Heart Hacked – For Good Part II

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 2 Peter 1:19

I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. Revelation 22:16

In the previous post we looked at the heart being “hacked” by darkness, let’s move along and look at the flip-side of this heart equation and investigate a heart being hacked by good and pick up where we left off.

The Heart – Ground Zero

God’s word illuminates the role our heart plays in guiding and directing our life. The human heart rests at ground zero as it forms the bedrock of our being. Within its spiritual chambers emanate our thoughts, formulates the words we speak and sits at the neural switchboard orchestrating  our thought patterns and resultant actions.

God’s word emphasizes the importance our heart plays in our life:

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23 

The word “issues” used here is the Hebrew word –  תֹּצָאָה: exit, that is, (geographical) boundary, or (figuratively) deliverance, borders, goings forth, outgoings. [Strongs]

In other words, if you ask yourself the question: “How far am I willing to go?” Your heart will give you your answer. The heart determines the ‘length, breath, depth and height’ we will ascribe to a certain thing in life.

We are composed of body, soul and spirit. The soul is made up of our mind, will and emotions. Using a ship as an analogy, the hull and rudder is our human will, the mind is the engine room with its turbines, and lastly, our heart (emotions, desires and motivations) contribute the diesel fuel.

The heart fuels the turbine engine to spin the blades of the mind to produce raw action (the manifestation of our human will). This should not come as a surprise. Jesus himself told us this:

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. Luke 6:45

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:21

A Hidden Backdoor

As mysterious as it is sounds we do not know our own heart. But, there is One that does:

The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out.
But I, GOD, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be. (Jeremiah 17:9-10 The Message Bible)

The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity. Psa 94:11
Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart. Psa. 44:21
Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah. Psa 62:8

A “backdoor” as defined by computer programmers is an intentionally coded entrance point to allow the program’s authors or designers to add, modify or delete code that runs the program. Or to take full control of the system hosting it.

Our human heart is comprised of a similar feature uniquely designed by our Creator:

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. Ecclesiastes 3:11

The Hebrew word “world” is עוֹלָם which according to Strong’s means: properly concealed, the vanishing point; time out of mind, eternity; ancient (time), continuance, eternal.

In essence, the Lord has implanted a cache of timelessness into every human heart. God has direct access to the thoughts, feelings and motivations emanating from within the ‘ground zero’ our our core being – the heart.

God in His sovereign wisdom placed a pocket of timelessness, the formation of an eternal connecting zone within the human heart. In doing so, He built into the human heart an access point, a place where He can visit at His will to perform His will.

There is scripture to substantiate this claim:

O LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee: 1 Chronicles 29:18

Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem: Ezra 7:27

The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. Proverbs 21:1

Concerning Bezaleel in the construction of the Tabernacle ….

And he hath put in his heart that he may teach, both he, and Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan.
Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work. Exodus 35:34-35

Hacked With Hope

This story cannot end without hope. Hope is sometimes the only thing separating one from total despair. In the cyber crime world hackers are the bandits, thieves and thugs whose intents are intentionally seeped in crumb-less paths of anonymity.

Not our God. God is good. He is faithful. God invests Himself in those who invest in Him. God is looking for people who are looking for Him! And so it is with putting our heart in His hands, He leaves something good behind. What is this? It is called hope.

God will not remove the bad things out of our heart that He will not also replace with something better. God will hack your heart with hope if you let him.

The Lord hacks hearts and leaves crumbs of hope behind. Jesus exits the heart-world with something behind more grandeur in scope. He gives us a new heart.

The master awaits at the backdoor of our heart:

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20

God’s Spirit touches places in the soul where only God has access:

Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart. Psa 44:21

For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 1Jn 3:20 

The Final Chapter: After God’s Own Heart

But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee. 1Sa 13:14 

And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. Acts 13:22 

Did you get the last part of that scripture? Fulfill ALL my will. That is perfect love. That is God’s heart. When you fulfill God’s perfect will, you will then be perfected by His love:

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8 

Spiritually prosperous are those who are pure in the sphere of the heart, because they themselves shall see God. (Wuest)

Something very special awaits the person who decides to seek after the heart of God. Such a place is sovereign territory, holy ground,  an intimate sanctuary. The Apostle John was such a person. He was the disciple mentioned in the Gospel’s as the one “whom Jesus loved”.

Astronomers estimate there are 100 billion galaxies in our universe and 1 billion trillion stars. And He knows all their names (Psalm 147:4). And you think He does not know yours?

The God of creation can freely have everything and anything He wants. He only has to speak it into existence and it appears. That is ……… except one thing. That one thing is your heart.

