picture of a lion

A Deluded Heart

Many years ago, a close friend of mine began experimenting with drugs. When I first met him, he was a regular guy, but he had a terrible home life. Anyway, he began escaping his real-life problems through stronger and stronger drugs. As he did, his thinking became more illogical, and his life more chaotic.

One night we were sitting in a local restaurant when he became paranoid. He was sure there was a plain-clothed policeman in the restaurant and the policeman was going to arrest him; at least that was his story. Anyway, he had small bag heroin that he kept trying to get me to swallow so he wouldn’t be found with drugs on him.

Thankfully, I refused his pleas, and finally, he took me back to my car, and I drove home. The good news is that several years later, my friend accepted Jesus as his Savior, and he is now the music director for a local church.

A Deluded Heart

Today, as I was reading my Bible, I came upon Isaiah 44:20  and this part of the verse jumped out at me: “a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself.”  The commentary pointed out that our hearts are​ first to go astray, which then leads our intellects astray, which then leads our lives astray. The result is the abject poverty of our morals and we cannot deliver ourselves. 

Our hearts are the battlegrounds that the enemy of God desires to win. If he wins our hearts then the rest of our undoing will soon follow. But God has given us this promise in 1 Peter 5:6-11 (ESV):

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

The Lion of Judah

Pay no attention to that roaring lion for Christ Jesus, the Lion of Judah, (Revelation 5:5) will deal with him. Place your wholehearted devotion (Matthew 22:37) in God. And I pray for you, “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 1:2) Amen.

Photo by eric combeau on Unsplash

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On Doubt

This world has paths that Jesus calls us to walk that are tough. Just a few days ago, yet another baby passed from this world to heaven. The child is a relative of my wife. Life rarely gets much more difficult than the death of a child.

Questions are asked with answers which can never remove the pain. Whenever we suffer a loss, we immediately are assaulted by so many questions, regrets, confusion in our soul that may drive us to become angry at God. We can say that would never be us, but we don’t know until it happens.

God is big enough to take it. You can be angry at God. You can ask why. You can hurt. It’s okay. Remember, Habakkuk cried out in Habakkuk 1:2, “How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?”

Some of life’s pains can be seen, off in the distance, like an aging parent or loved one. Other pains t-bone us like someone running a red light and crashing into us. We are shaken down to our core. Nevertheless, we have a responsibility, no matter how severe our crisis or loss; we can’t give doubt even an angstrom of footing.

Even in the worst of our times, we will still have reassurance and peace available to us, if we’re willing to receive them from Jesus. Jesus knows something about pain, about rejections, about life’s intent to shame. He knows, and He will hold us when we can’t stand.

When life seems to have you on the ropes, read John, chapter 14. In my opinion, there is no greater encouragement in God’s Word than what Jesus says in this chapter. John 14:1, reads, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” It just gets more encouraging from there.

Photo by Johann Walter Bantz on Unsplash

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