Proverbs 17:3 “The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.” (KJV)
Hear the word of the Lord.
Expect God’s help.
Act with confidence.
Reflect the love of God.
Transform the world.
God is keenly interested in the condition of our hearts. From the beginning of time God has been examining mankind and judging us according to our heart. This heart is not the blood-pumping center of our circulatory system, but rather the center of our emotional, intellectual, and spiritual existence. We are talking about our spiritual navigation system. At creation God placed within us His compass. However, we did not choose to accept it as our own. We, or rather Adam, decided his way was more exciting and caused each of us to suffer as the result. Mankind entered a downward spiral because of the freewill choice of disobedience. (Genesis 6:5)
Every time we exercise our freewill the result will be one of two outcomes. We will either make positive choices resulting in good; or, we will make negative choices resulting in evil. The deciding factor is our HEART –– Hear the word of the Lord. Expect God’s help. Act with confidence. Reflect the love of God. Transform the world.
If we are choosing to listen and apply the discipline of Christian discipleship we begin with the authority of God’s word. Hearing is the natural function of our auditory cortex. Hearing happens automatically, but listening requires concentration and accurate processing of information. We often hear things and have no recognition of the source or importance of what we are hearing. One example of this can be found in Luke chapter 11. As Jesus was teaching, a woman in the crowd was so moved by what she was hearing she made a misinformed judgment and began shouting about how blessed His mother was. Jesus’ response can be found in verse 28. Clearly, hearing the word of the Lord is the starting point of this journey, but it must be followed by obedience. The power and authority demonstrated in the life of Jesus should move us from simply hearing the word of the Lord into intense listening followed by obedience. (Luke 11:28)
Jesus said we would be blessed if we heard and obeyed the word of the Lord. God is still testing the hearts of men. The command is that we hear the word, apply it to our lives, and change our direction. If upon hearing His word we choose to obey, we will be truly blessed. The problem is we have wicked hearts.
Unless something is done to change the condition of our heart we will never be able to accomplish what God desires for us. The transformation of our hearts requires a miracle. Are we listening to hear His word? God is speaking today through the scripture. He is speaking today through those who proclaim His truth from the many pulpits around the world. He is speaking today through the lives of committed Christians in every walk of life. His desire is that we, His ordinary everyday people, accomplish extraordinary things in His name. In order for that to happen we require two essential elements: 1. Hearing the word of the Lord today, and 2. Obeying it.
Any of the many extraordinary things God is calling us to be and to accomplish are impossible without His help. The change of our heart is only made possible through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Hearing the word of the Lord is only made possible when we listen with ears anointed by the Holy Spirit and we begin to recognize the impossibility of the task without His help. We need a miracle! Expect God’s help today with whatever you face. The miracle is available. God has planned for and provided all we need. (Ezekiel 11:19)
Everything we need, to do what God wants done is provided by Him. He gives to us a heart focused upon His desire. He provides for us a new spirit (the Holy Spirit) and the compassion we need to get the job done. Beyond that, God Himself has promised to keep us from harm and watch over every activity in our daily lives. Begin to walk in the fullness of His promises. (Psalm 121:7-8)
God keeps us from harm while we follow His wisdom. His promise does not cover all the fool hearty things we can think of following our own plans. In other words, we cannot test God by jumping off a bridge or building, but His promise does apply when we are walking in His will for our lives. God has us where he wants us and as long as we are there we can expect His help and act with confidence. H – Hear the word of the Lord. E – Expect God’s help.
God required Joshua to overcome his fear and avoid discouragement. Does He ask less of us? Christianity has always been under attack, but that attack in the last few years has become more noticeable. The value base within society is changing. What was once unthinkable is now commonplace and even expected. We must act courageously and confidently to transform the mindset that surrounds us. God is at work to accomplish His plan. It is time to boldly answer the call of God. (Joshua 1:9)
None of us knows what the future holds; yet, we know Who holds our future. The plan God has for each of us is specifically designed to fit our God-given abilities and our willingness to act with confidence. There is a more excellent way of life; we, as the children of God, are the examples of it to the world around us. God has called us to shine His light in the darkness. When we respond to the word of the Lord with confidence we are able to clearly reflect the love of God because we have His help. I cannot and will not presume to tell anyone God’s plan for them in step-by-step detail, but I will repeat the commands of scripture. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified.” –– Step out in faith! Expect God’s help. Everything is possible and the resources are there. Examine your HEART in the light of His Word. H – Hear the word of the Lord. E – Expect God’s help. A – Act with confidence.
Reflecting the love of God means that we will be changed into the likeness of His Son. Understanding that we are the reflection of Christ to this world should impact our response to it (the world). Believing that God can use us right where we are strengthens our resolve to accomplish the task. We do not need to chase the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
For years in the Church I have seen people run from one ministry to another, always with the expectation that where they are going holds more promise and potential than where they are now. Right now, I am issuing a challenge ––– stop chasing the rainbow and grow to reflect the love of God where you are! We have all the potential we are ever going to have and we live in promise. Allowing the Holy Spirit to mold and shape us offers hope to those around us. What God does for us is not limited to us. Our state of blessing, our fruitfulness, our personal transformation touches everyone we come in contact with and it is all for the glory of God. The secret is commitment.
God, in His sovereignty declares us righteous, in Christ He calls us to holiness and has created us in His own image. We must stop living beneath our station. We must give a clear reflection of the love of God. (Romans 8:29)
Resurrection power is both available to us and active through us. Step out, H – Hear the word of the Lord. E – Expect God’s help. A – Act with confidence. R – Reflect the love of God. This is not to say that God’s purposes can be accomplished through human effort. However, when we remove the mask that we have hidden behind, in an effort to be comfortable, the power of the Holy Spirit is revealed in our lives. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
This world will never be transformed by false humility, forced holiness, or superficial friendship. Transformation calls for a complete change. The world has seen enough of the emptiness and falsehood of religion. Genuine Christianity lived out in the lives of real people is both priceless and powerful. H – Hear the word of the Lord. E – Expect God’s help. A – Act with confidence. R – Reflect the love of God. T – Transform the world. The imperative command of Scripture is clear: (Romans 12:2)
There is no denying the darkness of our time in history. God is not shocked by the depravity that surrounds us. He is waiting for those who trust Him to lift high His banner with HEART. His word is true, life changing, and a constant encouragement. His help is ever-present. His power is unmatched. The transformation He offers is complete. We are His workmanship. We are warriors under the direct command of God. We are able to test and approve His will with complete confidence.
Whatever we do must be done with passion. God calls us. God equips us and the passion with which we live out our faith draws others to Christ. Evangelism becomes a demonstration of love as our HEART is renewed. Individuals empowered by the Holy Spirit, courageously coming together as the body of Christ, and reflecting His love are the transforming power of God. The Church empowered by the Spirit of God is the agent of change within this world. How’s your HEART?