The one thing He desires most in His created realms and dominions is your undivided heart. Because God is a jealous God.

The God who is alone. No one who ever walked the face of this earth has ever experienced loneliness like the God-man, Jesus Christ.

Jesus did not die from blood loss. Jesus did not die from asphyxiation. Jesus died from a broken heart, a heart broken by our sin and shame:

Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee.
Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. Psalm 69:19-20

The God of Creation revealed some of His own secrets and personal information in the writings of the law, the prophets and the psalms (Luke 24:44). What did he reveal? Among other things, He is meek, humble and vulnerable (Mat 11:29). Why? Because He is love.

Jesus Christ as a man defeated satan to defrock his pageantry, destroy his potency, disqualify his prominence and denounce his pomp. Why? To redeem you, a uniquely crafted being created in His image.

Of all the religions of the world, Christianity is the only one to make the declaration that the God it worships and bows before is Love. It is a paradox that this God who ‘is love’ never experienced what it was like to ‘be loved’. Until now. Now that Jesus Christ has come into the world.

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6

Jesus refers to himself as the “bright and morning star” (Rev 22:16). It is no mystery that before orbiting satellites and GPS technology early navigation systems relied solely on the moon and stars for navigation. The stars were the pinpoints of reliable and unshakable references that mariners entrusted their lives and valuable cargo upon. Heaven’s guiding lights never faded, faltered or failed to provide the needed guidance when confronted with harrowing, ferocious storms:

Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: Jeremiah 31:35

Another star has come to give light, life and love. Jesus, Heaven’s shining star, is our heart’s hope and light in a world overshadowed by gross darkness. Life is at its best when Jesus occupies the center. Let’s allow him in 2020 and beyond.

A New Heart for a New Year!

Be Blessed in 2020.

And Samson

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6

Samson.

Every child who has ever attended Sunday School knows all about Samson. What child’s imagination does not get sparked by his mighty exploits? From the setting afire the tails of a skittish skulk of 300 foxes (Judges 15:4-6), the killing of 1,000 Philistines with a donkey’s jawbone (Judges 15:15-17), ripping out single-handedly the gates of the enemy’s fortified city (Judges 16:3), and the breaking of ropes as if sewing thread (Judges 15:12-13, 16:11-12). Purely fantastic fodder for the imaginative mind.

And God had a divine and outstanding mission planned for Samson before his birth:

And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.

Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:

For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. Judges 13:3-5

Samson had it all. From the beginning he had both Heaven’s anointing and destiny imprinted upon his soul. Samson was called to deliver Israel from her enemies the Philistines. And to a degree he did.

Moreover, Samson was both one of the most enigmatic figures ever recorded in the Old Testament and Samson was also one of the most tragic figures recorded in the Old Testament.

And Samson.

The Pillars

If we could go back in time ourselves and embrace the imagination of a child we just might see what God possibly saw in the last scene of Samson’s life:

But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house. Judges 16:21

There he is swarming within all of the theatrics and drama of life. A pitiful figure Samson is. Where his laser sharp and dark piercing eyes once were are now scarred and disfigured eye sockets. Where freedom once allowed the man to tromp over his enemy’s heads in vengeance, he is now bound like an animal in a parade of mockery.

Let us also imagine and wonder how the Lord perceived this. How did God feel while looking at this pitiful scene? It had to have broken His heart. The God of Glory had to have wept and mourned for Samson. The promises. The anointing. All the hope vanished in a moment. Only a heart-less king and ruler would respond otherwise.

But, God is God and not man.

And Samson.

And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them. Judges 16:26

For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. Romans 11:29

Perhaps in Samson’s mind thoughts of his troubled past interlaced with divine thoughts of future hope and glory. And maybe he uttered these words:

“Lad, let me feel the pillars. I cannot see them, but just let me feel them because I know a God who still performs miracles. I’ve seen Him do them in my past, and by God’s grace and mercy, He can do it again. Because I know a God who is still in the miracle-working business.”

He was physically blinded, but somehow Samson miraculously sensed pillars in the room, and one more important pillar, a spiritual one. The pillar of his God was also present, for his one true Pillar of truth had not forsaken him and gave him renewed hope exactly when he needed it most.

And Samson

Maybe you were wondering by now why the repeated, maybe even disruptive repetition of the phrase “And of Samson”? (the word “of” is not in the original Greek) Here is why:

And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Hebrews 11:32

Nestled on the wall of Heaven’s Champions of Faith as recorded in Hebrews Chapter 11 is a most unlikely person. He was perhaps God’s most colossal failure. He stumbled. He fell. He embarrassed himself, he embarrassed Israel and He embarrassed Jehovah God. So why would God care? Why would the Lord waste more time and divine resources on a fallen hero? There is one reason:

I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city. Hosea 11:9

A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. Matthew 12:20

When man would say: “Let’s move on. Done deal. The damage is done. No damage control in the world can rectify this situation.” Heaven says: “Not so fast“.

