Fire in my Bones Youth for Jesus

Hearts always going astray By: J.O. Lawal|FIRE IN MY BONES

Date: March 01, 2023|Series: Youth for Jesus|Number: Vol. 5, No. 42

“So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did. That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.'”” (Heb 3:7-11NIV)

What was the problem God had with the children of Israel that Moses brought out of Egypt, as we see in our opening text? It was that their hearts were always going astray. What does that mean? Well, it means that they were not consistent and faithful in trusting God and in following Him.

Now was is that God gave these people a reason not to be consistent in trusting Him and yielding to Him? No! On the contrary, everything He did for them was done to give them no room to doubt His faithfulness in taking care of them and leading them to the place of rest He had prepared for them.

Nonetheless, as the Spirit of God points out in our opening text, these Israelites would not utterly commit their hearts to following Him, despite all the miracles and signs that He performed for their salvation and prosperity. Instead, each time they faced a new challenge or problem, their hearts would immediately go astray. And they would be ready to grumble against Him and to turn their backs on Him.

Therefore, at some point, He got tired of their grumbling and unfaithfulness and swore that they would not enter the place of rest He had prepared for them. And did they enter it? No, they didn’t. Instead, they perished in the wilderness.

Now we are too are being warned by the Spirit of God not to be like these Israelites in our walk with God. Yes, as long as we are in this world, we cannot run away from challenges. In fact, our Lord’s own words about this are: “…In this world you will have trouble…” So, we should not consider it strange or unusual when we are confronted with diverse trials and challenges in this world. These things are to be expected. (Cf. John 16:33)

But then, in the same breath that the Lord says that we will encounter trouble in this world, He also tells us to cheer up. Why? It is because He has overcome the world for us. And as long as we put our trust in Him, He will make sure we have His peace and rest in our lives, regardless of what challenges we are faced with where we are.

So, instead of losing our mind when we are confronted with any challenge and allowing our heart to turn away from God, we should begin to remind ourselves of all the good things He has done for us in the past, which are actually uncountable. Then our hearts will be strengthened to trust Him again and again. But if we allow ourselves to forget that He has always been good to us and start talking nonsense or turning to the wisdom of men, simply because we are confronted with some challenge that seems overwhelming to us, we may just miss the experience of His rest and victory that could have been ours.

Similarly, in our relationships with men, we also need to learn to be faithful to those who have a record of being good to us or of taking good care of us. Yes, there may be times in which circumstances of life may limit them or prevent them from caring for us as they used to do or as they would love to do. Yet we must remain faithful to them. In fact, we must demonstrate compassion towards them at such times and consider ways to be of help to them.

But if we begin to abuse or threaten those who have been good to us or if we abandon them because of certain challenges they are facing that make it difficult or impossible for them to care for us as they used to do, we will be acting just like those Israelites of old that turned away from God any time things did not go smoothly for them. And where that is the case, there is every tendency that we will miss whatever rest or comfort God might have used them to bring to us in the future, when their lives and fortunes are restored.

Therefore, watch yourself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *