CHOICES to Make: Heart Surgery or The PRIDE of LIFE?

The Heart Surgeon’s Report

Keep my commandments [for use when needed] and treasure them.  Keep my commandments and live, and keep my law and teaching [instructions] as the apple (the pupil) of your eye.  Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your HEART.”   Proverbs 6:1-3

There is good cholesterol (HDL) and there is bad cholesterol (LDL) and you know what the bad and the good can do to your heart. Ignore the medical evidence and choose your way of doing, facing the eventuality of open heart surgery or worse; a heart attack and death. The same results can be applied to your spiritual life.  Choose to follow your heavenly Physician’s instructions; “Keep my commandments and live“, or do it your way and continue living in PRIDE. It’s your choice. 

God’s plan; Walk in Love

I Corinthians 8:2 says,  “If anyone imagines that he has come to know and understand much [of divine things, without love], he does not yet perceive and recognize and understand as strongly and clearly, nor has he become as intimately acquainted with anything as he out or as necessary.”

We know what God’s plan is for us yet, we don’t want to do that!  That’s PRIDE.

God’s Warning about PRIDE

Romans 12:3  “For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I WARN EVERYONE among you…”

1.  Don’t estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance].  If that is your diagnosis, it called PRIDE.

Your  Proud “Triglyceride” level:

What is a “triglyceride“?  According to the Cleveland Health Clinic;  “Excess calories are stored as triglycerides in the body.  If you eat more calories than you need, it could elevate your triglyceride level.  Current research reveals triglycerides may contribute to hardening the artery wall with an increase risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart disease.  It has also been revealed the alcohol has a direct influence on raising the triglyceride level.  Understanding your “triglyceride level” when you get a cholesterol blood test is key to determining the condition of your health.”

Look at yourself and make a determination about PRIDE.  It might be stored as a “triglyceride” in your body without you understanding the effect on your heart condition. 

“How do we get understanding?”

Romans 12:3 continues,  “BUT to rate his ability with sober judgement, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him.”

Being “not sober” means under the influence; intoxicated. If this is happening to you right now, your “triglyceride” of PRIDE will never be realized. You are intoxicated with “SELF”.

Your Physician’s Heart Examination and Findings

I Corinthians 4:5-6  “So do not make any hasty or premature judgements before the time when the Lord comes [again], for He will both bring to light the secret things that are [now hidden] in darkness and disclose and expose the [secret] aims (motives and purposes) of HEARTS. Then every man will receive the due commendation from God.  NOW I have applied all this to myself and Apollos for your sakes, brethren, so that from what I have said of us [as illustrations], you may learn [to think of men accordance with Scripture and] not go beyond that which is written, that none of you may be PUFFED UP and INFLATED WITH PRIDE and BOAST IN FAVOR OF ONE [minister and teacher] against another.”

What the Apostle Paul is telling the church here is that the examination has given them “LIBERTY” and LIBERTY has its boundaries. Disobey the instructions or the boundaries and it will lead to “perversion” and “heart disease”.

HEART SURGERY or “Delivering the Power of Humility”

Micah 6:6-8  Please read the verses before going on with the surgery.

Verse 8,  “He has shown you, O man [the ‘heart’ patient], what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to HUMBLE YOURSELF and WALK HUMBLY with your God?”

How do I humble myself before God?

Submit your ways by coming “naked” before your Lord.  Most of us have our own definitions of HUMILITY.  Humility can be defined as “submissive; dependent on God’s way which reduces the power of independence; comply.”  There is also a term called “False Humility”.  You look humble enough but you are still full of pride.  We in the church have perfected phoniness to perfection. We are called ‘charming” sometimes, which means “a con”.  Charming means for the moment while “character” is who you are all the time.

The Physician’s Post-Surgery Schedule:

Jeremiah 29:11  “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.”

God knows the “thoughts and plans” for your recovery. You have to get connected with Him before you know what to do in the process. After my 7-way heart by-pass surgery in 1999, someone asked me how things went during the operation. I explained that I was under anesthesia for six hours, “I didn’t feel a thing”.  However my recovery for the next several months was excruciating. To the point that my functioning level, physically and emotionally had broken down. When the heart surgeon opens up your chest, nerve endings are severed and slow to heal. This can also be a factor in your “spiritual heart surgery”.  You have been in a condition of PRIDE for so long, it has become a stronghold in you spiritual life you don’t recognized your heart disease.  BUT Jeremiah 29:11 says, the Lord has given “hope in your final outcome” of recovery.  While you are recovering from the “heart surgery”, God is tending to your needs daily, whether you are aware or not.  I felt at times, during my recovery after the surgery,  like a small child. People calling me to check in with my progress, my wife coming home on her lunch hour to feed me and check on my well-being.

Matthew 18:3-4 says,  “…Truly I say to you, unless you repent (change and turn about) and become like little children [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving], you can never enter the kingdom of heaven [at all].  Whoever will HUMBLE himself and become like this little child is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Little children are dependent on Him [our Physician] for everything.  When you are saved, be like little children; complying and dependant on Him.

JESUS was HUMBLE and our example:

Philippians 2:8  “And after He appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!”

Every plan God has for you comes with a price.  What would you rather have?  The title or the anointing?  Pastor/teacher. prophet, evangelist, apostle… Let God decide who you are in His way and timing; not your way. That is the beginning of your recovery.

NEXT:  “The Delivering Power of Humility in the Recovery”.  The final chapter in defeating Spiritual Heart Disease.

 

 

 

 

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