Monday, July 23, 2007

The Haunted Heart

It is becoming increasingly apparent to me that my heart is "deceitful above all things." Whether it be through sin in my life, books I've read, sermons I've heard, or an accountability partners wisdom, God continues to show me the painful truth about myself. I am the worst sinner that I know. Denial of this only succeeds in confirming it. Here is what Kris Lundgaard has to say about the matter:

The heart is a maze that only God can solve. Computers can't decipher its floor plan. We modestly admit we don't know someone else's heart, but the truth is that we can't even know our own. Do you always know why you choose chocolate over vanilla? Why one day your passions sizzle and another you're a dead leaf in the wind? Can you number all the events and images that impress your heart and make it lean this way or that? Haven't you been surprised by the insincerity and even intrigue you've found in your heart?

en more scary than being horrified by your own heart is the prospect of examining it and not being disturbed in the least. How often this is the case with myself. I make a passing glance at my heart and proclaim, "not guilty!" But scripture clearly disputes this on all accounts. Our need for a savior stems directly the wickedness that abides in every man's soul. Lundgaard elaborates on this,

But the heart is more than complicated and unsearchable: it is "deceitful above all things. Every night Tom Brokaw tells us about shady politics and business scams. People finding loopholes in the law to use their sweat-earned money to build stately pleasure domes in Xanadu. But the sleaziest back-room Mafia deal can't equal the deceitfulness in you heart. The heart is deceitful above all things. Do you doubt it? Think how fickle you are. One day you're a sage, the next a clown. You can be open and cheery or reserved and gloomy, easy to get along with or a real crank, romantic or frosty, One day Jesus is all the world to you; the next, you love the world more than King Midas did.

For me, this is one of those passages of literature that you read and immediately become convicted. Countless times I have told myself that tonight I will guard my actions and watch my tongue when hanging out with friends only to find myself an hour later literally eating those words and making a fool of myself. For many, this paints a picture of exasperation and hopelessness. However, for Christians this is not the case at all. Once again, Kris Lundgaard explains this very effectively,

As endless and complicated as this war is, believers rush in with confidence: the Holy Spirit takes the horror out of the horror show. We don't know our hearts, but he does (Psalm 139). He is a blazing torch we carry into the haunted house, and he ferrets our the monsters. He leads us into a closet and under the stairs and uncovers seething hatred. He shines under the bed and exposes a sniveling lust. No sin escapes his searching eye.

The joy of being a Christian is that "God is for us, who can be against us?" Not even the sin in our hearts. In light of all of this however, it is import to note that sanctification, though inspired and carried out by God's grace, must be accompanied by action on our parts. Just as our sin is constantly barraging our hearts, we must be actively seeking the grace and wisdom of our Lord. God has given us many instruments by which this can be accomplished; through prayer, the church, and most importantly, by the Word of God. Let our prayer be that of David in Psalm 139,

"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."



Lana said...

Thanks so much for sharing this Kyle. I was deeply convicted AND encouraged. How humbling to know I am daily deceived by my own heart and yet I have hope because of what Christ did and Him sending His Holy Spirit to help us see ourselves through God's eyes. I was reading about this very topic in the Pursuit of Holiness last night so this was a great follow up to that!

Jenn Romanski said...

"mmmmm… the sound of convicting words and grounded theology, they always go down smooth."

Solid stuff Kyle. Especially the part about declaring one's own heart not guilty. How many times do we notice the speck in our brothers eye, and yet live totally oblivious to the giant log in our own? Or, I think even worse, is when we see our sin and are not grieved over it. How I pray that I would grieve for my sin-that it would pain me that I brought anguish to my Lord, Jesus Christ.

By the way, where are those quotes from?

kyle said...

thanks for the encouragement girls. The quotes are from Kris's book, "The Enemy Within." Great book. get and read it. New attitude is actually featuring and interview with him on their blog right now I think. Check it out.

amber said...

"The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:5

ahh...decietfully wicked is the heart from the very beginning