Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Bible as a Scalpel

The word of God is living and active and should be living in active in our lives. Our willingness to allow God to apply the Bible and its words to our hearts is the beginning of a miraculous change God desires to make in our hearts. Though the western world is saturated in the Word of God, it is even more saturated with the lies of the enemy. These lies appeal to our fleshly desires, and our flesh in turn appeals to our heart: 

The world appeals to the desires of our flesh: 1 John 2:16. 

These desires and lusts work themselves into our hearts, result in sin and wreak havoc in our lives: James 4:1-3. 

The seat of these desires is the heart. Our flesh is unredeemed it will always want sin. It has no understanding, it has no consideration of the things of God, but it only controls us if we set our hearts on its desires. If we sin, we sin from the heart: Matthew 15:19. 

Our actions and words come from our hearts; it is the heart that defines us and defines our actions. If our fleshly desires sit on the throne of our hearts it will produce sin and unrighteousness. If Christ sits on the throne of our heart, He will produce Himself in our lives: Luke 6:45.

We must set our hearts and minds to seek the Lord and his pleasure rather than our own (the desires of our flesh). God commands us to seek Him from the heart, from the inner man where our affections lie: 2 Chronicles 2:14 

Part of seeking the Lord with our heart is studying His word and His commands. Ezra sought the Lord by studying His word and applying it to his own heart: Ezra 7:10.

But we cannot trust in our own heart and mind: Proverbs 28:26 (KJV). Our heart clings to affections and blinds us to our own bondage and our own affections. The lies of the enemy work to keep us from rooting out the source of our sin. Only God can sanctify us and cut out the roots of sin in our lives through His word and the Holy Spirit's sanctifying work in our lives.

Hebrews 4:11-13 

The Word of God is a scalpel piercing the hardness of our hearts and cutting out the evil desires and lusts that work themselves into our lives through our flesh. Hebrews 4:12 states that the Word of God is alive. It is a living scalpel searching our hearts. It is sharper than any two edged sword. It cuts in both directions, destroying the lies of the enemy and convicting the hearts of others even as it cuts our own heart, penetrating our desires and paring our affections down until Christ is our simple, single love. It pierces the joints and the marrow: the soft nourishing places that exist surrounded by hard bone. It strikes through the hardness of our hearts to the inner life. It discerns and knows our thoughts, affections, desires and intentions. We can always fool ourselves, we cannot fool the word of God applied by the Holy Spirit. It knows our hearts, and it shines the light into the darkest parts of our heart, illuminating the source of God's displeasure with our lives. Hebrews 4:13: it gives us no excuse. We clearly read. We clearly hear. We are empowered to understand and we must give account for the Word's success or failure in our lives as we either succumb to this painful surgery or resist the operating table and dodge the scalpel.

So how shall we respond. How shall we invite the Word to work in this way. We must count the cost, prepare for the sweet pain of the Word's work and pray with David: Psalm 139:23-24.

Search me, O God, and know my heart!
    Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,

   and lead me in the way everlasting!

"We will never make any progress in becoming more like Jesus unless we permit God to cut us open, search our hearts, try us, know our thoughts and then change us from the inside. Only then can we become real according to the word of God.
That reality will make us powerful witnesses for Jesus, even if we don't say a word. We will be so transparent and so genuine that if the world around us tries us with fire, we will come out as glittering gold.
If you truly desire this reality, stop looking to plans and activities as your solution. Begin today to call out to the Lord as David did. Say, 'Lord Jesus, cut me open. Please search my heart, try me, know my thoughts, reveal to me who I am, and change me, at any cost to become what Your Word says I ought to be.' Believe me, there is no prayer the Lord delights to answer for His people than this one!
There is no anesthesia for this radical surgery."
-K.P. Yohannan Founder and President of Gospel for AsiaReflecting His Image

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