Justice and the Established Heart - David Mitts
In these troubled times, it is almost impossible not to find some situation that triggers us in some way to feel stress in our hearts. From the pandemic to politics to racial pain and corruption, we are being bombarded with information and changes that are stretching us in ways many of us have never experienced. Our faith is being challenged by shutdowns and being shut in and shut off, causing us to rethink and reimagine what being a Believer in a body of Messiah is really all about. At the core of all of this chaos is our heart which is where the swirling forces of light and darkness meet in a clash of titanic worldviews.
It is tempting to think that what we are going through has never happened before but actually as Solomon admonishes us to remember:
"That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So, there is nothing new under the sun." Ecc 1:9
This present darkness is just another cycle of injustice and brokenness that has been cyclically present within and among mankind since the beginning or Genesis. Genesis 1 reminds us that even the beginning was not without darkness and chaos.
"The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters." Gen 1:2
This is a picture of our heart. There are deep waters in the heart.
"A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water, But a man of understanding draws it out." Pro 20:5
Swirling around in the heart are the forces of darkness and light. God speaks “LIGHT” into the chaos and our heart can then find a way in troubled times.
2 Corinthians 4:6 describes this process:
"For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." 2Co 4:6
What I want to look at in this chapter the dynamics of the heart especially in troubled times and specific ways that we can stabilize our hearts and thus our whole being.
Yeshua told us: John 14:1-4
""Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. "In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. "And you know the way where I am going."" Joh 14:1-4
Firstly, he admonishes us to not allow our hearts to become troubled. The key, He tells us is to believe in God and to believe in Yeshua. This is so important because the only security in this troubled time has to come from trusting that there is a plan and a God who holds that plan for us.
"'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11
Yeshua goes on to describe the process for keeping our hearts in a secure place. He tells us that in My Father’s house there are many dwelling places. I know many people think of that as places in heaven. BUT the perspective I want to suggest is that the dwelling places of the Lord is in our hearts.
"Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him." Joh 14:23
We are the dwelling place of the Lord. When Yeshua told the disciples that He went to prepare a place for them and us, he was speaking of the cross and the resurrection. This is what prepared the way for the Father and the Son to dwell in our hearts.
Yeshua told us that He personally receives us into Himself. This is not just a statement about when we die physically. No this is also a statement of what happens when we die to this world. He resurrects us in this body where He now lives with us. The Apostle Paul said it this way:
"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Php 1:21
The dying he is speaking about is the new covenant.
"For this reason, He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives." Heb 9:15-17
By receiving the Lord, we have died to the system of works. We are now living with God and Yeshua in our hearts. Our righteousness is in them. We are born again into a new reality. This is NOT a religion but a transformation. Religion is for the caterpillars to argue about. Transformation is for the butterflies to fly! We are now in the place where we can soar like an eagle above the fray and confusion of this world system. In that place our heart can be established in Messiah.
The key is receiving the guiding of His voice: Turn with me to Proverbs 2:1-9
"My son, if you will receive my words and treasure my commandments within you, make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding; For if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the LORD And discover the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones. Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course." Pro 2:1-9
Let’s digest this a bit:
He tells us: my son… This is the beginning of wisdom, the recognition that we are his son or daughter. A son or a daughter is attuned to the voice of their father. Yeshua taught the Pharisees by contrast:
""Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies." Joh 8:43-44
When we attune ourselves to the system of the world and its value system, we are listening to the father of lies. This seed source then propagates in our hearts and we believe a lie. This causes pain because God in His mercy made us responsive to the truth. The lies we believe are like splinters in our soul and we avoid situations that trigger them because splinters cause pain and inflammation.
Similarly, in principle, but the opposite in results, when we hear the truth in a place, a dwelling place in our hearts that was previously inhabited by a lie, we experience healing and are washed clean from all unrighteousness.
