TODAY -

Out of the heart comes the issues of life

Lunminthang Haokip *



ADMITTING SELF-GOALS: I will be using my head for nothing but only to 'keep my earlobes apart' if I depart from writing about this nagging thought in me. How many times my perceptions were proved wrong under my nose ! How many times projects I thought as 'sure-fire' hits went ha ywire?

Yet, this 'badmash dil' is not willing to admit to others, in my circle, that they were ill-conceived in my own heart. I don't need a deceiver when I am one to myself and there is an incorrigible one that is alive, kicking and pricking within me.

The bitter truth that we would never reveal is that we feel it's suicidal to admit the costly mistakes we made. It takes extra-ordinary courage to call a spade a spade; and not a bloody shovel.

Ultimately, history is witness that it was honesty, not deceit, that proved to be the best policy to earn respect and honour of genuine people. GB Shaw left an immortal line, "Let's make the world honest before we can honestly tell our children that honesty is the best policy."

THE 'RIGHT WAY' THAT PROVED WRONG: Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it!" The statement is the revealed Word of God. It also presupposes the bitter truth that the human heart has strayed far far away from the will of the Maker. If it's not corrected in time, it will go beyond cure.

We think we can get away by trailing the 'misled path,' but the end result will be disastrous. Proverbs 14:12 warns, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." The lord enemy of our souls is on the prowl 24X7 plotting subtly to make a spiritual sucker of any 'gullible' guy who's not on his guard. The adversary makes us feel cheated, and hurt over a minor issue.

The intent is to see us land in trouble. With a little rethink, such artificial trouble can be made a bubble. A devil-guided thought at the 'crucial' moment caused Judas Iscariot to betray his Master and dig an early grave for himself.

PERCEPTION OR DECEPTION ?: In 'achhe din,' the heart nudged us to take up things that we thought would yield good results. Carried away by our imagined capabilities, we dreamed big only to come to stark realisation, 'in bure din,' that our own perception was a deception that hassles our otherwise smooth existence, as a liability. But the heart is such a stubborn 'rascal' that it doesn't blame itself. The buck is passed on to others or circumstances! And another 'madness' is conceived again to our own peril.

It all proves that that we are not wise enough. A wiser 'Adviser' is required. Proverbs 4:23 says, "Keep thu heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." Every action of a person begins with an idea or thought conceived in the mind.

The cutting edge border town of Manipur, Moreh, has Gate no. 1 and 2. Your eye is the imaginary Gate no. 1 and your heart, Gate no. 2. What you see impacts your heart that reacts in a foolish way. Wisdom lies in getting the FIR - First Info Report - of the heart scanned, and reviewed by your mind. There lies discernment; and future safety.

NOTHING CAN ESCAPE CAPTURE IN GOD'S CCTV: The Maker knows the delicate parts of a motor car best. When a vehicle conks out, we first go to the authorised dealer or prescribed repairer garage. God is the Author of our lives.

He is the 'God who seest us (Genesis 16:13).' We may get away with doing a wrong from the sight and scan of men but there's no way we can escape the omni-present heavenly CCTV. Jehovah knows everything about us. The fact is confirmed by Isaiah 49:16, "See, I have engraved you on the palm of My hands. Your wails are ever before Me."

It should make us all tremble to learn that Jesus is going to be the Judge of the world at the end of the day. A glimpse of the future judgment of the Lord is flashed briefly, like a movie teaser, at Revelation 20:11-15.

The 'rushes' of every human's dees and misdeeds will be played out before the Son of God. "The sea gave up the dead who were in it .And they were judged, each one according to his works (Rev. 20:13)." The angels will throw in the guilty in the eternal 'lake of fire'. His ire can be doused by penitent repentance, now.

THE LORD SEARCHES THE HEART: So, it goes without saying that every deceit to our discredit is known to the Almighty. We will be taken to task if something drastic is not done to change track of our thoughts.

The implication in Jeremiah 17:10 should be a serious cause for worry, "I The LORD search the heart and examine the mind to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve." The remedy suggested to us is to search our hearts and minds before He, the Author of our lives does to our nightmarish peril. We can only be the gainer if we pay heed to the warning in time, repent, and make amends.

The merciful God cannot bear to see man, the masterpiece of His creation, rot in hell. So He's inviting us to eternal safety through the media and tech, and His living Word, "Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Respond to this divine call; your restless soul will be rest-assured.

GOD DESIRES TO RECLAIM SINNERS: God knows that the entry of sin into the world, with no thanks to the disobedience of the first parents, jeopardised the human heart. It cannot do the good it desires to do and cannot avoid the evil it wishes to avoid. The flesh prompts it to go easy, go in tandem with the world and political correctness.

But if the misleading inclination is not chastened, the person who houses such an evil heart is sure to rot In hell after the day of judgement. The Bible is all about God's desire to reclaim sinners and fine-tune man's mind in tune with God's will. But to do God's will without chastening the 'rotten' heart is like 'planting a oak sapling inside a flower pot and expecting it to thrive!'

The Maker knows how to remake a 'soul gone berserk.' In the factory of His love, 'every sin committed can be recycled.' The Word of God beckons, in Isaiah 1:18, "Come now, and let us reason together," says the LORD, "Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool."

A NEW HEART IS IN TUNE WITH HIS THOUGHTS: The crux of the matter is that we need a new heart so as know and do God's will. God laments over the condition of our hearts in Isaiah 55:8-9, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts."

In other words, we must make Him our sole High Command and religiously do His will. Whatever man may say to suit his own purpose, what is God's will shall always prevail over what is not His will. With a little dose of self-righteousness, we feel contented. We'll run for cover when the Lord would use the yardstick of His own righteousness to decide our eternal fate.

The Bible says in no uncertain terms that the Lord is going to use His plumbline on humans when He judges. Our self-defeating self-righteousness will be no patch on His righteousness. He who became sin to gift us God's righteousness, said, "Behold, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of My people Israel (Amos 7:8)." A plumb line straightens every odd on its own terms.

THE 'NEW MAN' SHOULD RIDE ROUGHSHOD OVER THE 'OLD SELF:' They say 'old habits die hard.' It's true. It takes time to even get accustomed to using a new soap or tooth paste. The old habit comes out of the old man.

The old man in us puts the 'new man' in captivity and enslaves it. But it takes 'liberty of the new man' to do God's will. How do we bind the old man? Romans 6:6 provides the clue, "For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin may be done away with that we should no longer be slaves to sin." Repentance, confession and cleansing of conscience give birth to a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26).

When God gifts a new heart, 'His thoughts will be our thoughts and His ways our ways.' St. Paul wrote 13 epistles to the Churches of his time. Those letters are a part of the New Testament Bible today. No one knew the liberty we enjoy in Jesus better than the apostle to the gentiles himself.

Having had close proximity with God, he wrote in Romans 8:2, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death." That's the prime privilege the new man is blessed with.


* Lunminthang Haokip wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is an IAS (Retd)
This article was webcasted on November 19 2022 .



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