In this series of articles we are going to be looking essentially at the heart, the human heart; recognising that we are made up of spirit, soul and body. An underlying thought is that a heart that has not been touched and changed by God is driven by all sorts of negative desires and motives. Because of that, we have a tendency to be driven by the wrong things, dark and dangerous motives, with resultant devastating consequences.
This is why the Bible talks very much about the heart. The Bible says in Jeremiah 17:19, ‘the heart of man is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?’ In other words, who can understand it? Speaking in Jesus speaking in the New Testament says that out of the heart proceed all forms of evil desires, murders, adultery, and so on.
What we will be looking at in this series are those inner drivers that push us, either in the direction of that which is good or that which is evil.
A classic example of someone who was driven by two negative impulses or motives is Prince Absalom, the son of King David. We read his story in 2nd Samuel 13-16. Here was a young man full of promise and potential. He had everything going for him. He was tall and extremely good looking. The problem was that he was in love with himself. That perverted kind of love produced two inner drivers; one was pride, and the other was ambition.
First, he was so proud, he paraded himself regularly in public to show how good looking he was. He doubled up on that by cutting his long hair each year, and publicly weighing it to show how well-endowed he was in that department. His ongoing posturing led to an increase in his popularity. This manifested itself in the second key driver; namely, selfish ambition.
We do not have time to explore the narrative of the life of Absalom. The summary of his rather brief life is one of under-achievement and lost potential. A life that was full of promise was cut short by the twin poisons of pride and naked ambition. The Bible says that pride goes before a fall and a haughty spirit before destruction.
This is not an attack on the need for people to have some sense of self-worth or desire to make progress in life. On the contrary, the essential point, as we read the story of Absalom, who was eventually hung (his hair was caught in the branches of a tree and he died), is whether we are being driven by pride, arrogance, or unbridled ambition. Are you heading in the same direction as Prince Absalom?
If the answer is yes, there is a way out, involving three simple steps. First, recognise and be honest in your assessment of the problem. Secondly, confess and ask God for forgiveness. Thirdly, talk with an experienced and mature person you can trust, and who is able to give you counsel and guidance and who you can be accountable to. All this is overlaid by a daily discipline of prayer that involves coming to God each day and asking Him to keep your heart unsullied by the twin virus of pride and naked human ambition that lead to destruction.
Copyright Emmanuel Mbakwe 2014©
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