Upon the Tablet
Jeremiah 17:1-4 NASB
The sin of Judah is written down with an iron stylus;
With a diamond point it is engraved upon the tablet of their heart
And on the horns of their altars,
As they remember their children,
So they remember their altars and their Asherim
By green trees on the high hills.
O mountain of Mine in the countryside,
I will give over your wealth and all your treasures for booty,
Your high places for sin throughout your borders.
And you will, even of yourself, let go of your inheritance
That I gave you;
And I will make you serve your enemies
In the land which you do not know;
For you have kindled a fire in My anger
Which will burn forever.
As believers in Jesus Christ, if we truly have trusted Jesus to be our Lord and Savior, we are cleansed from our sins, forgiven our offenses, and we are given new lives in Christ Jesus, free from bondage to sin, to be lived to the Lord and to his righteousness (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24).
But, that does not mean we will never sin again or that we no longer have the propensity to sin. We can and we do (1 Jn. 2:1-2). If it were true that we could never sin again, we would no longer be tempted to sin. And, we could clearly throw out half of the New Testament which warns Christians against falling back into sin’s deceitful ways.
Yet, through our salvation from sin, we are delivered from slavery to sin so that it should no longer have mastery over our lives. It should no longer be what rules our lives. And, we should no longer be enslaved to sinful addictions. Through the blood of Christ, shed on the cross for our sins, we are able to live victoriously over sin and walk in his righteousness, all in his power and strength at work within us.
But, sometimes Christians do fall back into sin’s deceitful ways, and they can get entrapped all over again. They can become idolatrous, wicked, deceitful, and unfaithful, etc., and be in need of repentance and restoration to our Lord. They can forget that they have been cleansed of their sins, and so they no longer have the protections of the Lord they once had.
Trust in Humans
Jeremiah 17:5-8 NASB
Thus says the Lord,
“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
“For he will be like a bush in the desert
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,
A land of salt without inhabitant.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord.
“For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.
Our trust is not to be in humans, but in the Lord. This does not mean we go around distrusting everyone, but that we don’t place our security, our faith, and our confidence in human flesh, which is subject to fail us, and which cannot deliver us from sin’s ways, and which will not have the mind of God.
We are not to rely on our own strength and human wisdom and understanding nor on the strength and wisdom of other humans, but on the strength and wisdom of God. He is the only one who should be directing our paths and showing us the way in which we should go. We should be following his plan for our lives, not the plans of humans.
When we turn to following after our own flesh, or other human flesh, we turn away from the Lord. We turn away from his counsel, his guidance, his strength and his power in our lives. And, we make ourselves subject to the failures of the flesh all over again. And, we are not at peace. We can’t be at peace because we are living in direct contradiction to God’s saving grace.
But, when our trust is in the Lord, even if all hell is breaking loose all around us, we can still be confident. We can be at peace and rest. We can know we are going the right direction, even if we have many who oppose us. And we can be confident that God is on our side, and that we are walking in his wisdom, and he is using us in the lives of others for their good. And, that good will come out of all that we are going through, for the glory of God.
The Human Heart
Jeremiah 17:9-11 NASB
“The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?
“I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give to each man according to his ways,
According to the results of his deeds.
“As a partridge that hatches eggs which it has not laid,
So is he who makes a fortune, but unjustly;
In the midst of his days it will forsake him,
And in the end he will be a fool.”
When we believe in Jesus Christ, to be Lord and Savior of our lives, he cleanses our hearts from sin, but again, we still have the propensity to sin, and we are still tempted to sin. And, we still have the ability to give in to sin’s deceitfulness and to stumble and fall.
When we listen to our own flesh, instead of to the Lord, or when we listen to the lies Satan whispers in our ears, and we give way to the flesh and/or to Satan, we are like the man who built his house on the sand instead of on the rock. When the storms of life come, we will not be able to stand. And, we will come crashing down.
Fountain of Living Water
Jeremiah 17:12-14 NASB
A glorious throne on high from the beginning
Is the place of our sanctuary.
O Lord, the hope of Israel,
All who forsake You will be put to shame.
Those who turn away on earth will be written down,
Because they have forsaken the fountain of living water, even the Lord.
Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed;
Save me and I will be saved,
For You are my praise.
So, it is essential that we ask the Lord to test our hearts and to show us what is in there, i.e. where we have allowed the flesh and the devil to get a foothold once more. We want him to expose to us any areas of our lives where we are going astray and where we have gotten off course, because sometimes we deceive ourselves, and we listen to lies, and so we can’t see what is in there, because we have desensitized ourselves to the evil.
But, then we must be willing to obey what he shows us. We must be willing to give up whatever he says to give up, and to forsake our idols, and to cut out of our lives all that is leading us into sin. For, many times we “struggle” with sin and continually give in to it because we are not willing to forsake what is leading us into sin.
We are not willing to say “NO!” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to say “Yes!” to living self-controlled, godly and upright lives while we wait for Christ’s return (See: Tit. 2:11-14).
So, when the Lord searches our hearts, and he exposes to us anything we have latched on to which is opposed to him, and which is hindering our walks of faith, then we need to repent of our sins, and turn, and follow him in obedience and in surrender to his will. And, then he will bring healing. Then we will be at peace within our hearts. And, we will know the joy of the Holy Spirit and of walking in fellowship with our Lord once more. Amen!
Broken and Contrite
An Original Work / May 13, 2012
I come before You, Lord, my Savior,
With humble heart and crushed in spirit.
I bow before You, I implore You,
Heal my broken heart, I pray.
Love You, Jesus, Lord, my master,
You are the King of my heart.
Lord, purify my heart within me;
Sanctify me, whole within.
Oh, Lord, I long to obey fully
The words You’ve spoken through Your Spirit.
I pray You give me grace and mercy,
Strength and wisdom to obey.
Father God, my heart’s desire,
Won’t You set my heart on fire?
Lord, cleanse my heart of all that hinders
My walk with You, now I pray.
Oh, Jesus, Savior, full of mercy,
My heart cries out for understanding.
I want to follow You in all ways,
Never straying from Your truth.
Holy Spirit, come in power,
Fill me with Your love today.
Lord, mold and make me;
Your hands formed me;
Live Your life through me, I pray.
Monday, July 2, 2018 – Thank you, Jesus, for this teaching from Your Word. Lord, expose to us where we are failing to walk in obedience to you, and then give us the strength we need to walk with you in holiness. Amen!