Saturday, September 28, 2013

My Compass

My heart is not trustworthy, therefore it is not worthy of my devotion, therefore it is not a faithful guide.

In like manner, society around me is not trustworthy. Cultural mores are trendy, changing with the wind. Once upon a time it was culturally acceptable to own a slave. No longer. I also recollect when lying in any situation was frowned upon; now it is "situational". It used to be that a young man was NOT invited to visit a young woman alone in her bedroom but it now occurs regularly with hardly any notice. Oh, we are a fickle lot!

Individuals, too, are more than capable of altering their views. Some of the women who, in my youth, encouraged me to marriage and fidelity now champion living together, decrying males as untrustworthy philanderers. A man who taught me to pursue education now pursues alcohol.

So, we are not to depend upon individuals, culture and society, or even our own heart (encompassing emotion, understanding, and mind.)

But we, as Christians, have the privilege of championing truth - not because we ourselves know best, but because we know the source of all truth. Absolute truth.

Here's a danger that I see. Due to cues from the culture around us, we rely too heavily on heart, on feelings, on emotion. And likewise, on intellect, reason, our own understanding.

Instead we must learn to read the compass given to us by God Himself. We must find "true north" and trust that "true north" is indeed true north. Then we must plot our course accordingly. And as we travel, we must check our path against that compass, because we will otherwise stray, taking the shorter route, the simpler path, the inviting view. Daily we need to check: are we on course, or are we distracted? If so, the answer is simple. Get back on track.

Get back on track and get back to "true north" - stop leaning on your own understanding. And don't lean on another man's understanding either. Read the Word yourself, not the most current blog, article, or published book. Ask God to illumine His Words of life, because He gives each one of us the Holy Spirit as our very own teacher. Yes, He provides teachers in accordance with Ephesians 4.11, too. But that is not an excuse for forsaking personal Bible study.

We ourselves need to know the Word. The enemy won't shake in his boots when you quote Mark Driscoll or Neil Anderson or Tim Keller. He won't even listen to you. But speak the Word of God; he hears and heeds. And when your heartstrings pull strongly in a certain direction, YOU must know what the Word says in order to determine your actual course - because "The heart is deceitful above ALL things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17. 9 emphasis mine) It requires real Holy Spirit activated faith to put to death the flesh, the heart, the passions we can encounter that are contrary to His way and " comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." (Romans 10.17)

Don't rely on your heart. I know you have been taught to do that very thing. Undependable cultural mores teach us to look to our undependable heart. Who hasn't heard - "Just follow your heart." "Do it your way." "Be true to your own heart."

Bunk. All of it.

Christian, it's time to pick up your compass. Find true north and be true to that. Lean on His Word and He will direct your paths. Every one of them.