God Don’t Give Junk

19 09 2013

We are often told: “The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9), to show us how hopelessly awful we are.

Is this truth?

Didn’t God also say, “I will remove their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh?” (Ezekiel 11:19 & 36:26)

If He did, then did He give us a faulty heart?

Really?

Does God give junk?

I don’t think so.

Didn’t James write that “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights?” (James 1:17)

Then if He gave me a new heart, it is good and not desperately wicked…

…isn’t it?

As I looked through the gospels, it seems like Jesus was speaking to unregenerate people when He talked about the deceptive heart.

For instance, Matthew 12:34 is often coupled with Jeremiah’s verse (stated above). It says, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” By which the preacher usually means, “All that rotten stuff that you’re saying…yeah, it comes from your rotten heart.”

Context, please! Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees. Just prior to this verse, He called them a “brood of vipers.”

We’ve gotten good at lifting a verse out of its context and then using it to make our point. We must learn to use the “20/20 Rule” – read the 20 verses before, and the 20 verses after any single verse and then we will know what it pertains to.

What difference does this make? It affects how I think.

If I believe that my heart is desperately wicked, then when I sin I’ll think, “Duh! I have an evil heart. What else can I expect?” When tempted, I’ll be more likely to go with it because I believe it’s still part of my makeup.

On the other hand, if I believe that God gave me a new [good and perfect] heart, then when I sin, I’ll be shocked: “What’s that doing there? This is not my heart!” When tempted, I’m going to be less inclined to do the thing because I know it’s not in line with the new heart God gave to me.

This is why the Scripture in Romans is so important:

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed…

[How?]

…by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)

My head hasn’t caught up with my heart yet. I still believe and live by lies that are contrary to my life in Christ. 

I’m not ready to make a definite stand on this point. I’m still studying and asking the Lord about it; but I must say that I’m very nearly convinced.

What convinces me most is the way I approach sin now. I don’t expect to sin because I’ve been given a new heart by my Father. Whenever I do find it (which is often, by the way), I can take a look at what I’ve done or said, and ask what lie I believed that led me to commit that sin.

Incidentally, I find myself more aware of the things I do that displease God, not less. The things that He brings to light are attitudes in my mind and lies that need to be exchanged for truth – far more often than my actions.

Actions are an outward manifestation of an inward belief.

Thanks for letting me “throw this at you today.” I’d love to hear your thoughts on this matter. Like I said, I’m not ready to set this in stone.

One thing I do know is this:

God don’t give junk!

Many thanks to John Eldredge for pointing this out in his book, Waking the Dead. If you haven’t read it, you should. It will do your heart good!

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12 responses

20 09 2013
Toni Sprandel

Put it in stone girlfriend – God don’t give junk! Love it! 🙂

20 09 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂

\o/

20 09 2013
Moore to ponder

I have written on this subject before. Some refer to it as the two-fold nature of believers that is spoken about in Romans 7 and 8. Let me know if you would like the link to that post.

Blessings,
Theresa

20 09 2013
lessonsbyheart

I would love to read your article!

\o/

20 09 2013
20 09 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks!
\o/

19 09 2013
melwild

You’re spot on! I get so annoyed with all the “I’m a no-good worm” theology. I WAS a worm, now I’m a new creation. The worm was crucified with Christ. And you’re right about how you see yourself will change how you look at sinning. I like what Bill Johnson has said, “The person who believes they’re a sinner saved by faith sins by faith.” Blessings. 🙂

19 09 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks, Mel. I truly appreciate your comments. I’m dead tired of the “worm” theology too. We’re blood-bought children of the Lord Most High. That’s hardly the description of a worm.

The way I see it, either God gave us a new heart, or He lied and didn’t. God doesn’t lie, so that means He gave us a new heart. Then, either God gives good and perfect gifts, or the words in James are a lie. His Word is truth, so that means that the heart He gave us is good and perfect. The issue must, by the process of elimination, be something other than my heart…like my flesh and my mind. It seems pretty straightforward when I state it like that. Hmm.

Like the Bill Johnson quote. I’m reading a book by one of the fellows from his church, Jason Vallotton. It’s entitled, “The Supernatural Power of Forgiveness.” It’s an excellent book!

Blessings to you as well.

\o/

19 09 2013
Eddy

Yes, Jesus may have been directing his speech (Matthew 12:34) at the Pharisees, but there were others present also. Some people tend to think that in this particular instance, Jesus was speaking about their hypocricy, but what gets me is that, while Jesus was blasting the Pharisees, he also knew that beneath the layers of their stone hearts, there was a heart of flesh.

19 09 2013
lessonsbyheart

Blasting, yes, in hopes of breaking through the stone. Thankfully, He was successful in some instances. 🙂

\o/

19 09 2013
nopew

Context: Jer. 17:5 “Cursed is the person who trusts humans…whose heart turns from the LORD.” 17:10, “I, the LORD, search minds and test hearts.” The broader context comes from Judah following idols (and teaching their children to do so) and forgetting God, while still putting on a show through the temple rituals. You can deceive people, but not God!
When God looks into my mind and heart Jesus stares back!! That’s the Good News. I can live with that.
Peace

19 09 2013
lessonsbyheart

Mmm. Me too! 🙂

\o/

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