Thursday, 21 February 2013

Heart Change

43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.  Luke 6:43-45

When I have the privilege of teaching a class I prefer interactive sessions, i.e. where those in attendance pose questions during the session.  This keeps it fresh and alive for me because I have no idea what people will ask so it keeps me “on my game” so to speak.  Such was the case last night and I wanted to share the question and my attempt at responding.
The larger topic was idols of the heart, i.e. we respond to external circumstances in a way that would not please God thus we make something in our lives more important than God.  For example I might be running late and I am stopped at a red light.  The light changes to green but the person in front of me does not advance his car.  My impatience gets the better of me and I lay on the horn.  At that very moment my time is more important than the person in front of me.  By letting the person know of my displeasure I am advancing the cause of people everywhere who need to arrive at a destination on time.  Clearly this is all about me, my needs, my wants, and my desires.

The question was “How does one go about changing their heart?”

You see it was not the driver in front of me that caused my less than appropriate response to the situation, it was my impatient, critical spirit that jumped on the horn.  That impatient critical spirit resides inside of me, for what comes out of me is what is inside of me.

My response:

A true heart change can only come about with the help of the Holy Spirit which is only available to those who have professed Christ as Lord and Savior.  The person must have a strong desire to change.  The person must express their genuine sorrow to God for their specific heart issue and ask Him to help bring about a change.  Most likely it will be gradual, as a rule God is not in the business of quick fixes.  It will take work and it will take a willingness on the part of the sinner to ask someone to hold him/her accountable. It will mean more prayer, more time in God’s Word and time spent with those who can provide Godly counsel.

How might you have responded to the question?

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