Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Lord break our hearts with the things that break yours.....(Really?)

They said to me, ‘........ The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.’ When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. (Nehemiah 1:3-4 NIV)

Lord, it's so easy to mock or even inwardly rejoice when we see some parts of your church in a state of disrepair ( especially when it's parts we disagree with or don't like)

Like Nehemiah we should be driven to tears!

When we say ( because it's trendy to say it) "Lord break our hearts with the things that break yours" our unspoken sub text or assumption can be that these things will always fall in line with things we actually want to be heartbroken about - starving children, blatant injustice and so on. 

It's not really hard to be broken hearted over these things - although it is definitely right to be. However, what about when we are secretly pleased at a certain event or circumstance but God is heart broken over then do we react? 

Are we even capable of recognising it as something that breaks Gods heart? 

Amongst all our spiritual sounding words and songs, we forget how easily that we can make it all about us whilst all along persuading ourselves that we are all about Him...

Lord, deliver us continually from our deceitful hearts.........

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9 NIV)

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Seeking and success

He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the LORD, God gave him success. (2 Chronicles 26:5 NIVUK)

How nice if the formula was that simple: You + seeking God = success in everything

Who wouldn't be a Christian? 

But let's hold on a minute and consider a few things. Firstly God knows the hearts of men & women. He knows they are deceitful above all things and He knows only too well our proclivity for self deceit and self interest ( yes, even us).....

Jeremiah 17:9 NIV
[9] The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

God knows if we are seeking Him because it is really our hearts desire to be in His presence come what may....and this we see at the end of  Habakkuk:

Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV
[17] Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, [18] yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.

Here is a man who is intent upon seeking God whatever the future may hold . There is no pretending to have his heart set on God but really it's a front for seeking success.....

So, what is being said and what is meant in this 2 Chron 26? 
Well I believe it's not complicated but nor is it superficially formulaic.

If the desire of our heart is God, and our first and only priority is to seek and do His will, to find and follow His agenda, then, to the extent of our integrity in this,we will be successful in what He calls us to do. Simples?