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Inspiration

Christianity of Head and Heart

The Difference between “Christianity of the Head” and “Christianity of the Heart”

In 1 Samuel 13:8, we see the first reason why Saul lost his kingdom. Samuel had told Saul to wait for him and he would offer a sacrifice to the Lord, before Saul went into battle. Saul waited for 7 days and Samuel didn’t come. So Saul decided to offer the sacrifice himself (13:9). He knew that he was not a priest, and that it was against God’s laws for him to offer the sacrifice to God. But because he had been so blessed in his ministry as a king, he felt he could go outside the boundary that God had drawn around him and enter into another ministry. Many preachers have made this mistake. We must recognise the ministry God has given us and stay within the boundaries that God has drawn around us. Just because God has blessed us in one ministry, we cannot move into another ministry that God has not called us to. Many years ago, I recognised that God had not called me to be an evangelist. I realised that He had called me to teach believers. And so, I have stayed within my boundaries, despite all the pressure that others have put on me to go outside my boundaries. I don’t want to repeat Saul’s mistake. Other people have the ministry of an evangelist and I value them and respect them and work with them – and submit to them in the sphere of their ministry. Uzziah was another king who tried to be a priest. God struck him down with leprosy. Here we see that God took away Saul’s kingdom from him, when he tried to be priest. Recognise your ministry and stay within your boundaries; and allow other people to fulfil their ministries. This is the simple law of the body of Christ.

We also see Saul’s impatience here. A few minutes after he had offered the sacrifice, Samuel came as he had promised. What a different story it would have been if only Saul had waited just a few minutes longer! Because of his pride and impatience, he lost everything. But he still sat on the throne of Israel for another 30 years. There are many who are sitting on their thrones in Christendom today, like Saul – who have lost the anointing of God long ago.  But because they have got money and human authority, they sit on their thrones directing their organisations. Saul degenerated from a wonderful young man, who started out in great humility, to become one who was useless to God!

Samuel then told Saul, “Your kingdom shall not endure now. You have acted foolishly. The Lord now seeks for somebody who is a man after His own heart” (13:13,14).

See the emphasis here on the heart. When Saul was anointed as king, the Bible says that his head stood out among the people, for he was taller than everybody else (1Sam.10:23). He was distinguished by his head – his brains. But God was now looking for someone who was distinguished by his heart. David was different from others, not because of his head, but because of his heart! He was a man after God’s own heart (1Sam.13:14).

There is a vast difference between a “Christianity of the head” and a “Christianity of the heart”. Saul represents the first and David represents the second. This is the essential difference between religious people and spiritual people. The Lord sought out for Himself a man after His own heart and He found David. Our head represents our brains, our intelligence and our cleverness. Our heart represents our devotion to the Lord and our worship of Him. The Father seeks for worshippers, not for scholars (John 4:23). If you are not a worshipper, if you are not devoted to Jesus Christ, no matter how clever you may be, you can end up like Saul. David finished his course triumphantly even though he made mistakes, because his heart was right.

Chapter 14:35. Here we read of the very first altar that Saul ever built. And there we see the reason for his failure: He was not a worshipper first of all. Saul’s ancestor, Abraham, had been a worshipper. Wherever Abraham went, he built an altar to worship the Lord. But Saul was just a smart, clever man and not a worshipper. Jesus said in Matthew 4:10, that we had to worship the Lord before we could serve Him. Beware of a Christianity that only resides in your head, and that does not lead you to a devotion to Jesus Christ and to a worship of God the Father.

Source: Newsletter from Pastor Zac Poonen

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Inspiration Meditation

Are your muscles sore?


Just recently, I did heavy weight lifting (about 25kgs) to build up my biceps. I lifted these weights after a long time break from weight lifting and I did around 25 repeats. I wanted to continue on and so I did another 20 repeats after a short 5 minute gap. I will tell you what made me do it. In my mind, I imagined myself where I would and how I would feel with great looking biceps.

I was tired in no time and I knew I shouldn’t have lifted so much weight at once. The next morning I could feel that my biceps were very sore. I couldn’t stretch out my arms fully and even moving my arms around made me feel an acute, sudden, sharp pain. This made me realize why it was such a big mistake lifting 15kg weights at once.

