Position of the Heart

There are many instructions in the Bible on how to act/the do’s and don’ts.  So often we lose sight of the fact that it is a position of the heart that God is interested in.  One example of this is the passage in Matthew 6:3-4 “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.  And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”  We could easily take this to mean that simply keeping what we give a secret will result in blessings and God’s favor.  So, if I don’t even ask for a receipt so that I can get a tax deduction, He’ll really be impressed! Right?!  I don’t believe this is what the Lord Jesus was getting at, and here’s why.  Notice that Jesus says "do not let YOUR left hand know what YOUR right hand is doing", and not "do not let your NEIGHBOR know what you are doing".  He is making it an issue of attitude and not simple practice.  Someone who gives in secret can also being saying to himself, “Look at what I have done.  I am a truly kind and benevolent person.  I am better than most people because of not only my kindness in giving, but also my humbleness in keeping it a secret.”  Likewise, one who gives with the inadvertent awareness of others can say in his heart, “Praise be to God that He has blessed me in such a way that I can share this with others.”  Another passage that has to do with the position of the heart that has confused me for years is in this same chapter of Matthew, in verses 21-23 “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you: depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”  It always seemed to me the position of the heart of the individuals in this passage was actually, “Lord, I don’t understand.  How could I have done these things in your Name if I wasn’t Yours?”  This Scripture made me fearful that I could be professing Jesus Christ as my Lord, and looking to him for salvation, and be wrong about the evidences that I think I’m seeing in my life.  One day, the Holy Spirit used a Scripture that a brother was bringing up in conversation to bring clarity to this concern of mine.  It is found in Luke 10:17-20, “The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in you name!”  And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.  Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.  Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Jesus was cautioning against pride- the same pride that caused Satan (Lucifer) to fall from heaven.  It dawned on me that the people in the previously mentioned passage weren’t saying, “I don’t understand. How else could you have done these things THROUGH me unless I was Yours?”  they are saying, “Look at all these things I have done FOR you, Lord.  How is it possible that you can keep me, a faithful and hard-working servant, out of Your Kingdom?”  Praise be to God Who lifts the head of the sorrowful, Who binds the wounds of the broken, Who will not break the bruised reed, or snuff out the smoking flax-AMEN!!  What is your heart’s position?  Are the things you do out of a HEART of gratitude or for magnitude?

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