Hopeless? In “the world”, yes. In Heaven, absolutely NOT.

For God is God and not man.

Man may, but God never extinguishes even the faintest glimmer of hope or faith in anyone. A raging forest fire can be started by one small spark. One spark of faith and hope in a heart can be the beginning of new life in impossible situations and when facing insurmountable odds.

It was one last spark that changed Samson’s world. And one last spark was all Samson needed:

Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport.

And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.

And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left.

And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life. Judges 16:27-30

Samson’s final act was his very best. Up to this point in his life is it not mentioned where he ever prayed. But, here we see Samson prayed to his God. And his God heard it.

Because of his prayer and faith in God, the Lord honored it, gave him the victory and saw fit to place his name on His wall of faith. Samson got a piece of the wall and became one of God’s pillars of faith. His name is nestled right smack in the middle of the godly and victorious company of Gedeon,  Barak, Jephthae and Samuel.

Why? Because the faith Samson exercised at the end of his life simply pleased God. For without faith it is impossible to please Him.

The Lord took the crumbling wreckage of the pillars of Samson’s life and transformed them into a pillar of faith for all of time and eternity.

It is not over until God says it is over. And God is still in the miracle-working business. Our God is the Master of turning Messes into Masterpieces!

God is God and not Man.

And Samson.

Be Blessed!

Easter – The Perfection Of God’s Power

And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. Luke 23:33-34

Ask yourself these questions: “Is it possible for God to lack completion in anything? Can God possibly be not fully perfected in any aspect of His being? Is there something that God had left unfinished?”

Yes He could and yes there was.

A preposterous comment to make? It is not when you consider the story how God resolved this quandary because it IS the reason for that first ‘Easter’. Just hold on because this gets interesting.

It Is About Perfected Power

Where or what could the God of Glory possibly be lacking or not perfected?

In one thing – Strength or Power.

According to God’s standard and God’s economy ‘perfect’ strength can only come one way and God up to this point in the realm of eternity had not yet attained it. There is reason why. Because God’s strength is made complete or ‘perfect’ in weakness:

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

The word “strength” in this verse is the Greek word (δύναμις) ‘dunamis’; translated to mean force or miraculous power. God is all-powerful and occupies the heavenly glories. But, that power was not perfected because there was one dimension, an enemy in God’s created universe not yet defeated. The enemy was death, the byproduct and offspring conceived by the operation of sin:

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Romans 5:12

Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. James 1:15

And God in heaven with all power and strength could not contain it. Why? First of all the power to defeat sin and death demanded perfected strength that only perfected weakness could produce.

Weakness does not reside in the heavenly dimension. Heaven occupies eternity along with its storehouses of God’s glory, grandeur, and splendor. This source of weakness must be found elsewhere.

Life Is In The Blood

The remedy or antidote for what destroys life (sin) can only come from that which gives or sustains life – blood:

For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Leviticus 17:11

And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. Hebrews 9:22

According to God’s commandment only blood can remit and eradicate the root of sin. Since blood and weakness are not “naturally occurring substances” in the heavenly realm, they would have to come from another source.

Sin’s Solution – The ‘Living Word’ Of God

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:1, 14

The Lord had the sin solution all figured out “before the foundation of the world”. God zinged a split-fingered, 101 mile-an-hour fastball right past a swinging, spinning devil who thought his pretty little game (pre-fixed mind you by his bookie agent named ‘Death’) was airtight. Wrong.

God performed the perfect union on earth for everything He needed to produce the perfected strength to conquer death, hell and the grave through weakness and blood:

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:6-7

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. John 1:29

Jesus Christ as the living, breathing, Word of God was both weak and life-energized:

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: Romans 8:3

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. John 10:10-11

Infinite Weakness Produces Infinite Power

Jesus Christ in the process of becoming infinitely weak through the crucifixion as the Son of God became infinitely strong or powerful. There has never been nor will there ever be an act of earthly weakness so profound. God in flesh, the Creator of all living, placed Himself into the hands of His Creation. It was the crime of all ages. The ‘Creator’ mercilessly killed by the hands of the ‘Created’. The thought is mind-boggling, sobering and paradoxical.

