Tag Archive | take it on

Cardiology P4

David was honoured for his decision to allow God to search and try his heart, even when the going got rough and David went walkabout! His son would learn, in some way, from his father’s struggles with his heart and would come to this understanding –

“above all else, guard your heart.  Prov 4:23

The state and condition of the heart cannot be separated from the state and condition of our lives, after all, the reason Solomon and the Holy Spirit were so adamant about guarding our hearts is this: that’s where the issues of life spring from. Prov 4:23.  This final blog on God as a committed and highly proficient cardiologist, concerns guarding against developing a double heart Ps 12:2 and an unbelieving heart Hebs 3:12

A Double Heart.  Ps 12:2 

The word double here literally translates as ‘a heart and a heart!’  What David has learnt from his experiences with Saul and his own son Absalom, he pens here.  His hard-learnt advice is –  watch out for deceiving and flattering words because they reveal a double heart. Saul used lies and deception in his attack against David and David’s son used flattery to influence people against his father. A heart and a heart, a double heart, speaks of a person who is saying one thing but internally they hold an entirely different sentiment or attitude.  See Prov 23:7

A prime example of this is reality TV!

Seven Psalms later David would write these words – may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. Ps 19:14

may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. Ps 19:14

Contemporary words for this double heart condition would be incongruence or lack of integrity.

An Unbelieving Heart.  Hebs 3:12

Context is king, and the context of Hebrews 3 is important to what an unbelieving heart is, and it is all about not responding in faith!

Hebrews 3 is a summary of servants who hear the Holy Spirit speaking and, act accordingly in faith and accomplish what the Father is commanding.  The servants in this chapter are Jesus vs 1-6, Moses vs 3-5, the Founding Father’s generation vs 8-11 and the present generation of covenant servants! Vs 12-19

The overarching narrative of God to all these servants has three parts to it – out of Egypt, through the wilderness and into the promised land and the umbrella word for this in the New Testament is salvation.  At the core of this epic journey is the leadership of the Holy Spirit, seen through the pillar of fire and cloud, the ark of the covenant and leaders!

In this summary chapter of their Exodus journey the Holy Spirit speaks and some of the servants are described as having an evil unbelieving heart which one commentator describes as a ‘lack of confidence in God!’   Review the Exodus generation’s journey and you’ll see that God asks some pretty big stuff of them but always He backs it up with a re-occurring promise –

“I will be with you! The classic example is the twelve spies.  See Numbers 13.

 

The journey of salvation always includes crossing boundaries or borders!  When the people of God left Egypt, it is implied that they are headed to another boundary or border.  At these border crossings, there are attended guards – fear and discouragement.  See Joshua 1:8&9.  All God asks is that we trust Him and enter in, no matter what or whom might be in the way.  Ten spies gripped by fear and having no confidence in God’s promise shrank back and spread their contagion throughout their tents. See Number 13:31-33

Only Caleb and Joshua had a believing heart, and they and their kin went and saw the provision of God in the next part of their salvation journey. David understood that he would face border and crossing-over opportunities –

“the boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places, surely I have a delightful inheritance.” Ps 16:6

So, lets us continually guard our heart, so we are ready for those boundaries, crossing over moments and, to especially guard them if we successfully negotiate the crossing over point! Read Deut 8

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Crossing the line!

