Deu 29:2 And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: “You have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, 3 the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, and those great wonders. 4 But to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear. 5 I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn off your feet. 6 You have not eaten bread, and you have not drunk wine or strong drink, that you may know that I am the Lord your God. (ESVST)
In the last few posts I have talked about this idea of a “heart to understand” and what it meant for Adam and Eve to “die” in the Garden after eating the fruit. I can’t over emphasize the importance of what happened when we ate the wrong fruit. We were instantly aware of laws and lists and rules and comparisons. We were condemned and ashamed and guilty in our hearts as a result. We ran and hid in the bushes instead of running to God. The fruit blinded us to the goodness of God. We lost touch with who God is and instead became infatuated with who we are. We turned inward instead of upward. We declared independence instead of seeking dependence. We took matters into our own hands instead of relying on our loving Father. We were convinced that our effort and our willpower was the only way to a right relationship with God. We lived in fear (the wrong kind that is based on punishment) of a God who is love which casts out all fear. We jumped into a pool of hopelessness and despair looking to each other for accountability and power to save ourselves. Our lawyer paradigm dominated our thinking. Our limited scope understanding thrust us into limited options that are bound by the “laws of nature” the “laws of experience” the “laws of man” and the “laws of circumstance.” We put on the chains and gave the keys to the devil. Every time we declare despair and division and offense we empower the devil and his deception is still holding us captive in our own prison of our own fallen thinking and understanding.
Praise God for Jesus! His revelation on the cross through the power of the Holy Spirit lifts the veil and we begin to see again. We turn and listen and look. There He is, right there. He has been there from the beginning and has never left us. We wait on Him and He reveals His goodness. Our stinking thinking is transformed into a power infused understanding of His goodness. We often use a phrase like “this is too good to be true.” With God that is a foundational perspective of our fallen nature. We CAN’T see a good God in our fallen state without Him revealing Himself. When we insist on the law and self-effort we are actually lowering the veil again. We are choosing to ignore the goodness of God, the Grace of God, the finished work of Jesus, the power of the Holy Spirit and exchanging that beauty for the ashes of death. When we choose “balance” or “and buts” then we compromise the finished work of Jesus and step back into a fallen understanding of a distant, angry, vengeful God. Nothing could be further from the truth but still our fallen nature will dominate our thinking. This is living in the flesh. This is ignoring the Spirit. The Holy Spirit continuously reveals the goodness of God and the love of Jesus. That is His conviction. That is His encouragement. That is His power in our lives.
So I will continue to beat that drum over and over again. I will not relent. God is good, period. I believe that the more I wait on Him the more I will become aware of His goodness. The more I press into His presence the more I become aware of His love. The more I refuse to agree with hopelessness and despair the more the POWER of His love will work through me. The more I turn and wait and listen, the more His love will manifest in my life. Yay God!
I didn’t intend this post to be a diatribe of exhortation but there it is. But I do want to encourage you with a revelation from scripture. It begins with the opening verses. Moses is speaking to the Nation just before they go into the Promised Land. He is trying to explain what all this has been about. He begins with this statement about not understanding. Even though they have witnessed all the “stuff” they still don’t have understanding of who God is. I believe this is expected since they don’t have a regenerated experience, they don’t have the Holy Spirit in them. They only have the law and what they have seen. Still Moses goes on to point out that God will bring revelation:
Deu 30:6 And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. (ESVST)
God does it. See it? God does it. Wow, I really like that. Then He tells them how this relationship with God isn’t hard at all.
Deu 30:11 “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it? ’ 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it? ’ 14 But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. (ESVST)
It is a divine set-up. Turn and listen and speak. God takes care of the impossible. We just agree. Look, here is the same reference in Romans:
Rom 10:1 Brothers, my heart ‘s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’ s righteousness. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. 5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘ Who will ascend into heaven? ’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “ or ‘ Who will descend into the abyss? ’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);
Jesus does the stuff we think is impossible. God takes care of everything. Then Paul goes on to explain:
9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “ Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “ everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (ESVST)
I hope you can “see” what Paul is saying. We hid in the bushes because of shame and condemnation. The power of God to raise Jesus from the dead is the same power that sets us free from condemnation and shame. We let God in. We believe in the saving power of Jesus to set us free from guilt and shame and condemnation and SELF. We let Him in our hearts to circumcise our hearts into understanding. We then fall in love with the source of love. Then we confess that Jesus is King. He has won. He is victorious. There are no powers anywhere that are above or over Him. He has power over every situation, sickness, disease, circumstance, experience, hurt, offense…the list goes on and on. Jesus is King.
Can you see now that this is our SALVATION? We are liberated, set free. We are finally restored to a state prior to bad fruit consumption. We are no longer in bondage to shame. We are no longer blind to the goodness of God. We are truly set free from ourselves and our fallen nature to see the beauty, the glory, the power, the magnificence, the infinite love of a perfectly good God? That is our new heart of understanding. Praise God for Jesus. Praise God for His power on this Earth. Praise God for His Holy Spirit in us.
One thought on “Heart of Understanding”
I like that this post started in the old testament and went into the new of Christ, it captivates the audience by having an evolving story. I especially like when you said we went inward instead of upward, that’s so true and it happens to me in my moments of weakness even though I know to lean on God for strength.
Thank you for a good read & God Bless,