What temperature is your heart?
Ever wonder why some people seem to have warm hearts for the Lord, and yours seems like it’s forming a layer of frost?
I have. “Man, that person is so godly and in tune with the Spirit. Must be nice to have all that come naturally.”
That’s about as accurate as glancing out the window in my morning stupor, seeing the joggers and thinking, “Must be nice to jump out of bed and want nothing more than to work out.” I’m sure they would roll their eyes at my assumption that their hard work comes naturally.
I truly am a lazy bum at heart. I want the harvest without the work.
Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones is great at encouraging—and smacking around—people like me. Listen to this from his book Spiritual Depression:
So many people say that they would give anything to have but a vestige of the knowledge that the saints had, “If only I had that joy, I would give the whole world for that—why cannot I have the experience of the warm heart?” they say.
Okay, so there’s our question. Looks like other people ask it too. Let’s stick with him…
The answer is that they have never really sought it.
Ouch. (Feel the loving smack.)
Look at the lives of those men and the time they gave to Scripture reading and prayer and various other forms of self-examination and spiritual exercises. They believed in the culture and the discipline of the spiritual life and it was because they did so that God rewarded them by giving them these gracious manifestations of Himself and these mighty experiences which warmed their hearts.
Here’s how I paraphrase his point: Christian, stop looking out the window at the “on-fire” believers, wishing you could be like that while you munch another potato chip (or check social media, sleep another hour, or shop for one more item you don’t really need.) Take your icy heart out for some exercise in God’s Word. Go for a prayer walk. Memorize Scripture. Examine your heart. Take your flabby soul to the gym and after seeking God in these ways, see if you don’t feel a thawing, a pang of new faith and excitement, a hope for more, a fresh desire to be used of God, a growing appetite for worshipping him. A warming.
This is a healthy reminder to my forgetful soul. God loves to warm our hearts and meet with us. He is not reluctant. So stop making excuses, get off your spiritual couch, and run to him.
And let the thawing begin.