My life and my thoughts - on faith, culture, politics, whatever comes to my mind

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

A question of the heart

Often I wonder why some people – fellow Christians – keep on living their lives like they have always done. No changes, not even discussions, ... nothing. As if the Word of God and the pastor’s teaching on it never happened. As if it had no meaning for their personal lives. Of course I know that God (and only God) can look into their hearts and see what happens there and is not obvious for human onlookers.
But it makes me wonder.

Sometimes we receive the impression that people do not want to grow in their walk with Christ, they don’t want to move from babes in the faith to mature Christians. Hardly anyone is attending the Sunday School for adults in my church and although we have several bible study groups in various homes, it is still only a minority of our congregation who attends. A spiritual gifts workshop was more filled, but still it was more or less the usual suspects.

Why does it seem like there is no desire for a deeper understanding and a closer walk with the Lord? And far too often I see this happen in my own life. Falling back into old habits and refusing to grow more mature.

At blogotional I found a link to the sermons of John Piper. And one of them (actually the one that precedes the sermon John linked to) dealt with a text in Hebrews (5, 11-14) and a disease Piper calls Dullness of Hearing. The reason for this is not a physical problem, but there is something wrong with [the] heart. The heart is not eager and diligent to embrace the promises and turn them into faith and patience”; “it’s hearing without faith and without the moral fruit of faith.” Piper then tells about a remedy for this disease and how babes in faith mature by practicing Biblical milk. The milk of God’s gospel promises must transform [our] moral senses – [our] spiritual mind – so that [we] can discern between good and evil. [...] If you want to eat the solid food of the Word [which the mature eat] you must exercise your spiritual senses so as to develop a mind that discern between good and evil. This involves being obedient to God’s Word and His promises, applying it to our hearts and minds and be satisfied, which (if I understand it right) means to love what we find there. And this in turn will transform us, our values and principles and in turn enable to discern between good and evil. In all decisions.

It will change us deeply from within and give us an ever stronger desire for God and his Word, to know Him better and to obediently follow Him. It is a question of the heart. Let us therefore gladly mature on the milk of God's Word and then move on to deeper understanding!