pastures. They are desolate and untraveled and the lowing of cattle is not heard. The birds of the air have fled and the animals are gone.

'I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a haunt of jackals, and I will lay waste the towns of Judah so no one can live there. What man is wise enough to understand this? Who has been instructed by the Lord and can explain it? Why has the land been ruined and laid waste like a desert that no one can cross?

The Lord said, "It is because they have forsaken my law, which I set before them; they have not obeyed me or followed my law. Instead, they have followed the stubbornness of their hearts; they have followed the Baals, as their fathers taught them. Therefore, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "See, I will make this people eat bitter food and drink poisoned water. I will scatter them among nations that neither they nor their fathers have known, and I will pursue them with the sword until I have destroyed them".

God was about to scatter the Jews, leaving their own land desolate. They had defiled their land by their constant sin and rebellion, and it seems to me that the Lord was doing a purging and cleansing of everything, so he could later bring it back to what he intended it to be - a place of worship to Him.
The Lord does this within our hearts - his Holy Spirit shows us our sin, and brings us to a place where it can be purged and cleansed, making it a pure place of worship of our Lord. When we feel the conviction of sin, it is best if we act on it immediately with a repentant heart. We don't want our hearts to become cold and hard towards the Lord, which can and does happen when one continues to ignore the conviction of the Holy Spirit. It puts a wedge in our relationship to the Lord and makes us spiritually stagnant. Jeremiah's people had gotten to that stagnant place, and we have seen, and will continue to see what will come of them because of it.

Everytime there is a hard lesson speaking of the judgment of God, I battle Satan 's little imps about posting this on my blog; I get this sense of "you don't want to post more of that, do you? People will quit reading your blog and they get tired of hearing about God's judgment."

It's then that I know I MUST keep going, because to not point out that there are consequences of sin, would be for me to disobey the Lord in sharing what He is telling me, and fall into the trap of listening to and obeying the voices of darkness.

Our world has become a place where this generation is coddled, and taught that to speak of things like sin and judgment, could cause injury to one's self esteem. It's pride at it's best - and the author of that sin was thrown from Heaven because of his pride. He was and is egotistic, and has deceived our world into the same mindset.

People are hungry for answers, and the world tells them things that tickle their ears, in order to bring about peace. For those of us who are Christians, we know that this "tickling of the ears" benefits no one, and that the "peace" that is so often promised in order to keep rioting from breaking loose, is a false sense of peace.

I will not attempt to "tickle the ears" of anyone. I have been called to teach straight from God's word, and at times his word has to point out sin, if we want to be freed from it.

Ask the Lord to show you places in your heart that are in need of his purging.
Psalm 51 is a psalm of David, after his sin of adultery with Bathsheba. He came to a place of knowing his need to repent and be forgiven by the Lord. Let this be our prayer for ourselves today.
"Have mercy on me O God,
according to your unfailing love, according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquities and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
Against you, and you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness, let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me".

This psalm goes on for several more verses, and I hope you will read it in its entirety.
Let today be the day that we all say, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me".

No comments: