Wednesday, June 26th, 2013
Heart Conditions (Part 4)
They have closed up their fat hearts; With their mouths they speak proudly.
Psalm 17:10 (NKJV)
Their heart is as fat as grease.
Psalm 119:70 (NKJV)
'For among My people are found wicked men;
They lie in wait as one who sets snares;
They set a trap;
They catch men.
As a cage is full of birds,
So their houses are full of deceit.
Therefore they have become great and grown rich.
They have grown fat, they are sleek;
Yes, they surpass the deeds of the wicked;
They do not plead the cause,
The cause of the fatherless;
Yet they prosper,
And the right of the needy they do not defend.
Shall I not punish them for these things?' says the Lord.
'Shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?
An astonishing and horrible thing
Has been committed in the land:
The prophets prophesy falsely,
And the priests rule by their own power;
And My people love to have it so.
But what will you do in the end?'
Jeremiah 5:26-31 (NKJV)
Fat around the heart is dangerous. Physicians call it pericardial fat, and it's linked to heart disease--even death. Spiritual fat around the heart is more dangerous. God calls it heart fat, and it's linked to a fat life. The result? Punishment--even death.
Surely most Americans live what others would call a fat life. We are glutted with every kind of pleasure. We are 'fat; with work, worry, pride, possessions, narcissism and idols--even in the church.
In this type of fat, we don't see rolls around a waist, but rolls around a heart--a heart that's supposed to be living for Jesus. God calls fat-hearted church leaders false prophets. He calls them 'sleek.' He says 'They surpass the deeds of the wicked.'
So before we get on high horses parading our riches for the world, maybe we should choose a small donkey--like Jesus did. Before we correct the world for its excesses of sin, maybe we should correct our church for its excesses, like Jesus did.
I encourage every Christian to ask God whether you or your church carries this hidden but deadly heart condition. If you do? Go on a diet! Eat an unlimited supply of God's Word, while you severely restrict the swallowing of man's lies.
How will you know his lies? Look for a 'fat life.'
The Apostle Paul says: 'I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified' (1 Corinthians 9:27). Read the whole chapter of 1 Corinthians 9 to see that Paul is not talking about his body, but his lifestyle.*
Even more, Paul's amazingly successful evangelism is built around a 'non-greasy' approach to living.
To Be Continued...
* Read the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 9: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%209&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Heart Conditions series.