It was the second week in theological college and my first proper lecture when, right in the middle of the presentation, I had a tangible experience of intimidation, which came as a series of thoughts.  “I do not understand what the lecturer is saying.” Well say so and ask him to explain it again.”  “No way, everyone in the room will look at me like I’m stupid and be annoyed that I’ve stopped the lecture.”  For what seemed like a life time I battled the contrary thoughts and emotions within me and then my hand just seem to go up in the air.  Clive, the lecture said yes Andy.  I made a joke about speaking in an unknown tongue and his Methodism, and he laughed and covered the material in a way that was more accessible.
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When I entered the student coffee-room I expected some funny looks or some sarcastic comments.  Instead, two fellow students, one older and one younger,  came up and thanked me for sticking my hand up because they were also experiencing confused dot-com!  This learning and intimidation experience was not my first, that happened when I was twelve, and no I did not put up my hand! Now as a thirty year old man it was time to ‘leave childish ways behind,’ and so I put my hand up and removed the ‘line in the sand’ that intimidation had drawn.
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Although not all our experiences of being intimidated will have a spiritual cause behind the affect; some will be rooted in the emotions around insecurity, which is the lack of inner self belief.  Nevertheless, we need to be aware that intimidation is a spirit and when this spirit is the cause behind the affect we are experiencing, we need to use the right weapons, and they’re grace and our authority as believers, to bind and loose!
Question: what was God giving to believers in 1 Pet 5:5-12?
The simple answer is grace, which raises another question.  Those being addressed are believers, haven’t they already received grace, to have been defined as believers?  So those who have been ‘graced,’ are being graced again by God!  What’s going on?
Grace has two equal sides to it: one is unmerited love, the other is unrivalled power.
The first puts us in a right state and condition before the  Father, without any reference to our merits or performances, anchored only in the work of Christ.  The second kicks in when we lack the ability, or are faced with spiritual adversaries, like intimidation.
Father, gives His sons ‘can do power,’ when they humbly admit, they’re in a ‘can’t do situation. See 2 Cor 12:9&10
The key to this ‘can do power’ of grace is humility –
“God opposes the proud but gives grace [unrivalled power] to the humble. 1 Pet 5:5.
The spirit of intimidation is after something, which it can only get, if it deceives us into a mindset, found embedded in the word intimidation – timid.
Intimidation seeks to convince us that we are not up to the task, that we are small in comparison too, and this should make us afraid to move forward and act.  What intimidation fears, is that we will realise this is a Father given moment, humbly our selves, receive can do power and take the ground the spirit is seeking to hold on to.
Like all bullies, intimidation draws a line in the sand and then declares what will happen if you cross it.  Like David we need to run towards the line, cross it, sling our stone and let Father do the rest.
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It’s always about territory.
As in any war, the ultimate aim is to win hearts and minds, and Our Father and the father of lies, are working to this same objective.   I once read some words many years ago that have served me well –
“You cannot take ground off the enemy, if he’s got ground in you!”
The thought around the word timidity in 2 Timothy 1:7  is that of cowardice, of being in servitude or bondage to fear.
Like rabbits in the headlights, some are struck by fear and just sit there and take it, afraid of what might happen, what people might think and how they will react.
People approval, fear of failure, confrontation or rejection are classic reasons why people ‘stay in the lights, and the enemy exploits these ‘soul ties!’
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The Father says that He has given every one of His born again sons the spirit of power, love and a sound mind.
A mind that can still think and reason, even under immense pressure.
The power that formed and placed stars, and raised Jesus from the dead, is with you, within you and for you!   This power can do exceedingly abundantly above all you can imagine or ask.  See Eph 3:19-20
This blog is current for me, I am taking on the spirit of intimidation, and I am not finding it easy at times.  Recently, the Holy Spirit showed me something from the account of David and Goliath, which came as a clear statement –
“Battle lines and shouting is not engagement, run into the valley!” 
 ” Early in the morning David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry.
 
God’s solution, David; arrived as his brothers were entering day 40 of lining up and shouting!  As I hovered over this verse, Father spoke and said this is not engagement, run into the valley and I will sort him and it out!    
They were like boys in the playground, standing either side of an imaginary line, shouting and declaring what will happen if you crossed the line and Israel was hoping that no one would!
In fact there was such reluctance in the Israeli camp that king Saul had to offer a threefold incentive – great wealth, his daughter in marriage and the father and the family of the victory would live tax-free!
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At some point we have to re-new our minds and admit we are just shouting and posing but not engaging.  Then we need to re-position ourselves and with confidence in the can do power of grace, do what David did – run towards the hairy man mountain!  
What I absolutely love (well most of the time, love) about my Father is that he will not test me beyond my ability to endure. See 1 Cor 10:13 and that He arranges prequels on the way to the main event, as He did with David.  
Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 1 Sam 17:36
 
David had already experience, in private, the can do power of God and so he puts Goliath on the ‘already been sorted list.’ Now that’s confidence! 
Lions intimidate through their roar, bears by standing on their back feet.  Goliath was a combination of both and David had been there, done that, and got the tee-shirt! 
Why should we take on the spirit of intimidation?
1.  Love won’t allow us to live at this postcode.  Perfect loved drives out fear.  I Jn 4:18
2.  We forfeit our potential and deprive others of its benefits. Jn 17:19
3.  To leave a stronger generational legacy. Cf Judges 1:19 & 4:13 (don’t leave the kids iron chariots)
4.  The sense of deep satisfaction that will flood your masculine heart & soul.
Mark it down: When you are in a situation that creates fear, but you face it head on, you will feel a rush of satisfaction in knowing you displayed courage.1
Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities…because it is the quality which guarantees all the others.”  Winston Churchill
1 Ortberg pg 126 if you want to walk on water you’ve got to get out of the boat