"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God." 1Co 6:9-11
This is the reality of sonship. We become the children of whatever seed is received in the womb of our hearts. The seed of the world produces worldly pain, and the seed of God produces sons of Light. Let’s return then as sons and daughters to Proverbs 2:1, if you will receive my words and treasure my commandments within you, make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding.
Receive and treasure the instructions of the Lord. Receiving is easy to conceptualize. We just have to be open to hearing, to sh’ma. BUT treasuring is something totally of a different order. Treasuring is a reflection of values. What we value we treasure. This is why Yeshua warned us about where we store our treasure:
""Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Luk12:33-34
“An unfailing treasure in heaven”. This is a treasure that is immune to rust and moths, unable to be stolen or destroyed. This may seem to mean some otherworldly treasure. BUT actually, I think it is an admonition to watch what our values are.
Yeshua begins with selling possessions and giving. Next, He tells us to make for ourselves money belts, or wallets in contemporary language, or bank accounts that do not wear out. How can a wallet not wear out? I just wore mine out and the leather around the credit cards came apart. Why? In my case, it was because there was too much pressure and in and out of the cards. How would I keep that from happening? I would have to minimize what’s in it or stop using it so much. Is He telling us to live lighter?
I think the answer lies in the next verse. Where your treasure is your heart is. I believe it’s an issue of what we value. We will pay attention to what we value. Our treasure is determined by what our heart is attending to. In these uncertain times, if we attend to the world and our fears of evil in the world our wallet will wear out. The wallet I am speaking of is our heart. Worry, fear, greed, and anxiety are the currencies of the world.
The Apostle Paul told us that: Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. These are not identities of people only. These are outgrowths of a heart that is consumed with the voices of the world.
The inheritance of the Kingdom of God comes from the seed that is impregnating the heart. When the Word of God, the seed of His voice impregnates your heart then His kingdom is birthed in and through you. This is the New Covenant.
“”But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart, I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. “They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”” Jer31:33-34
God uses the picture of inscribing the covenant on the parchment of our hearts. This is to give the idea of a written contract. But in reality, God speaks seed and the heart either receives the seed and is impregnated with His life, what is called being born again, or it doesn’t and continues receiving seed from the father of lies, the devil who speaks through the fallen world kingdom.
This is an issue of treasure, values, and therefore what lives in your heart.
We will continue looking at the establishing of our heart in unjust times. The first key is to realize that we are His seed, His children and that is continually a reality of what seed we are receiving. Whose spirit is living in us. The receiving of the Holy Spirit is not a one-time event. We all have experienced relationships where we were once close but now not so much. Relationships are seed events; Love is a seed experience. Human reproduction, intimacy is a type of an eternal reality that always is at work, like gravity. Seed is always being exchanged in our hearts. To truly have an established heart, we need to become stewards of the seed that we plant and is planted in our hearts.
“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” Pro 4:23
Activation: Ask yourself, what seed am I planting in life? What words am I sharing with others. Isolation breeds deception. We are both seed planters and seed growers. Our strength comes from association. Whose report are we believing?
“Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?” Isa 53:1
Worship with Finances
"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye. Therefore, if your eye be sound, your whole body shall be full of light. But if your eye be evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness. Therefore, if the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness! No one is able to serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." Mat 6:21-24
Our eyes represent our attention. The word in Hebrew for humility, anah, is a word picture of the furrowed brow which represents focus. We are attracted visually to what we desire. Yeshua is giving us a picture of what we value, what we treasure through the eye gate. He is telling us that what focus on is what we worship and is the key to our heart. Our heart worships what we focus on and drives our behaviors toward that focus. Our treasure is revealed by our focus. When we serve God with our finances, we are declaring that He is our focus. When we buy stuff we declare that the stuff is our focus and the worship of our heart. You see it isn’t about the money alone but about the heart that is reflected in the money. The battleground is the heart. Use your offering as a sword of the spirit, Transform your money into word. How? by sowing it as seed thereby declaring that your heart is Holy ground.