The Heart of the Matter
Greg Austin │ 24 July,
The thing God wants is our hearts.
It is beyond me, past
my feeble ability to comprehend, that the God of the Universe, the
Creator of all that Exists, Lord of heaven and earth “wants” for
David, King of Israel
by resume’ forged in the hills among sheep and pasture declared “The
Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. . .” The verse has been
rightly interpreted, “I shall have no lack.”
The word, “want” is
“lack.” My mind grasps, struggles, and concedes, as I try to
understand the God Who owns far more than the cattle on a thousand
hills could possible lack anything.
But He does.
He wants; He needs for
His creation to love Him,
To serve Him,
To know Him,
To commune with Him.
He needs for man – for
you and for me - to serve Him not because we fear hell and serving
God purchases our escape from hell; not because someone with
religious power and authority demands that we serve Him. God desires
that we follow Him and know Him because we are nothing without Him
and because we desperately need Him even when we do not know that we
God is not Law, or
Commandment or Duty or Obligation: God is Love.
He is Giver, Father,
Lover of His creation; of all His creation, and the manifestation of
God is the Son, Jesus. It was He Who gave us the revelation: “If you
have seen Me, you have seen the Father.”
He chose those words carefully. He did not say “If you have seen Me,
you have seen the Ruler of the earth or the Judge of all flesh or
the Creator of all life,” but “Father.”
In Jesus we look into
the very heart of God and find there an unfathomable depth of
compassion and love and mercy.
In Jesus we see God's
desire to come close to mankind. In Him we learn that God longs to
make His home in our hearts so that He can draw near to the center
of our brokenness and be close to our wounds and our fears and the
myriad struggles in our lives.
In Jesus we make the
inconceivable discovery that God is willing to pay an exorbitant
price to create intimacy with our fallen, muddied souls. The
terrible price of the Cross and its agony; a darkness and judgment
and curse we can never comprehend.
We have a God with a
heart. More than Righteous Judge, more than all-powerful Creator,
more than all the adjectives and descriptions both revealed and
given, our God has a heart!
We must know that truth; we must immerse ourselves in that reality,
we must understand because when trials come, when pain presses us
into near-insanity, when a baby dies for no rational purpose, when
the cancer grows, when friends forsake us, we see the pain but we
don’t see God and we don’t realize the miracle that is in process.
In the noise and confusion we don't sense the restoration. It’s then
we must understand the heart of God. The heart of our Father, God.
When the pressure of life is applied, we must know that what Jesus
did for a woman with an issue of blood; what He did for a lame man
and a blind man, and a young, dead girl, He does for people today.
He restores us to a place of acceptance and blessing in the family.
He renews our hope and gives us a future. He guarantees a time to
come when death will be no more; a time and a place when crying and
suffering and every pain will be forever erased.
We look into God's heart and find there love and life and
restoration. We discover passion and possibility. And only when we
see God’s heart can we begin to understand what He meant when He
said that David had a heart after His own heart.
The Key to finding the heart of God is to find the things God
cares about and care about those things.
Jesus was asked by taunting Scribes “what is the first commandment?”
The learned men who asked were not surprised when He answered, “The
first of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God,
the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your
heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your
strength.' This is the first commandment.” These Scribes knew very
well the proper response, but none could have imagined His next
words, “And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your
neighbor as yourself.'”
The Lord of life put in context in four, brief sentences the heart
and crux of all the Law and in the same moment, revealed for all who
would hear, and for all who would see, the very heart of His Father
God. And it is “love.” “. . . Love the Lord your God with all your
heart. . .”
The heart first; not
the soul or the mind or strength, but the heart. The issue,
the heart of the matter, is the heart.
It was said of David “he will do all My will,” because he was “a man
after God's own heart,” God's broken heart.
He is our peace, Who has broken down the middle wall of
separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity that is the law
of commandments contained in ordinances so as to create in Himself
one new man from the two; thus making peace and that He might
reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby
putting to death the enmity. Oh, what an incredible,