II Cor. 2:11, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.”
Matthew 10:16, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”
In this series we are discussing ways that Satan tries to distort our faith, our belief system. Faith is the most important component of a Christian’s Earthly life; therefore, the devil will try the hardest to corrupt it. He wants us to believe lies. Let’s talk about the heart this week.
- Nothing else matters, as long as we ‘put our heart into it.’ The only important thing is that we do what we ‘feel’ is the right thing, and we give all we’ve got. This is a popular motto; it’s also a lie. Satan wants us to rely on our passion and our energy and ‘giving it all,’ at the expense of simple obedience.
I can easily fall into believing this lie. I am a passionate person who is willing to give 110% to what I believe. If I had not been born into a Christian home and a Godly church, I could see myself leading some good, worthy cause- at the expense of everything else in my life. I’d be the woman with the mega-phone leading the picket line, fighting for some noble cause. Follow me! I can naturally follow my passionate heart for a good cause!
Unfortunately, the Lord wants obedience to His Word, not just passion for what I feel is the best. There are several illustrations in the Bible about people who disobeyed God while doing what they thought was good.
The prophet Samuel warned Saul that he disobeyed in keeping the conquered king and the live-stock alive, when God told him to destroyed everything. Saul thought he was super-spiritual and knew more than the man of God. In so doing, he lost the power of God on his life, as well as the throne of Israel.
I Samuel 15:22, “…to obey is better than sacrifice….”
God called Moses to lead the children of Israel. He spoke to him in the desert from a burning bush. This was a miraculous calling. Moses was God’s special, chosen man for His people. After the elaborate way in which he was called by God, you would think that nothing could keep him from fulfilling his destiny. BUT God Himself almost killed Moses at an inn on the way back to Egypt, because Moses had not obeyed by circumcising his son. Wow! To call a man, yet be willing to kill him before he fulfills what he is called to do? YES! Why? Because God expects obedience.
Ladies, do not allow the devil to get you to believe that you are so ‘needed’ by God, that you can do His will your own way. God needs no one. He is looking for obedience. He can raise up leaders and tear them down just as easily when they do not obey the Bible. We are not above God’s laws, no matter how passionate we are about serving in the ministry. We will get taken from our service when we disobey God’s laws.
King David was a passionate man. He wanted to bring the ark of the covenant back to Israel. He sent his men to bring back the ark. BUT, they did not obey God in how they carried the ark. The Lord instructed the Israelites to carry the ark with 2 long poles. David had his men put the ark on a cart to bring it back. On the way, the cart was shaken on the rough road, and a good man put out his hand to steady the ark, so that it would not fall. That man died instantly. Wow! That doesn’t seem right! These men meant to honor God by bringing back the ark. Why would the Lord kill that good man? Because God is just. He expects obedience above all else.
Our good intentions are not the most important thing; our obedience is. Satan says that it’s all okay, as long as our heart is in the right place. God says no! Obedience is always more important that passion, even passion to serve Him.
I wish we could all just serve the Lord however felt right to us. We could dress like we wanted, listen to the music that ‘feels’ right, worship God how and where and when we wanted- as long as we put our heart into it! But this is not pleasing to God. Our obedience to His Word is what pleases him.
Remember, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). We serve God with our hearts AFTER we are sure that we are serving Him correctly through Scripture. Let’s not get the cart before the horse. Obedience first.