A few weeks ago we had a guest speaker at church, Dr. Mitch Kim from Living Waters Alliance on Colossians 3:5-11. “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On the account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator, Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.”
I have no intent here to even try to sum up his sermon. In fact this blog started out on the topic of sexual sins, but I got sidetracked and now have had to edit the whole thing because I realized that clarity on another topic was way more urgent than another call to control one’s sexual ignition switch. Editing is a skill I’m still working on, so please forgive me if I missed something and a part seems a little stilted (read: poorly edited for clarity.)
Which brings me to the real topic. The heart. Not the one that beats in your chest. The Greek word from which we derive the English word cardiac is kardia. The center. You must remember that Greek was an immensely philosophical language. And Hebrew was built by an intensely theocratic and religious people. Neither of these peoples had our modern view of a brain in our heads for thinking and a heart in the chest for emotions. In both languages, the heart, was the center of a person, the woman or the man, the desires and will of the individual.
I do not hold to the notion of head and heart. That emotions are somehow seated in the heart and the thoughts are seated in your head and that the two can somehow be “divided”. Both the OT and NT refer to the heart in a “center of my being” concept. Emotions and Thoughts emanate from the same place, my center of consciousness. Emotions are just me, they are mine and I am responsible for their management and care in the exact same way as I am for my thoughts. Fingers are not toes and my kidneys are not my eyes, my stomach is not my brain but I need all these to work for me to live. The image given us by God includes complexities of emotion and thought. The quiet will is in my opinion a far bigger player than we give it credit for. That we focus so much on emotions and thoughts and leave the will aside is a testament to its diminished status in our times.
Reviewing the thoughts and meditations of one’s own heart can be scary stuff. We carefully hide things, hoping not to upset the applecart of personal piety. Our own image of self is a hard thing to get to. It shifts under observation, never quite the same each time we take an internal snapshot and attempt to analyze it. At least mine is. Why is that? I think it is because they are mere tools, tentacles of our own will, not separate and unique but subjugated to a master will that wishes to remain hidden behind its fig leaf.
Proverbs 27:19-20 As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man. Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and never satisfied are the eyes of a man.
When I first quoted this verse for my original version, I saw it as a reference to the wandering eye of men. And now I see a much, much deeper reference. While the wandering eye of men is still true, it’s only a small truth in face of a much, much bigger one. We are separated from our creator, the Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent self existent One who Lives outside time and space as He created them as well. We desire what we lost. Which makes our desire infinite. And doesn’t our will chases our desires?
God’s will is pure, undefiled by sin. Jesus said “I have come to do the will of the one who sent me”. All of Jesus’s faculties were set to one task: to do the will of God the Father. So, to have Christ Jesus in you means our entire being, out hearts must turn to that task for which He was sent: to do the will of the Father. Is then the will of your heart to do His will or your own wicked desire?