One writer penned it this way: “God’s involvement with shame has spun a web of mystery too intriguing for the human mind to let alone.” The crucifixion was so earth-shattering that the planet would no longer revolve around an axis between the North and South poles. After Calvary the earth would now spin on the vertical axis of Jesus’ cross spanning the heaven and the earth.

The same writer had this to say: “The cross stands at the center of everything. There is not a person born or unborn, there is not a decision that anyone has made or will make that the stark naked cross does not stand a witness to and a judge of.”

Someone recently made a commitment (regarding the Christian walk) as to “Why crucify the flesh? What advantage can possibly result in living a cross-bearing, crucified life before God?”. This is why. It is said ministry is “flow”, the flow of God’s spirit through broken vessels of clay. Something miraculous will result when that flow operates unhindered from fleshly motivations and carnal thinking. Yes, we are not perfect, but that does not preclude the miraculous from happening “through us”. And when it does, nothing and no one can take credit for it, for it belongs to God and God “gets the Glory” for it.

Death’s Resurrection Exalts Jesus To God’s Right Hand Of Power

The Easter story is God’s act of love to confront and forever eradicate the curse of sin. Jesus was the perfect Lamb of God, the only living creature or being that ever lived who was totally “sinless”. What did John the Baptist say upon seeing Jesus for the first time? (John 1:29 Behold the Lamb of God …)

God needed perfected strength to conquer this last enemy death. To accomplish this God had to become perfectly weak so that He might become perfectly strong.

What did this “perfected strength” grant the Son (Flesh) of God? This:

For he must reign (the Sonship, the Son of God), till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. I Corinthians 15:25-26

For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:21

All things which include sin, death and Satan are now subject to the authority of Jesus. The victory of Jesus over “all things” through the sacrifice as the perfect Lamb of God at Calvary, Jesus’ resurrection and the resurrection of his church marks the end of the Sonship. Jesus delivers the Kingdom of God to the Father, sits on the ‘right hand’ in heaven’s throne , crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords:

Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 1 Corinthians 15:24  

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. Revelation 1:8

Easter – The Message of Love and Hope

Creation has never witnessed nor will it ever witness a weakness so profound, so perplexing or so magnificent then what was displayed on the cross at Calvary 2,000 years ago. God sacrificing his own life for lost humanity:

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. John 10:14-15

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

When we ever get a grip and clear understanding of Calvary’s Love, we will be forever eternally changed. When you think about it, there are only two principal driving forces in life: love and hate. They both result in action (read the news about the latter).

Jesus came to this world to set the record straight regarding the most powerful and constructive life force on earth: love. Love is the reason for Easter.

It is said the great preacher Jonathan Edwards on July 8, 1741 in Enfield, Connecticut preached a famous message entitled “Sinners In The Hands of an Angry God”. It is recorded the message was so energized and powerful one could almost feel the heat of hell and smell the acrid scent of burning flesh.

Unfortunately, when it comes to God and faith, fear will only take you so far. And if by perchance it happens to take you all the way on your journey home to heaven, it will be a most joyless, sad and burdensome one to say the least.

If Mr. Edwards were alive today the Lord just may alter his title and its content. The impact of his message and its response if preached with the same zeal and passion may bring the same results in this day and age if focused on another aspect of salvation.

There is no question the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and we are to “work out” our salvation with “fear and trembling”. We definitely need to fear God and reverence Him. But, there is a flip-side to this equation. What is it? It is God’s love.

But, who has yet to speak with lips of clay the whole essence and total expression of what Calvary’s love really means? If they ever do, it will eternally change the souls of those who might hear the truth concerning the love of God as the Savior of the world – Christ Jesus.

It could be that what the generations of people living on earth today who are inundated with fear, hatred, sexual immorality, heartbreak, brokenness  and weariness from the pressures of life need to hear something else.

What this world needs and the one thing the church has at its fingertips is an inundation and heart-transforming message of “Good News” – the gospel of Jesus Christ: (I Corinthians 15:1-4).

And He himself antedates all things, and all things in Him cohere. And He himself is the Head of His Body, the Church. He is the originator, the firstborn out from among the dead, in order that He might become in all things himself the One who is pre-eminent, because in Him was well pleased that all the fullness be permanently at home. And through His agency to reconcile all things to himself, having concluded peace through the blood of His Cross, through Him, whether the things upon the earth or the things in the heavens. Colossians 1:17-20 (Wuest)

It is high time for a resurrection. God is calling His church and the world to be resurrected from the graveyards of past mistakes, failures and SHAME! God is calling for His Creation to sing again.

Happy Easter 2018!

Clean

Washed in the blood of your sacrifice
Your blood flowed red and made me white

My dirty rags are purified
I am clean, I am clean.