The battle between the soul and the heart of man is incredible to watch, as it unfolds in the physical realm.
Your soul is the nagging sense that "there has to be something more to life than this". There is. It's a relationship with God, Creator of all things. Eternal in nature, and thus, since humanity was created in His image, the soul is the part of you that is eternal. Thus... it's constantly asking the question, for the life that hasn't found the answer, in the person of Jesus Christ, whom by each of us come to God.
Meanwhile, your heart is selfish. It learns to protect itself when it has been broken. It learns to guard itself when trust has been betrayed. It smiles at the sentimental, laughs at the "been there, done that" moments of reality. It responds in kind, for whatever it has received. Relationships are matters of the heart. Theories, theology, philosophy and the like... all mental. Interaction with others, is a heart-issue. This why Scripture talks about Christ standing at the door; of the heart of man. It's why Christ said, to enter the kingdom of heaven, we must be born-again. It's self versus Christ. Christ gave up his place, his interest, his self for man. Man, not so quick to return the courtesy.
Not only do we want what we want, our way and now; but it can all be justified, and what can't is the fault of someone else. The co-worker who doesn't do their job as well. The sibling who was home all day. The spouse who had more time... sorry, too close to reality again? Probably not a good time to put a ministry twist on this. The pastor who doesn't understand our unique situation. The friends who we think can't relate to what we are going through because they seem to have "it" all together. Or pastors don't have any problems; what would they know about what I'm battling. The big-timers just want "bigger swimming pools and faster private jets!"
Who are you fooling?
Yet, Christ preferred to defer.
Not the tough answers; but His own self-interests. He took time, when others said we have to keep moving. He recognized opportunities when nobody else saw them. He spoke to those situations that had yet to be shared verbally. It wasn't defensive. It wasn't reactionary. It wasn't bitter or resentful. He didn't harbor it in His heart. He released it all to the Father. Forgive them... for they know not what they do.
So what's it mean for the young people watching this world through the gazillion of reflections looking back at them (aka: selfies)? What's it mean for young pastors, working with kids and teens; to get through matters of the heart and speak to the condition of their souls? What price will be paid for not stepping aside and letting Christ work in our hearts? How will eternity be impacted, for souls that don't get an answer, allowing for the connection to be made with Almighty God through the power of a changed heart thanks to the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross?
If we chose to defer the message of Christ in preference for self, then how will the world know us by our love? For love without Christ fails to stand the test of time; for Christ is Love. Exemplified by the fact that His life, every moment of His time on earth, was a decision to prefer others over self. It's why He drew the crowds. Because His love could not let people remain as they were. It wasn't forced, though. It was by invitation.
Pray, this #youthPastorWednesday, for fresh revelation and application of the message of Christ to this generation. Pray for pastors ministering to kids and teens would find every opportunity to point situations and circumstances to Christ; what a relationship with Him will accomplish and how His perspective brings guidance. Pray for pastors struggling to relate and reach with great impact the youth in their community; pray for those battling in their own lives, the decision to prefer one another in love and deferring self-interests. May many accept the invitation of Christ, to experience a heart truly born-again and find rest for their souls... knowing their eternal place is secure, as they are found in right standing with God; not because of self, but because Christ deferred His self in order that all may have eternal life. May the arguments of the mind be laid aside and a genuine change of heart infiltrate this culture, so people come to experience not a religion, but a relationship with Jesus Christ.
In His name, we pray.
All glory be to God; who, likewise deferred the preference to keep His Son with Him in heaven, but sent Him to Earth, to redeem the souls of humanity by changing the matter (the make-up) of the heart.
Thank you, Father God!
Just a man, attempting to fulfill God's plan. Husband, Dad, Dreamer. Blogger.