While applying a curing ointment to my biceps, I realized this is much like our faith in the Christian walk and how certain things I did could be used as an analogy to explain things mentioned in the bible. But before I talk about faith, I want to explain a bit about what causes Muscle Soreness. This is purely Wikipedia knowledge and I will try and make it as non-technical as possible.

Muscle soreness is a result of microscopic tearing of muscle fibre. The amount depends on how hard, how long, and what type of exercise we do. This tearing of muscle fibre causes sharp pain with swelling/bruising over the affected area. As it slowly cures over the days, the rebuilding process begins which makes muscle grow bigger and stronger than before.

But when does this process begin, you may ask? It begins when we are at rest. You see if you continue exercising as you normally would, your muscle fibre is torn over and over until you break down completely. You muscle grow smaller as there was no time for them to recover. This is much like our faith. Let me show you some verse from the bible and how they co-relate to our analogy of exercise and faith…

Romans 10:17 – “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ”. Muscles grow when we excercise regularly just as faith grows through the hearing of the word of God.

James 1:3 – “…because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance”. Lifting 15kg weights is testing your muscles capabilities…its stretching out the maximum potential your muscles have to lift them up and put them back down. It develops perseverance (endurance). Well…what do we need endurance for?

Romans 5:2-5 – “…and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”.

So what is that kept me going when I was tired? In other words, what motivated me to exercise more and more? It’s that image of myself feeling confident and having bigger biceps. Similarly, in our Christian walk, we also have an image that we can set before us. Its the image of finishing this race.

What race you may ask? It’s the race mentioned in Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us”. It sums up all the verses we have talked about earlier about perseverance, character, and race.

Dear brothers and sisters, this world is like passing through a large shopping mall that is about to close down. The time is ticking (Jesus is coming soon), the things all around you are very tempting and great to look at (temptations). If you stop and look at things, you are wasting time. You have to reach the exit before the mall closes down. In this shopping mall, once the gates are shut, it won’t be opened again. It’s open now…so make your way through the narrow path, squeezing through the thousands around you who are still shopping, tell them to get out as much as you can. Those that listen, will walk to the exit with you but those who don’t will face the consequences.

It’s their choice and it’s your choice. Make it out quick and you will see a world that you’ve never seen before. It won’t be the same as the entrance world. It will be a place so beautiful that your mind cannot comprehend. You will see His face, so beautiful that you wouldn’t want to ever turn away. You will see our wonderful Savior and our Lord saying to you “…Well done, good and faithful servant!…” (Matthew 25:23)

God bless you and I hope this has been an encouragement to you!

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22/07/2012 – After attending the Church today, I just felt that I should mention this. I was thinking a bit more about the shopping mall analogy. Have you ever felt lost in a shopping mall…not knowing where the exit is. Have you ever referred to these little maps that are available that show you the exit points. There are many exit points but there is only one which you need to exit through which will reach you to the place you parked your car. Consider this little map as the Bible, which is guiding you on what to do, what is good for you, what is not good for you and how you should make it down to the final exit before the time runs out.

Have you ever been so lost that a guide in a mall will literally take you to the exit? Well consider this guide, Holy Spirit promised to us by God (Luke 24:49). He can be as real as a person next to you can be. He only becomes that real to us when we spend time with Him, talking to Him and listening to His advice. And when you are following the map (bible) or the guide (Holy Spirit), you trust them that they will take you or guide you through to the right exit that you are wanting to get to. God is willing to guide you given that you ask him for his guidance (Isaiah 58:11).

Please consider this as just an analogy which fits quite well with many aspects of things related to God. It doesn’t accommodate all that is taught to us in scripture and therefore one must meditate what’s in the scripture and try to relate them to what’s happening in their own life.

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Categories
Inspiration

Get Somewhere


Are you groping for a blessing,
Never getting there?
Listen to a word in season,
Get somewhere.

Are you struggling for salvation,
By your anxious prayer?
Stop your struggling, simply trust and –
Get somewhere.

Does the answer seem to linger,
To your earnest prayer?
Turn your praying into praise, and –
Get somewhere

You will never know His fulness,
Till you boldly dare
To commit your all to Him, and –
Get somewhere.

Ref: Streams in the Desert book

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