In Jeremiah 17:9 we read the following: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” Oh no! Does this refer to followers of God’s also? It basically refers to those without God… but those who are making a diligent effort to truly follow God do not get away scot-free.
It would probably be fair to say for those trying to follow God’s way: “The heart is still occasionally deceitful, and sometimes still not in harmony with God’s laws. We must, with God’s help, get to know our own hearts.” And of course, we know that that means that we must have our hearts replaced with His heart.
We are not without God and we are in the process of having our hearts changed… but are we there yet?
The Germans have a saying: “One never stops learning”. (Man lernt nie aus.)
We know that God tells us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We have been shown that by God and should truly desire to change.
God has intervened in our lives, called us out of this world and is giving us help to overcome. So, it would be fair to say, that we are working on it.
God gives us a strong and positive reminder in Ezekiel. “But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live” (Ezekiel 18:21-22).
We all need to realize that our lives are made up of choices. We choose every day whether or not we wish to continue to follow God in the way which He has shown us.
The world around us continues its spiral descent. Morality becomes more and more situationally relative (read: people do whatever they want to do). Respect for authority is waning. Proper exercise of authority is waning. God’s laws have been left behind in the dust as mankind proceeds down his own road.
And we live in this world!
Christ said clearly, though, that He did not pray that we would be taken out of the world. (John 17:15).
Why is God doing it this way? Why can’t we be spared the pains of life? Because God, in His wisdom, has decided that we too must experience what the world experiences. Death, sickness, pain, heartache.
Experiencing those things helps us to yearn for a better world. It gives us a better understanding of the one in which we live. And besides, if we were simply handed everything on a silver platter — given a cushy life — we would learn very little.
So, in our walk with God we should actually be thankful for the things He allows us to go through – difficult though they sometimes/often may be.
If we keep the faith – keep on keeping on, don’t give up, persevere – God promises us a tremendous reward (1 Peter 5:4).
Let us be thankful for the blessings God gives us — even if sometimes they are in the form of trials — and “keep on a-changin’”!