When the Holy Spirit comes to guide me into more truth and right direction, how do I respond? In Matthew 15:1-20 is the account of Jesus answering the Pharisees’ accusing question, “Why do your disciples transgress the traditions of the elders, eating bread with unwashed hands?” Jesus discerned what was in their hearts and offended the Pharisees laying bare their hypocrisy publicly. They were addressing the traditions of men, Jesus addressed the greater transgression of nullifying the commandments of God by their traditions, (verse 6).
The issue was the tradition in their believing. Over the years the Holy Spirit comes to “tweak” our wrong believing and guide us into more truth. All our believing has to be tested and proved.
We have previously stated that the heart of man is the same fertile ground for God or the devil!
I can say all the right things, but if my lifestyle does not marry up with the words that I speak, I am just a Pharisee, a hypocrite.
Paul challenges us in 1 Corinthians 10:12, “Let him who thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall.” If my confidence and security lie in the words that I can quote, and I think that what I say is where I am, I am deceived! I cannot bear testimony of myself, my life speaks volumes without words, and others judge the fruit in it – or lack of it. If my words do not come from a lifestyle of demonstration of word and deed, then my words are empty! We teach by demonstration.
Billy Graham once said “The heart of the human problem, is the problem of the human heart.” It needs to be Christ ruled. Self rule needs to bow out with all it’s anarchy of independence.
In verse 11 Jesus declared that what goes into a man’s mouth does not cause defilement, but that which comes out of it, because the mouth speaks from the abundance of the heart. A heart that is Christ-ruled speaks words of Spirit and life.
James 3 has a great deal to say about the unbridled tongue speaking from an unruly heart, but in verses 17 & 18 we see the comparison and example of a Christ-ruled heart:
“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”…………This is our birthright, how beautiful! This life of the Son of God can be my identity if I walk in humility and lose my identity in His.
This wisdom from above is “first pure,” if I bow to the purity, God’s peace will enter my being. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8 Thus heart purity is seeing God in all things for “His kingdom rules over all.” Purity is transparency – no pretence, walking humbly in the truth God has revealed to us. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life,” John 14:6 Truth must be received. When I receive the truth the Holy Spirit reveals to me, I am, in essence, receiving the life of the Son of God which is creative in my heart, producing an outward demonstration of an inward work of receiving another “measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,” Ephesians 4:13.
2 Corinthians 11:3 Paul, speaking to the Corinthian church, was concerned that their “….minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” Simplicity is purity. We can be corrupted in our understanding and interpretation of how things operate in the Spiritual realm in Kingdom Life. There is a simplicity in walking in humility – it is not rocket science! The only barrier is my stubborn will when it refuses to bow to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. In our humanity, we all fail at some point. The only way to get back on track is to humble in truth, before God. He then turns on the tap of grace and His peace returns as I nestle back into His “everlasting arms” instead of resisting Him. The line of a song comes to mind describing a resistant heart:
“….but I prefer wrestling to nestling,
And try by myself to do right….”
All this produces in my life is discord and “wood, hay and stubble.”
A sister shared this candid testimony this week:
She had sold an item on E-bay and the gentleman buyer sent her an e-mail angrily accusing her of not responding to two previous e-mails he claimed to have sent her, declaring he had not received the goods and was demanding his money back. He was accusing her of ignoring his requests, when in actual fact she had not received the two previous e-mails and the goods were apparently lost in the post. She informed him of the situation and said she would comply with e-bay guidelines for items “lost in post” but he continued to e-mail in an aggressive, accusing tone producing indignation in the sister. His continued anger prompted her to react and justify herself to him in a curtly worded e-mail, but when she pressed “send,” it did not respond, nor again when she pressed “retry.” She then began to ponder on the wording of her e-mail and it’s content. “O.K. Lord,” she said, “I’ll adjust my wording,” – she began to slither down. The adjusted e-mail contained an apology with a “BUT”, she still wanted to justify her indignation. The Lord impressed on her – “Just sorry, no buts.” In obedience she rewrote the e-mail:
I apologise, I lost focus on my purpose in life……….
The Lord was pleased with her eventual humility and flooded her heart with His peace. She bowed out and He came in!
When I surrender to God and let Him fight my corner, He takes care of me as I stop wrestling Him, (the ant and the steam-roller), and I start nestling into His arms. The indignation I can feel that is so important to me (my identity!!) pales into insignificance as I surrender in the light of His Presence – beauty for ashes!….the royal exchange, glory be to God!….