LET'ER BUCK! THE ROGUE HEART.
Discovering Your Heart
A Rogue Heart serves for great purpose!
We had a horse growing up. His name was Thunder. Thunder was a Mustang that came out of an adopt a horse program through the BLM. He was not what you would consider to be your typical equine flesh. In fact, this horse was unique from every horse my father ever owned in that he had a what I would describe as a rogue heart. He didn’t do anything in the ways that a normal horse did. At 14 hands, Thunder was short, he had a passion for eating purple thistles and poison oak, he did not fancy a bit in his mouth so was hackamore trained… (A hackamore is a type of headgear which does not have a bit). This horse that nobody really wanted not only came full of heart, but he would not be out walked by horses that were of fairer breed or longer legs. Even on a bad day when other things might interest him, he could outpace a horse 17 hands tall, and always wanted the lead. My brother and I rode him bareback most everywhere we went and he would pull us up the most difficult terrain just by grabbing him by the tail and saying “Lets go!’ Thunder was afraid of his shadow and would always stop to analyze water crossings. In my hometown, he would often stop on the bridge that spans the Rogue River at every structural expansion joint to view the river below through the crack, reassuring himself that he wouldn’t fall through!. He was inquisitive, gentle, always allowed to respond to his own rare, rogue style of doing things. As long as Thunder was allowed to do life outside of the box and in his own way, he served for more fun and purpose than any other horse you would expect to rival him. Once he was jumped by a Mountain Lion while being ridden in the backcountry. The death of the said cougar ensued as it was shot from the little horses saddle. Once the cat was latched to the rear of Thunder’s saddle, this little rogue mustang packed the feline out of the wilderness on his own back. Very rare for a horse!
I have shared all of this to establish that anything with a heart can be used for God’s purposes, but the ones with a heart and tendency to be a little rogue can do mighty things! This kind of heart is a diamond in the ruff! It can and should be cultivated in relationship and likeness to the way it was created to be. It is the same with a human heart and that heart should be cultivated in a relationship with the very one who created it to begin with. If you are a person who has been described as “a little rogue” throughout your life, It’s okay to not like the bit, it’s okay to go bareback, it’s okay to think a little differently than the other horses, and most importantly it’s okay to out walk, out ride, and out run, the other horses. Find your heart, give it to God, and discover the great purpose of a rogue heart! You may just be a Mustang!
God Doesn't Call The Qualified, He Qualifies The Called
“Jacob was a cheater, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul was a murderer, Gideon was insecure, Miriam was a gossip, Martha was a worrier, Thomas was a doubter, Sara was impatient, Elijah was moody, Moses stuttered, Abraham was old,… and Lazarus was dead. God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called!”
No matter where you are in your life with God, HE is qualifying you for his service because you are called. He can help you overcome the mistakes you have made, and even use them to help others. Just allow Him to use you.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29
27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence.
Eliminate the Disqualifications
And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.
Why couldn’t Judah drive out the inhabitants of the valley? Because their eyes were fixed on the iron chariots rather than on Almighty God. If your eyes are fixed on the Lord, I care not how formidable your foe might be, it can be overcome. But if your eyes are on the obstacle - if you’re focused on the problem, if you’re in bondage to your past - you will not drive out your enemy no matter how small it is. You’ve got to lift your eyes higher and fix them on the Father. Yes, the enemies of Judah had chariots of iron, but if Judah had lifted their eyes higher and focused upon the One who has twenty thousand chariots at His command (Psalm 68:17), they would have been victorious.
Judah had successful campaigns when they were high up on the mountain tops, but they got their tail whipped in the valley. We have tendencies to live on in the story of our past. This is most prevalent when the message of grace we teach, lacks the components of mercy that was also provided with the new covenant. Unfortunately, this allows grace to be doled out on the terms of others and has cultivated a false perception that leads God’s loved ones to think that because we’ve had problems with iron chariots previously, we need always be fearful whenever we see them on the horizon. This perception is just not true! We need to be a people who put the past behind us - past defeats, past discouragements, past wounds, past failures, past sins have all been covered by Christ our mercy seat and propitiation.
“This one thing I do,” said our brother, Paul, “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). We need to put the past away and lift our eyes higher - beyond the failure of the past, beyond the chariots of the present - to the high calling of God Who enables us to do all that He asks of us. SO... LET'ER BUCK!
