Monday, July 4, 2016

Hardened Hearts

I write commentary nearly every day. It's discouraging because others have preconceived ideas on the meaning of scripture, don't care what it says or twist it to suit their lifestyle. In doing so rather than bring their beliefs in line with truth, they endeavor to change truth to fit their mindset!

Sometimes I feel that I waste my time revealing the word to those who merely perceive that they understand. They don't! I don't! It's hard work to understand God's will because we all have a barrier. Just as the Burger King slogan says "Have it your way," we too want it "our way"! That's human nature and is called "original sin" because Adam and Eve wanted God,  but they wanted God "their way". As such they were prideful and they became gods in their own eyes. Ever since every person ever born have a "god complex". They put their own desires above God's will!

My commentary is just that. It's an opinion on how to live according to the word. As with anything written, it must be put in context, interpreted and be internally consistent. It can't mean something for one era and something else in another era. Scripture is timeless and God is unchanging! However, I use Greek Lexicons, dictionaries, history, the writings of the church fathers, others commentary and prayer to understand Holy Scripture. Coupled with that I let God out of the box in which we have put him, sacrifice my own preconceived notions and even convict myself using God's inspired words. I approach God's Word humbly (as I can because humility is a lofty tower which when reached we fall), and submit to God my pride! If I have a sinful attitude or behavior before I proceed I repent and ask God for forgiveness and discernment! Even with that my humanity steps on my desire because the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (Apostle Paul).

If I am to err in my commentary I favor erring toward God's will than my perception because we all must be aware that Satan's helpers sole job is to deceive God's creation!

With all that said, it is my perception that ministerial days are ending. Preachers can preach with all their heart and teachers can teach with all their strength, but hard hearts are impenetrable.  Why? Because it interferes with the appeasement of one's true god; their own self whose idol is the flesh! Those gods demand pleasure and the flesh appeases them!  These other gods are appeased by lust, desire, drunkenness, drug use, abortion, hate of others, love of self, rebellion to rules, unnatural behaviors, false knowledge and on and on! At the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil our forebears learned how to rationalize with their new ability. Ever since even those who claim to be children of God twist his word for their own pleasure just as Adam and Eve did!

Christians even today still have that mentality! If God's Word encroaches upon people's ideas, it's God who must give way. Of course most "Christians" are not truly Christians because they fail to accept God as he is; they create a God as they understand him! Their understanding is tinged by pride, false knowledge, pleasure, prestige, education, ignorance and rebellion. We're asked to present ourselves a living sacrifice to God, but then we carry a spiritually dead corpse to the altar still stained with sin and ask God "accept me as I am because I'm not going to change!"

Those who reject God have various reasons, but their methods are all the same! They harden their hearts. That is difficult to explain, but it's an innate stubbornness which people have. It results from God's sword attempting to pierce our own selfish God. It's showing Satan the breach in our armor. In effect it's putting on Satan's lead shield to keep the Word from piercing! I know of what I speak! I have done that many times, but make a point not to do it! In times of old God allowed divorce, for instance. Not because it's his will, but because of hard hearts of those who claim him as God! Hearts haven't gotten any softer since then. There is nothing new under the sun!
Ephesians 4:18 ESV "They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart."
In essence rebellious people put on blinders so they don't have to change! The outcome should be, according to scripture, is changed hearts and becoming a new person. People want God, but they don't want the change which is supposed to happen. Rejection of change is what hard hearts cause! Hard hearts don't accept truth and cloud their own reasoning. They fail to accept God's Light and their minds and hearts remain in the darkness of ignorance and rejection. That's a dangerous place to be; neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm. God will spew you out of his mouth (Apostle John).

There is a solution to a hardened heart. With my own I prayed and cried "Let me change, Lord. Remove this burden from my soul!" He honored that and I was able to cry in contrition. No, not every time, but I know that I am safe if I feel guilt for sin.  That's a good  thing and is God's Holy Spirit at work! As with me he can help you too because he tells us so:
Ezekiel 36:26 (ESV) "And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."

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