We are in a spin off from the series of Freedom as temptations leads to bondage. The first temptation was a physical one talking about our hearts. We started to look at the first physical temptation of Jesus around bread and satisfying your hunger, then I made the argument that we need to clean our hearts and the first thing to clean our hearts are physical (and thinking about) adultery.
There are more things we need to clean our hearts of.
I think James 5 sums it up
You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in the day of slaughter.
I think most sin is born from focussing on me, from being selfish. It’s all about MY needs, my image, my feelings, my thoughts, my comforts and what people will be thinking of ME. These things fattens my heart, to the point that there is not much room for God or others. It’s like when your body is fattened – to exercise becomes more difficult. To exercise a fattened heart in the fruit of the Spirit becomes difficult.
What are some of the ‘’fat’’ that can influence our heats?
- People, friends, teachers.
Rom 16: 11-18
Now I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those that create divisions and obstacles that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Turn away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naïve.
What do we have an appetite for: chocolates, sweets, chips or fruit and vegetables? Look at yourself and the people around you. What appetite do you have? And your friends? Appetite for gossip, pornography, drinking, swearing? Or appetites of the good and wholesome Bible, Godly friendships, fruit of the Spirit? Surround yourself with those who have an appetite for what you believe in.
I have been following the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture on the side line and I have seen clearly the impact of friends with an appetite for corruption and control on high ranking officials. It might feel good while you are in it, but it is a different story when the truth starts to jump out. The same way with filling yourself with other appetites, it might feel good in the moment, but when you have to stand in front of the judge’s throne one day and the truth is set in front of you. Will you answer: But it was the friends I surrounded myself with? It felt normal then?
Friends, teachers and people whose hearts are ‘’fat’’ are serving their own appetites and not Christ. How do we discern such people? They create divisions and obstacles that are not biblical. You need to know your Bible to be able to discern whether this obstacle or division is Biblical or not. Be careful for people who will manipulate for their own good, their own appetite, selfish and greedy nature by smooth talk and flattery.
I need to check myself often not to get too cynical about people when I detect smooth talk and flattery. Especially because I can be so naïve about many things. And then I sometimes catch myself doing smooth talk and flattery and then I have to investigate my heart and see where this comes from, and root it out.
People can also lie and betray you.
The evening meal was underway and the devil had already put into the heart of Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.
Then Peter said, “Annanias, how is it that Satan has filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and withhold some of the proceeds from the land? …. “How could you conceive such a deed in your heart?…..
If you don’t love the Lord your God with all your heart, you leave an opening for the devil to sow into your heart. If you ignore the seed, the seed will grow and you will bear the consequences. If you root it out as soon as it has sprouted, you are able to keep yourself from sin. I spend now and then time in my garden, especially to root out all weed from my grass, because I have seen too many places when you don’t it starts to take over. The problem with that is that 2 weeks after my ‘’grass cleansing’’ process, I can see new weeds coming up. I know I have rooted out the weeds, so it must be from seed. We must never stop investigating our hearts, it is a constant process and the earlier we can put our finger on a ‘bad’ seed, the better off we are.
- Fat can be unbelief.
See to it brothers, that none of you has a wicked heart of unbelief that turns away from the living God.
Unbelief turns your heart away from God, if your heart is turned away from God, who is it turned to instead? Other people? This will either fatten your heart or harden it. More on the harden side later.
So we see that because of their unbelief they were not also to enter his rest.
Oh dear! I cringe when I have to write this. Jealousy is born from comparing yourself and your circumstances to others and you feel lacking. I have caught myself doing it in so many ways!
But if you harbour in your hearts bitter jealousy and selfish ambition, do not boast in it or deny the truth. Such wisdom does not come from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic for where jealousy or selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every evil practice.
This piece says we must not boast or deny the truth. I feel so guilty that I don’t want to talk about it and when I do talk about it, I feel judged.
We compare our houses, cars, position at work, income, holidays (type and amount), cell phones, children’s accomplishments and manners.
- Words, Opinions
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not bridle his tongue, he deceives his heart and his religion is worthless.
It is so easy to speak judgement or opinion about others. Again my opinion is about me, which fattens my heart when I judge others.
Yes, worrying is fattening your heart because worrying is about what YOU might not get. You might not get heart, money, acceptance, safety, therefore you worry.
All of these are good to get, but to focus on the lack of these takes your heart away from God. I can give you so many examples of this in my own life!
But watch yourselves, or your hearts will be weighed down by dissipation, drunkenness and the worries of life – and that day will spring upon you suddenly like a snare.
Many people start to drink in order to forget their worries. Dissipation means overindulgence in sensual pleasures.
People (friends, teachers) can plant bad seed in your heart, take care who you spend time with.
Unbelief will cause you not to go into rest
Jealousy must be cleaned from your heat
Be careful what you are saying
May the LORD bless you and keep you.
May His face shine upon you and be gracious to you
May He turn His face toward you and give you peace.
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