“Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.” Matthew 6:21, The Message (emphasis mine)
“What’s in a well, comes up in a bucket.” Old saying
Same thing. Whatever is in your heart, Christian single, will eventually be revealed: your desires, your motives, your insufficiencies, insecurities, and confidences. Whatever is in your heart will also determine your direction, focus, and the speed at which you go toward the desires of your heart. That’s spiritual velocity.
Single Christian, what is in your heart? Ever wonder why you do and say some of the things you do when you didn’t mean to do it or say it?
Maybe you were pursuing someone you thought would be the spouse of your dreams. Or you felt you had to go into a particular career to earn good money, but you didn’t have the heart for it. Perhaps you once saw what—or who—someone else had, perhaps another single Christian in your area, and you felt something negative and started speaking ill of them. Or you ran from a call into ministry because, for sure, He couldn’t possibly be talking to me about this. Besides, I’ve got other plans for my life!
Ooops! I sure have. Boy, is it embarrassing! And regretful.
All those motives and emotions, whether positive or negative, came from your heart. BTW did you ever allow the Lord to give you a new heart? Because this is what the Bible has to say about our natural heart condition:
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” NLT
He went on: “It’s what comes out of a person that pollutes: obscenities, lusts, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, depravity, deceptive dealings, carousing, mean looks, slander, arrogance, foolishness—all these are vomit from the heart. There is the source of your pollution.” The Message
Yes, they knew about him all right, but they wouldn’t admit it or worship him or even thank him for all his daily care. And after a while they began to think up silly ideas of what God was like and what he wanted them to do. The result was that their foolish minds became dark and confused. TLB
Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. NLT
Then he said to them, “You like to appear righteous in public, but God knows your hearts. What this world honors is detestable in the sight of God. NLT
The Lord detests people with crooked hearts, but he delights in those with integrity. NLT
The direction, focus, and speed toward which you go to attain what your heart wants are all wrapped up in the definition of spiritual velocity.
Velocity for us regular folks is not rapidly taking two steps forward and then taking two steps back. That’s just backsliding. Velocity means the rate at which we move forward without going back to our original starting position.
That velocity forward is awesome if you are operating out of a godly and righteous heart, that new heart that was given to us by God when we first became a believer and started learning about and following the Lord.
That velocity forward is not awesome if you are operating out of an ungodly and unrighteous heart, that old sinful nature that we genetically inherited from our original ancestors, Adam and Eve (Romans 5:12). As humans born with a sinful nature and placed in a community of sinners, we responded to our world based on our desires, physical needs, natural abilities and socialization. As we grew, we crafted our unique sin patterns in every area of our existence like a fingerprint. That is what is called the flesh. God has nothing good to say about our flesh, either, which He distinguishes from our heart. The heart is considered the foundation and fountain of our existence. The flesh is how our sinfulness is expressed.
Romans 8:4-8 and 12-15
4so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God… 12So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” NASB
I bring this up, my single Christian friend, because many of us are not aware of our impulses driving us to dishonor the Lord and each other. We just think that we’re wanting something and we should have it just because we want it. Often the object of our desires becomes an idol as we work on how we are going to acquire it without the blessing and direction of the Lord.
The more barriers come between us and the focus of our heart and flesh, the harder we scheme and the faster we run toward our desires. It’s like running a marathon but, instead of running the course set by the organizers, you see something you suddenly, really want and go down a completely different path. It’s worse than spiritual ADHD! Either you’ll return to the official course but have a much later time than you intended, or you stay away and become disqualified.
The Word describes the outcome and reward of following our fleshly cravings and misleading heart as poor endings to avoid and be warned against:
1 Corinthians 3:11-15
And no one can ever lay any other real foundation than that one we already have—Jesus Christ. 12 But there are various kinds of materials that can be used to build on that foundation. Some use gold and silver and jewels; and some build with sticks and hay or even straw! 13 There is going to come a time of testing at Christ’s Judgment Day to see what kind of material each builder has used. Everyone’s work will be put through the fire so that all can see whether or not it keeps its value, and what was really accomplished. 14 Then every workman who has built on the foundation with the right materials, and whose work still stands, will get his pay. 15 But if the house he has built burns up, he will have a great loss. He himself will be saved, but like a man escaping through a wall of flames. TLB
Anything we do “in the flesh,” going the wrong direction, will not stand the test of time. It doesn’t matter how “well-intentioned” or how good it sounds, or how many people approve of or join you. God says words and actions done in the flesh are good for nothing.
We can run a long time in the wrong direction before we realize how far off course we are. Until that moment of realization and repentance, the enemy of our souls, who has nothing but pure evil and hatred for us, will inflame our flesh and urge us to go as fast as we can in that wrong direction. His ultimate goal is to destroy our effectiveness for God’s kingdom. Nothing is out of bounds for him to consider in trying to hurt, harass, or disqualify us for righteousness’ sake.
Toward this end, the devil will get us to do stupid things, trapping us in strongholds fortified with pride, denial, and defensiveness. He wants us to waste as much time, money, resources, and energy serving him rather than the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He hopes we’ll eventually forget about eternity and eternal rewards and natural consequences and significant stuff like that.
Then when those consequences come back to bite us, we scream or cry or whine about bad things happening to us “for no reason!” And God will be like, “Your own actions have brought this upon you. This punishment is bitter, piercing you to the heart!” Jeremiah 4:18 NLT
My friend, you don’t have to keep racing after empty pursuits, going in the wrong direction and having consequences flying at us left and right, day and night. Velocity in the wrong direction will kill you. You can stop chasing what our unredeemed hearts and flesh tell us to chase.
The Lover of our souls, who has nothing but love for us, has an amazing plan for our lives. Following His will and His way for us brings a joy and peace to us that the world cannot give and the world cannot take away. Instead of wasting precious time, money, resources, and energy pursuing the lusts of your heart and your flesh, my single Christian friend, you might do well to do things God’s way.
To start: What makes it so hard for us to trust and obey Him? Ask Him to show and tell you why it is so hard for you to trust and obey Him, and He will, not to destroy us but to rebuild us.
For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart. AMPC
Ask Him to give you a new heart, and He will.
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. NLT
Ask Him to give you a clean heart, and He will.
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. NLT
If you’re always chasing whatever your flesh craves and you want off that sorry ride, ask the Lord, who created the universe, to gather the tattered pieces of your heart and unite them back into His original design for you. He will.
Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name. NASB
And don’t be afraid to let Him test and reveal your heart back to you. He’s big enough to deal with your heart. He’ll even give you a new one. The old one wasn’t any good, anyway!
Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart. NLT
Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. NLT
To give the Holy Spirit something inside you that He can use to redirect your heart and transform you, try this:
I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. NLT
Blessed are those who fear to do wrong, but the stubborn are headed for serious trouble. NLT
1 Corinthians 9:26-27
So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. NLT
Speed and velocity. The Physics Classroom website.
Definition of velocity at Dictionary.com. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/velocity accessed 10/1/16