September 30, 2019
Since believers are born again – born by the Spirit and truth – there is a ‘demand’ that they must walk in: have a heart inclination that is always fixed on the truth!
What does it mean to have a heart that inclines towards the truth? Inclination of heart itself can be explained as a ‘basic nature’ of a man’s heart itself. For example, some people have a basic nature in their heart which always desires luxury in life; some always wants to be the center of attention; some has always want to win (be above others), etc.
All those basic natures are complexly formed by the various interactions within the child’s life, including when the child was still in their mother’s womb (usually, a mother’s experience and emotions becomes the ‘base material’ in shaping the baby’s mentality and self), and the various interactions between the child and their environment. In the end, all of them influence the kid’s attempt to do what’s right in their everyday life.
Ephesians 4:17-24 (NKJV) This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
From the above passage, we can get several spiritual facts:
1. Although someone has become a new creation, they can still live like someone who doesn’t know God, vain in their mind, living in darkness, hardheaded (stubborn), etc, because their inclination of heart hasn’t changed a bit – the basic nature of their heart is still the same!
Although they’ve been born again by the Spirit and truth, but their heart hasn’t truly inclined towards the truth! It’s no wonder that in living everyday life, they constantly take many decisions that are ‘far from the truth’! Meanwhile, there is the spirit of Truth (the Holy Spirit) who always wants to guide them to walk in righteousness (John 14:16-17, 16:13), and even reminds the person of all that Jesus has ever taught (John 14:26).
So, supposedly, there is no reason for believers to keep living life with an inclination of heart/nature that is not delightful to the Lord! Supposedly, all of us have a heart attitude and inclination that is always pleasing to His heart!
2. Everyone who has experienced new birth must still make a decisive action: put off their old self!
Paul emphasized the reason why there are believers whose life is filled with struggle, pressures, and feeling of oppression: because they continue to live their new life in Christ without putting off the old (2 Cor 5:4-5).
There must be an active measure from believers to start putting off their old self (their heart inclination & nature that has been molded according to this world). At the same time, they must start putting on the new man (a man with a different nature) that is inclined towards the truth. This gives believers a divine ability to always do what’s right!
3. To transform the inclination of heart (a person’s nature), we need to actively meditate the word until the habit of our mind (the working of our imagination) completely changes.
It’s actually pretty easy to recognize the habit of our mind: observe the kind of imaginations that often pops up in our mind when we are relaxed or daydreaming. For someone who has experienced transformation in their heart inclination, their daydream or imagination will surely stay aligned to the word. What they desired in their flesh no longer appeals to them anymore. The desires of their heart have been aligned with God’s word!
Paul depicted it by exclaiming: “but whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.” Paul even counted them as rubbish (Phil 3:7-16)!
In Ephesians 4:28, Paul emphasized even more: Those who steal (people with the nature and heart inclination of living comfortably without working hard), must steal no longer (stop from their wrong, sinful, and inaccurate habits), but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good (they must start building a new nature that is contrary to their old heart inclination, so they could start doing what’s right!), so that he will have something to share with one who has need (from the righteous things we do, our life will always bless and impact others).
Start by ‘rinsing’ our mind from all remaining worldly patterns. Use His word to clean our mind and rebuild it until we have the mind of Christ! #ILoveGod
Ps. Steven Agustinus