by David Brenneman
King David was known as a man after God's own heart.
There have been several movies and probably more than enough television shows that present a world other than what you see. Illusionists make a living out of making people see something other than what they think they see.
Was reading in Psalms and Romans today. I, for the first time, caught a verse that in light of the picture I used today, stood out. Psalms 72:20 NASB "The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended."
It was the end of a chapter, as we parsed them out to be, on the Righteous King.
We have the Righteous King in King Jesus. Scripture says it is He who searches the hearts. He doesn't have to imagine what's going on in you. Let that thought sink in. He does not have to imagine what is going on in your heart.
He already knows. He knows your very intentions that are right, real and true about you that you haven't even shared with yourself. In Him is no shifting shadow. There is no deception. He doesn't deceive nor can you deceive Him.
We often don't take stock of our hearts. We are quick to point out memories of hurts by others or successes in our lives. We do not look to what it is Jesus is doing in our hearts and minds.
He has our sanctification in mind, always, not part of the time.
We aren't here, honestly, to do our best for ourselves, our families, our employers, those we run into on the streets. Colossians 3 says as unto the Lord. I try to have that mindset. I have had several Godly men counsel me in the wisdom that I am not identified by my failures or my successes. I am defined by who I am in Christ Jesus.
In one such movie that was technically claiming that purgatory exists...there were good and bad versions of it. We know that purgatory no longer exists after Jesus arose from the dead. We know that this movies premise isn't true. Another lie of Satan to distract. So why bring it up? Because we all have wrong ideas about this life and many have a wrong idea of what's coming.
We who are in Christ, have Christ within us, working to make us more like Christ. Unfortunately painful experiences are part of that process. We, by our very nature, prefer the darkness. Darkness is sin. Jesus exposes sin. Sin is what put Jesus on the cross. Those who die without salvation in Christ must pay for their own sins. Without salvation in Christ Jesus there was no other way to cancel the debt that sin created.
Coming to Christ for salvation is but the beginning. Jesus told the Disciples that they would be fisher's of men. Lives would forever be changed because of them and the work they would do in Jesus name.
We often don't look at our hearts as something needing an extreme home makeover. We are quite fond of how our hearts are. We really think we can give really good suggestions on improvements to our hearts to God. That we know JUST what would make this or that better. We point to those happy times in our lives as evidence. Jesus smiles and says you haven't seen anything yet.
We then go through some very rough times. Rough waters as I have been having in recent months. In deciding to move to where we are it had everything to do with our sanctification. It certainly wasn't happening where we used to live. Unhappiness with brief moments of happiness somewhat describes 21 years. Going church to church in search of a place to grow in Christ Jesus.
No company had my sanctification in mind. No group of people outside of the churches we tried had our sanctification in Christ Jesus in mind. A few people that God caused to cross paths with us encourage us to give it to God. To trust in what God was leading us to.
We don't really realize that part of Psalms 23. Leading us through the valley of the shadow of death...means quite often us kicking and screaming all the way. We often don't realize it's not by the hand that Jesus leads us through, but by the scruff of the neck. We either lament the place we are or would get too comfortable there. Jesus has no intention of leaving anyone in that valley. It's as abrasive as it needs to be to bring about our sanctification. That's its only use. To help us become more like Christ and maybe a few others along the way.
We really need to take off the rose colored glasses. To quit with the wishful thinking. Jesus has more in mind for us in Him than we can possibly imagine..
Our hurts and our good times do not define us. We are identified as children of God. We are joint heirs with Jesus to the kingdom of God. We aren't who Satan tries to convince us that we are.
In Christ I am a new creation.
In Christ I am loved by my Father in Heaven.
In Christ I am loved by my Savior.
In Christ I have salvation that's secured by the Spirit of God.
In Christ I am not criticized.
In Christ I am being changed into the likeness of Christ by His work in me.
In Christ Jesus I have more love than I can ever know what to do with.
In Christ Jesus.
Examining your life, your heart, you see what you have been making important in your life. If it isn't what Jesus thinks of you, is it worth your time? If what you find in your heart isn't glorifying God, is it worth your time? The definition of repentance is to turn away and go the opposite direction. To stop what you are doing and replace it with something beneficial to your growth in Christ Jesus. Jesus will give you the opportunity to willingly let go of what isn't for your sanctification. To a point. If you're resisting, it will get really uncomfortable. Jesus loves you and I too much to leave our filthiness on us. Be it our clothing or our lifestyle.
Go through your heart. Even look at what you ask for in prayer. Do you honestly treat the Spirit as your personal Butler? Do you at all have a grateful or thankful heart? Do you lift up the name of Jesus or ?
Take a tour of your heart. Ask Jesus what else needs to go if you're daring enough. We are His workmanship. Workmanship has the understanding that it's continual thing as long as we have these imperfect bodies. Read it for yourself in other parts of the Bible, but Jesus said essentially that what God starts, God finishes. Nothing that He begins does He ever not complete. Scripture says He that began a good work in you will continue it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6.
We may indeed face rough days. Rough seasons. But we will never remain in those rough times or seasons. We will be scrubbed for sure. Removing what isn't going to help us grow in Christ.
As you look around your heart, take a serious inventory of what you find.
Don't get caught up in pointing to a painful past. Your painful past isn't who you are.
Don't get caught up in pointing to those things you think you did right. Those only might have helped you become more like Christ.
Keep your eyes on your Savior and your Lord. Not on what you understand because our understanding and His aren't the same. Jesus knows every conceivable outcome of every thought and intention we and every breathing human being can have. He is working out our sanctification and working out what it's taking to fulfill the Scriptures. That's it. It's honestly not peace on Earth, goodwill towards men.
As a friend pointed to yesterday, are you seeing the fruits of the Spirit in your life in the last week? If not, why not? If we are to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, those things ought to be growing in us.
What do you find in your tour? Ask Jesus for His help in letting go of those things that aren't causing growth in Christ Jesus.
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