Saturday, October 01, 2011

A Matter of the Heart

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Have you ever had the problem of keeping the Sabbath in your mind? The Lord (in mercy to our souls) asks us to "call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable, ... not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words" (Isa. 58:13). Those are all "doings." What about when the mind keeps on "working" at worldly, mundane things on the Sabbath? Like planning, inventing, purposing? When the sun goes down to usher in God's holy day at Sabbath eve, and your mind goes racing on with worldly worries or ideas, what can you "do"?

Sabbath-keeping is a matter of the heart; that is, you can outwardly "do" everything right while inwardly you are breaking the Sabbath. It's the same sort of problem (in principle) that Jesus spoke of when He said that lust mentally indulged is adultery already (Matt. 5:27-30). Letting the mind have its way in worldly thinking--isn't that also Sabbath-breaking?

It follows that the solution is (in principle) the same as for lustful fantasizing--"crucifying the flesh with the affections and lusts" (Gal. 5:24). That's what Jesus said is the solution to the inward, mental sexual lust: "pluck out [the adulterous eye] and cast it from you" or "cut off [the adulterous] right hand and cast it from you" (Matt. 5:29, 30). It's the mental heart-choice to die rather than yield to the sinful temptation and crucify Christ afresh (cf. Heb. 6:6). What the issue resolves itself to be (ultimately) is: (a) crucify Christ "afresh" or (b) let self be "crucified with Christ" (Gal. 2:20).

It all begins in the mind. "As [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Prov. 23:7). The thoughts cherished will eventually govern the conduct outwardly. Deep in the thoughts is where the battle is decided, where we "fight the good fight of faith" (1 Tim. 6:12). It's the fight to believe when every ounce of your being seems to push you the other way. It's "bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5). Choose; stamp your mental foot, and demand that self yield to Christ. You will overcome.

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: April 19, 2003.
Copyright © 2011 by "Dial Daily Bread."

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