There are a lot of thoughts that are running through my head tonight. It has been a busy day, more than that a busy last few weeks! Today was our first day of Teen Music Camp. This is an annual event in our community where teens come for a weekend and learn skits and music that they perform in a worship service at the end of the weekend. I say perform, but perform isn't the right word. They use these songs and skits to lead the community in worship at the end of the weekend. It was amazing to see 40+ teens singing together and enjoying fellowship with one another all day today.
The whole focus of today was worship. The thought that worship is all about God and it is a lifestyle, not just something we participate in for an hour a week. This is such a foundational truth that we all need to be reminded of, almost daily! It is so easy for us to make things about ourselves, and we do it without even realizing!
While thinking about this, God brought this thought to my mind, do we really believe God's Word? I mean more than do we know His word, but do we really believe His Word? Because this flows out into every area of our lives. What we believe about God reaches into every area of our lives. Matthew 12:34 says, "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." If we say we believe in God's Word and we truly trust it, then our lives will reflect that! No question about it! What is in our hearts will come out in our lives! We can't trick people by trying to live a life that looks good like we believe a Christian's life should, when in reality our hearts are dead to Him. Unless he gives us a new heart, all that will flow out of us will be death because our heart is dead! But when He gives us a new heart, life will flow out of us! It will be evident! I love the illustration David Platt uses for this. He compares the change that Christ brings in our life to being hit by a Mack truck - there is going to be a difference! You don't get hit by a Mack truck and walk away looking the same as you did beforehand. You walk away looking drastically different!
We cannot say that Christ has changed our lives if our lives look exactly the same as they did before! it simply isn't Biblical! What is in our hearts will come out! So if what is coming out looks nothing like Christ, the issue lies in the heart! Proverbs 4:23 says "Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." Another version says 'for from it flow the issues of life." Everything about our lives begins in our heart. If we have issues with anything in life, we must move past simply treating the symptoms and realize it is a heart issue!
I am not however saying that as believers we do not sin. We absolutely sin! We struggle daily with the flesh. However, the difference is in the lifestyle. If the pattern of my life is sinful, that doesn't look like Christ! Remember, if you get hit by a Mack truck, you will look like it! As believers we do sin, but the Holy Spirit of God that dwells within us opens our eyes to the fact that we have sinned and just like Romans 2:4 says "God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance." This does not happen in the life of the non-believer. It happens in the lives of those who have been hit head on by the extravagant grace of an awesome, holy God, and they are never the same because of it! This same God, Takes away our dead heart of stone and gives us a new heart! "And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 32:26.
If this awesome, holy God has hit us head on with His extravagant grace, we can no longer live like we lived before. We cannot make excuses! If this has taken place in our lives, the result will be the life of Christ flowing out of the new heart He has given us!