Thursday, July 24, 2014

Our Actions Reveal Our Hearts

What is our great and overwhelming desire? Many people are not able to put it into words. Many people live without direction and purpose. Many people are propelled forward by the circumstances of their lives, not determining their course but allowing the "elements" to determine it for them. They live, eat, drink, breathe, and, eventually, stop doing all of these things, never having an understanding of why they are doing them. That was never our Creator's intention for us.

If nothing else we should at least be able to express the same basic desire Moses had:

Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. (Exodus 33:13)

"Show me your way, that I may know you." There is no greater purpose we could have than that of discovering Yahweh's way with the intent to know him. It is the reason we read our Bibles, pray, worship, meditate, serve; to discover his ways so that we may know him. We certainly don't do it to please anyone else and it is not because we think these things save us. Only Jesus saves us, but these things are means to discover Yahweh's ways so that we may know him.

How does knowing his ways make it possible for us to know him? If you truly want to know a person live with him for a week and observe what he does. Our actions, including our mistakes and reaction to them, reveal our heart. How we treat people, react in situations, plan out our days, handle interruptions, show who we are by revealing our priorities, where we see ourselves in relationships and what our values are. This is also true of Yahweh.

The entire Old Testament reveals his heart to us by showing us who he is in relation to his creation. We discover a Holy God whose standards come from that holiness. Yet despite these standards he showed grace and mercy more often than justice. He is a God of justice but his love is revealed by his response of mercy and grace. How patient he was with Israel despite her constant disobedience. He warned her that one infraction to his standards would send her exiled from the land he has given her. Instead he patiently tried to correct her, generation after generation, but she would not turn back from her rebellion until he finally responded with justice. But even this justice was a tool of correction for the purpose of restoring her, because he is a God of covenant, and he does not give up. This shows us his heart toward us, and despite our sin, he does not desire justice as much as he desires mercy, forgiveness, grace and restoration.

It is a great thing to find purpose in desiring to know Yahweh's ways with the motive of knowing him. If only this was our prayer, one that we sincerely put into action every day. To know him better is also Yahweh's desire for us. It is all part of the reason that he paid the price he did through Jesus on the cross. It was all an act of love so that we would have the capability to draw near to him, to discover his heart and to possess one desire above all others: To be with him for eternity.

No comments: