Doing what is in God’s heart

fast-166067_6402Kings 10:30: And the LORD said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in carrying out what is right in my eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in my heart, your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.”

God said that the heart of man is desperately wicked, who can know it? That is why he said that he would give us a new heart as part of the salvation experience (Ezekiel 36:26), removing our hearts of stone and replacing it with the heart of flesh. From the focus verse we know that God rewards us for doing what is in his heart, as we go as far he wants us to, because we share his passion.

When Elisha was soon to die, a king of Israel came to his house and as a prophetic act on how he (the king) was going to defeat his enemies (2Kings 13:14-19), Elisha asked that king to strike the ground with arrows, which he did three times. But Elisha was sad, saying: “why did you strike the ground only three times, you should have struck it up to six times then you would have permanently dealt with that nation who has been a thorn in your flesh. But now you will only defeat them three times.” That king did not do act according to Elisha’s desire and he was sad, how much more God. God is looking for those who will accurately express his heart.

His heart is a heart of love towards all people since Jesus had taken the wrath of God directed at humanity upon him. Now is the time of grace, it is the time of the favour of God, for all to come freely into the His embrace. God is calling all people in all places to come to the saving grace of Jesus (2Corinthians 5:19).

Sin should not stop us from coming; it should be the reason why we come, because there is forgiveness with him (Ephesians 1:7) and freedom from the sinful lifestyle too (John 8:31-36). That is in the heart of God. If we are not communicating the love of God, we are not communicating his heart, because God is love (1John 4:8).

While Jesus walked the earth, he expressed the compassion of God for the people. When a village did not allow Jesus to pass through it, two of his disciples, James and John wanted to cast fire on the earth for them. He told them they shouldn’t, that did not represent his heart (Luke 9:51-56). He did not come to destroy but to save. He did not come to judge the earth but that through him the world will be saved.

He even prayed for those who nailed him to the cross asking God: forgive them for they do not know what they are doing (Luke 23:34). The love of God offers forgiveness, it does not shut anyone out, and there is none too far gone from the reach of his grace which is extended to all through Jesus. There should not be a doctrine promulgated in which certain people on the earth are regarded as been exempted from the reach of the grace of God.

We cannot do what is in God’s heart if we don’t know what is there, and we won’t know it except it is revealed to us. That is the role of the Holy Spirit, to take what is in the heart of God and reveal it to us (John 16:14). That is what we need Him for.

Paul wrote: who knows the heart of a man except the spirit in man, and who the things of God (1Corinthians 2), including what is in his heart, cannot be known except by the Spirit of God. If the Holy Spirit is not revealing the heart of God to you, there is something wrong. If you are a Christian, it means you have grieved him (Ephesians 4:30) severely to silence.

The Holy Spirit will not depart from us (since we have been sealed with him till the second coming of Jesus [Ephesians 1:13]; or till we get to heaven). But in the Old Testament, David prayed: do not take away your Holy Spirit from me (Psalm 51:11) (as God took him away from Saul his predecessor [1Samuel 16:14]). However, as a Christian, if you ignore him, he will allow you to lose touch with him. That is called grieving the Holy Spirit, i.e. causing him to be less free to relate with you, because he has a sensitive nature.

God is willing to show us what is in his heart if we are willing to listen, if we are not so full of ourselves and refuse to receive from him or from those he sends to us.

We should be like Habakkuk who said: I will take my place on the tower and see what God will say to me (Habakkuk 2:1-2); like Mary who shook off the pressure from her sister and sat down at the feet of Jesus (Luke 10:38-42); like Queen Sheba who gave it whatever it takes to lay hold of wisdom (Matthew 12:42). Solomon said: buy the truth and sell it not (Proverbs 23:23), give it all it takes.

There are some kinds of understanding, which God gives us as gifts. He told his disciples, it is given to you to know the secrets of the kingdom (Matthew 13:10-11). He rejoiced that God has given such understanding to “babes” and not the religious establishment in his time. Jesus deliberated chose to speak of certain things to those of his inner caucus, because God decided that such should be accessed by them.

Paul was gifted with special understanding of the application of the sacrifice of Jesus to gentile for their salvation. How people who did not have a natural relationship with Abraham can have a spiritual relationship with him as their father if they have faith, making them spiritually linked to him through Jesus Christ, and changing their portion forever (Ephesians 2:11-19).

This is a kind of knowledge that does not yield to study, and can only come by special illumination of the scriptures by God, by his grace (Romans 15:15).

Paul had been a Pharisee, which means he was no stranger to the words of scriptures, but he was an ignorant captive to the prevailing interpretation of those words in his time. He soaked in what he was taught and was ready to kill for it.

Those interpretations became like his god, un-shifting, but when the only wise God (1Timothy 1:16-17) caused the knowledge of his Son to shine forth in his heart (2Corinthians 4:5-7), and he was called to be an apostle to the gentile, he immediately began to preach that Jesus is the messiah, the opposite of what he stood for. It was as if his skull was opened up and a new kind of knowledge was implanted there.

He was a teaching apostle with a special mandate to communicate a special variant of truth different from the variant that God communicates to the Jews about Christ through Peter, who was the apostle to the Jews (Galatians 2:7-8). He describes it as God working mightily though him. With that special understanding, Paul was able to do what was in the heart of God, he communicates His eternal truth.

 

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