Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Heart Turns Away, Part 2

Chuckle: "Patient: Doc, what should I do with all the gold and silver in my mouth? Dentist: Don't smile in a bad neighborhood."
Quote: "(God) You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they rest in you." --St Agustine of Hippo
"But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen for (wilt not hear) my voice and are not obedient), and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship (serve) them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed" (Deuteronomy 30:17 combined KJV, NIV, NLT).
Our passage shows the classic pattern for God's people rebelling against Him. This is how it happens.
First, The heart turns away from God. This is the first step in a fractured fellowship with God. Our hearts and minds can be drawn away by selfish ambition, materialism, worldly standards of success, or pursuit of sensual pleasures. The same principle applies to marriage partners. Often, the first step in a troubled marriage occurs when the heart of one partner turns away from the other. What happens when our hearts turn away from God?
Second, We no longer hear God's voice. Communications with God cease. We no longer lift our voices to God in prayer and praise, and we don't want to hear Him speaking to us for fear He will ask us to do something we've already decided we don't want to do. We may stop attending church where we might hear God speak to us. We may reason that as long as we don't hear God, we're not faced with the decision whether or not to obey Him. We become disobedient by not hearing and heeding God's voice. Likewise, communications will stop between marriage partners when the heart of one has turned away. As a pastor and marriage counselor, I've often heard, "he/she doesn't listen to (hear) me any more."
Third, We begin to disobey God. Godly principles that once guided our lives become less important and we no longer obey God's commands. Sadly, if our hearts are far enough away, we may no longer feel guilty about our disobedience because we don't hear God's Spirit dealing with us. The attitude of our hearts and minds control our spiritual ears.
Fourth, We create substitutes for God. When anything takes precedence over our love relationship with our Lord, we have created "other gods." Not only is God dishonored, but we lose the joy of our salvation and daily fellowship with our Lord. This joy can only be restored by making a conscious decision to turn our hearts back toward God, listen intently for His voice, and obey Him. Then our fellowship with Him will be restored and great joy will fill our lives.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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