Do you know what's in your heart? Do you know what you really value? It's not until we are tested that find out.
We sometimes say that we would never "stoop" to carry out some moral failure, but given enough pressure, can we sustain this?
A few years ago there was a movie, Indecent Proposal, (which I have never seen) where Robert Redford's character offers a husband a million dollars to have one night with his wife. Initially the man is apparently disgusted at the idea but he then puts the proposal to his wife. As they mull over over the idea of $1,000,000, the disgusting sin doesn't seem so offensive. How much money would you need to disobey God? How much is your commitment to your spouse worth? Ravi Zacharias tells the story of the man on the plane who sits next to an attractive business-woman who is married. They are both travelling interstate. He flirts with her and then puts an offer to her: one night for one million dollars. She considers the offer. Eventually she accepts. As the plane begins to descend to land, he reduces his offer to $50. She is insulted. "What do you think I am!?" she demands. To which the man replies, "We've already established that, we're now just haggling over the price!"
Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.
When things were going well for Job, Satan presented himself to God Almighty and alleged that the only reason Job served and loved God was because God had blessed him so much.
Job 1:9-10 ¶ Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason?
Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land."
If you know the story of Job, then you'll know that from this point on the story, God tested Job through the removal of His protection and blessing and allowing Satan to bring nearly every kind disaster upon Job. While Job grumbled, sulked, and even had a pity party, at no stage did he renounce his commitment to God or denounce God's goodness. Coincidentally, it was when Job - in the midst of his own suffering - prayed for his critics to be blessed, that his own circumstances were turned around. Ultimately, testing had revealed what was truly in Job's heart. Under testing, doubt but not despair, complaining but not compromising, aching without forsaking, all came out of Job's heart.
What would God find in our hearts if we underwent what Job went through?
What would we find in our hearts if God undertook to test us like He tested Job?
WHAT I WANT IN MY HEART...
In my heart I want to cultivate a love for God through Jesus Christ. I don't just want to follow Christ - I want to love to follow Christ! I want this to be a heart issue for me. But I don't want to just love to follow Christ, I want to love Christ. Under the fires of testing I want to come out with the purified gold and silver of utter devotion to Christ. When I am being bombarded with temptation to betray my Lord and witness to the world of His glory, I want my heart settled and steered - not by my passions - but by my love for Him.
Psalm 26:8 ¶ O LORD, I love the habitation of your house
and the place where your glory dwells.
In my heart I want a love for God's House where His people are - or more accurately - who His people are. This kind of love will be tested when I am tired and worn-out and I don't feel like being with people, but I have to. It will be tested when I am criticised by a brother of sister. It will be tested when a brother rebukes me rightly for something I did and shouldn't have done or even when I am rebuked for something that I didn't do but I should have done. It will be tested when I am tempted to be offended at someone's snide but thoughtless comments. What I want found in my heart is love and the humility to show it under such testing. Unfortunately for me, and perhaps for you because of me, I have failed this test too many times.
1Chronicles 29:17 I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness...
2Chronicles 32:31 God left him to himself, in order to test him and to know all that was in his heart
At Legana we are wanting the Lord to make our hearts wholely His. We want our hearts fully surrendered to Him. No matter what trial, trouble, disappointment or heart-ache comes our way, we want to always praise and trust Him. We want our hearts to love God, to love His Word, to love His people, to love assembling to worship with God's people, to love sharing the love of Christ with others, to love learning God's Word, Will and Ways, and to love serving God even when its not convenient.
As much as I hope that all of these attribute are already in my heart, I'll never really know until I am under some real pressure whether the coal of my soul has been turned into a diamond heart.