Why our hearts NEED to be reformed…
Today is October 31.
506 years ago today, Luther nailed his rebuke of the Roman Catholic Church in the 95 Theses to the door of Wittenberg’s Castle Church.
I’ve never been a fan of Halloween, so THAT is something worth celebrating this day! His courageous act began the reformation of the church, and the saying “the church reformed and always reforming by the Word of God” was birthed as a result.
Our pastor preached about the core of reformation in the body of Christ today – our theology has already been reformed as Luther began that movement all those years ago. But what about our hearts and lives, are they being reformed by the Word of God today?
This week I read of a reformation of another kind in 1 Peter 1:6-7
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (NKJV)
If need be?
Under my breath, I mumble, “Lord, really? Why would I need to be grieved by afflictions and trials?”
As I dug into the Greek, I found the following description: to affect with sadness, to throw into sorrow.
Really, God, I need to be thrown into sorrow?
As I continued reading:
Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him, and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory. (verse 8)
Wouldn’t you know that time in the Word led to two devotional readings pointing to the very same thing!
“Let us enter ourselves as pupils in the School of God’s Love.
Let us lay aside our own notions of the course of study,
let us submit ourselves to be led and taught;
let us be prepared for any lessons that may be given from the blackboard of sorrow;
let us be so assured of the inexhaustible tenacity of His love as to dare to trust Him, though He slay us.”
FB Meyer – in Thoughts for the Quiet Hour
But God wasn’t done with me yet, He needed to drive His point home with Streams in the Desert:
“Stand up in the place the Lord has put you and there do your best. God gives us trial and tests, He puts life before us as an antagonist face to face. Out of the buffeting of serious conflict we are expected to grow strong.”
It is a faithful saying – if we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him. (2 Tim. 2:11-12)
So I think back to the question asked in the sermon – why does my heart NEED to be reformed?
1) It’s proximity – I honor Him with our lips, but my heart is far from Him. Am I just going through the motions?
2) It’s substance – My heart is hard. When I fail to see the goodness and graciousness of God, my heart becomes stony.
I admit, that sometimes I feel that way. Like I’m just going through the motions … and when I feel that way, the hardness of my heart isn’t far behind. As I read those words about needing to be grieved by trials and learning from the blackboard of sorrows, I confessed my state … repenting for feeling so far away.
How would you answer those questions, today? How is your heart?
Perhaps you can join me in the prayer for my heart …
Lord, teach me by whatever means is best so You by Your Word and Your Spirit reform my life and my heart.
Thanks for spending some time with me today,
Welcome, I'm Athena!
I start each day by tithing the first hour to the Lord in prayer, reading the word, doing word studies of the Text, and asking God how I can live out what I am reading. This time is usually met with meditation on devotionals that are usually written by dead guys like Oswald Chambers, CS Lewis, Charles Spurgeon, AW Tozer, and Andrew Murray.
Right now, I’m reading a daily devotional with a friend called Tozer on the Almighty God for my focus for the day. It's fun to see individually what pulls us in to spur one another on to good deeds!
The Bible is filled with action steps to walk out in practical and intentional ways. This sets my day in motion to walk it out! I hope this is your heart, too.
Consider this a personal invitation to join me in this journey!