I have seen at times within myself and in others, inconsistency. That doesn’t sound too bad or alarming because most of us struggle with inconsistency in some areas. However, inconsistency is the sign of a degenerative condition that has mortal consequences, and if you do not learn to hate that characteristic it will rob you of many riches. The degenerative condition which inconsistency is symptomatic of is a weak and sickly heart. That may seem extreme and disappointing, but it is true. We were originally created in the likeness of YAHWEH, who is faithful and true; there is no inconsistency in our Creator. When man became alienated from YAHWEH through independent living (sin), man’s heart became weak and sickly.
“My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” (Psalm 73:26 KJV)
If there is something good you desire however you seem to lack the ability to complete the work necessary to obtain it, it is because your heart is failing you. All things good and rewarding require consistent effort to obtain. This is where the expression “worthwhile” comes from. It is worth the time and effort spent to obtain it. Without consistency, you cannot obtain worthwhile or rewarding things. You cannot remain consistent with things not truly in your heart. Here is a scripture that is popular in Christian circles but is woefully misunderstood.
“9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
10 I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jeremiah 17:9-10 KJV)
In verse nine, “desperately wicked” actually is referring to desperately “sick”. The word “wicked” in this phrase was translated from the Hebrew word “anash” which means weak or sick. If you look at some other translations of this verse, they render a meaning closer to the original.
“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 New American Standard Bible)
“The heart is deceitful above all things and it is extremely sick; Who can understand it fully and know its secret motives?” (Jeremiah 17:9 Amplified Bible)
“The heart is more deceitful than anything. It is incurable— who can know it?” (International Standard Bible)
The Lord answers the question regarding who can know what is going on in this sick heart, He says “I the Lord”. We can accept a more general answer to why this is by merely concluding it is because the Lord knows everything, but a specific and more revealing answer is because the Lord is Truth. The Lord is never deceived nor entertains the false. He always deals with the root or heart of the matter, no matter how grim or dark. Man, through being alienated from the Creator, has lost the virtue of a love for truth. Man does not love truth because he “loves or treasures” himself more than truth. We know from the teachings of Christ, “where a man’s treasure is, there his heart will be also.” The corrupted values of the sick heart cause it to dwell in its own darkness rather than come to the light of truth. The result is that it remains unrepentant or resistant to truth.
When you love yourself more than truth, you will hardly accept knowledge which implies you are evil and corrupt. People like to think they are good people with bad habits. Look at how deceitful that is…. You are an apple tree that just has lemons hanging off your branches. Sick and deceived! Your habits tell you what you love. The things you love receive a higher priority in your life, therefore they get more of your focus and time. This is the dynamic behind people failing to implement good habits that their heart is not in. They have failed to deal with their love for the thing standing in the way. This is why religion without relationship to YESHUA the Christ is riddled with sin. YESHUA says, “They that love me keep my commandments.” You have to love Christ more than yourself for your heart to shift to His interest and values from your own. In other words, to repent of your sin. Without this love for Christ, which is a love for Truth, you will abide in your own darkness and stay deceived.
“18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.”(John 3:18-20 NKJV)
These are strong words spoken by the Savior. He says you hate the light if you practice evil. He is referring here to people who have been told what is right, yet they still practice evil. It isn’t just a bad habit; you love it, and you hate being told you can stop but you choose not to. The deception comes in when you rationalize and fabricate a reason why you continue in it without accepting it is simply because you still love it. We cannot change our behavior without having a change of heart.
“22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” (Mark 7:22-24 KJV)
Specifically, they come from within the heart. Your heart is who you are. Many people live fractured lives trying to live disconnected from the content of their heart. This leads to conflicted living which shows up in their inconsistency and unfaithfulness. When people see ugly things come out of their heart, they want to deny any association with it, but the way to freedom is to acknowledge that it is there and cry out to GOD for help.
“31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32 NKJV)
The illumination of the truth presents us with a freedom to choose. If we choose to abide in the light of that truth and denounce the darkness we become in the likeness of that truth. Remember, we are what is in our heart. If we hide the Word in our heart and abide in the light of it, we become children of light. The strength to fulfill the truth is inherent in it, and we will receive strength if we do not reject it but allow it to take root. YESHUA has given us grace and mercy to face the shame of what we have become as a result of being alienated from Him. He has offered us astonishing and amazing love through an invitation to join Him, that we may partake of His beauty and life. Isaiah 61:3 says He came to give us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that we may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified in us and through us. This is the good news!
We do not need to cover with our own fantasies and lies, because Christ has provided a way for us to be covered in His righteousness, in glorious raiment of truth and light, but we have to become naked first by putting off the clothes of darkness. We have to despise the shame of stepping into the light and having our filth exposed so we can be cleansed. The fact that we don’t want to be identified with the filth is good, but we have to humbly acknowledge that surrendering to the will of YAHWEH is the only way to be cleansed. He alone has the cleansing waters of Life. He alone has provided the clean white raiment from the Lamb of GOD.
“5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” (1 John 1:5-10 NKJV)
This block of scripture addresses what I have been writing about here. Verses 5-6 deal with the deception that many Christians try to hide in, that they love the Lord but still practice sin and try to hide in false doctrines of darkness. Verse 7 reveals the outcome of embracing the truth and repenting to abide in the light. Verses 8-10 encourages us to stop lying to ourselves but instead go through the cleansing process of repentance unto reconciliation. When we allow the acceptance of truth and repentance to reconcile us to GOD, the path is laid for us to be reconciled one to another.
The Church today struggles with true unity because many are still oppressed by sin and live lives inconsistent with the values they profess. The majority of Christians are still oppressed by sin because while they will admit they are sinners they will not admit they love it more than they want to be free from it. The children of Israel cried out for freedom from Egypt, but they didn’t love freedom enough to pass through the discomforts of the desert to reach the promise land. In the middle of the journey through the desert, the children of Israel began to yearn for the pleasures of bondage and complained before GOD about the process of deliverance. Christians today say they want to be free from sin but draw back from suffering required to obtain righteousness. The bible says Christ endured the sufferings of the cross for the joy that the work of salvation would yield before Him. His love for us was greater than the cost. If our love for Christ is not greater than the cost of the cross we have been called to bear, we will not go through the process, therefore we will not be reconciled to GOD because Christ is clear, to follow Him we must take up the cross of suffering. That is the truth. If anyone is preaching any other way to reconciliation to GOD the Father, other than following Christ through the sufferings of the cross, they are leading you to a dead end and preaching a doctrine of devils. There is no way to a better you, there is only the hope of a new you through the resurrection power of Christ. This is what the scripture means when it says you must be born again of the Truth of GOD. That is the only way to become faithful and true; to be rescued from the failures of a weak and sickly heart.
Here is what YAHWEH promises for those who are willing to acknowledge the sin in their hearts as well as turn from them unto righteousness:
19 Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for those whose hearts follow the desire for their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their deeds on their own heads,” says the Lord God. (Ezekiel 11:19-21 NKJV)