A Heart After God
“David was a real pinhead! How could David be considered a man after God’s own heart?"
To understand why David was a man after God’s own heart, we need to see what characteristics he had to qualify for such what seems to be a rather lofty description. In the book of Acts, the apostle Paul speaks of God’s feelings about King David:
“After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.”
My observation as to why David was considered to be a man after God’s own heart is found right in the verse: David did whatever God wanted him to do. But an even more obvious question is how could God still call David a man after His own heart when David committed such terrible sins, including adultery and murder?
A Pointed Heart
We learn much of David’s character in the book of Psalms as he opened up his life for all to examine. David’s life was both a portrait of success and failure, and the biblical record highlights the fact that David was far from perfect. But what made David a cut above the rest was that his heart was pointed toward God. He had a deep desire to follow God’s will and do “everything” God wanted him to do. He was a man after God’s own heart. Let’s look at some characteristics of David’s life to discover what that entails:
Part of why David is called a man after God’s own heart is that he had absolute faith in God. Nowhere in Scripture is this point better illustrated than in 1 Samuel 17 where David as a young shepherd boy fearlessly slew the Philistine, Goliath. Shortly before the duel, we see direct evidence of David’s faith when David says, “‘The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.’ And Saul said to David, ‘Go, and the Lord be with you!’” (verse 37). David was fully aware that God was in control of his life, and he had faith that God would deliver him from impending danger. How else would one venture into a potentially fatal situation with such calm and confidence? David knew early on in life that God was to be trusted and obeyed. As we see in the Word, David’s simple faith pleased God, and God rewards David for his faithfulness.
He Loved the Word
Another reason David was a man after God’s own heart is that he absolutely loved God’s Law. Of the 150 psalms in the Bible, David is credited for writing over half of them. It seems to me that David wrote mostly while in various and often troubling times in his life, David repeatedly mentioned how much he loved God’s perfect Word. We find a beautiful example of this in Psalm 119:47–48: “For I delight in your commands because I love them. I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I meditate on your decrees.” It is not hard to see his complete adoration for God’s Word. Also notice how David “meditates” on God’s statutes. God granted David understanding and wisdom through daily meditation. We would do well to not only read God’s Word but also think about it throughout the day, for God loves us to think about Him. “Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. They do nothing wrong; they walk in his ways” (Psalm 119:2–3).
David was a man after God’s own heart in that he was truly thankful. “I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your altar, O Lord, proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds” (Psalm 26:6–7). David’s life was marked by seasons of great peace and prosperity as well as times of fear and despair. But through all of the seasons in his life, he never forgot to thank the Lord for everything that he had. It is truly one of David’s finest characteristics. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” (Psalm 100:4, ESV). As followers of Jesus Christ, we would do well to follow David’s lead of offering praise through thanksgiving to our Lord. After he sinned, David was truly repentant. David’s sin with Bathsheba is recorded in 2 Samuel 11:2–5.
The mighty fall hard, and David’s fall included adultery, lying, and murder. He had sinned against God, and he admits it in 2 Samuel 12:13: “David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.’” But admitting our sin and asking for forgiveness is only half of the equation. The other half is repentance, and David did that as well. Psalm 51 is David’s prayer of repentance to God: “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!" (Psalm 51:1–2).
David was a man after God’s own heart because he demonstrated his faith and was committed to following the Lord. Yes, his faith was tested on a grand scale, and he failed at times. But after his sin he sought and received the Lord’s forgiveness. In the final analysis, David loved God’s Law and sought to follow it exactly. As a man after God’s own heart, David is a role model for all of us.
Rogue Love for The Rogue Heart
This passage stands alone and on its own merit concerning the wild, passionate, unbridled, rogue love that the Lord has for you. And you thought you were unlovable!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, "Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night," Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day Darkness and light are alike to You. For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand When I awake, I am still with You. O that You would slay the wicked, O God; Depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed. For they speak against You wickedly, And Your enemies take Your name in vain. Do I not hate those who hate You, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with the utmost hatred; They have become my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
Rogue Heart/New heart Same thing!
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
This passage of Scripture has come up over and over again and it is often used by those who are fatally Calvinistic in their interpretation of scripture. It is most often used to characterize the depravity of the believer and in my opinion has kept believers all over the world stuck in their story, stuck in their sin and unable to enjoy the new heart, nature, spirit, along with the new creation that we have become. Scripture is very clear that the issues of the depraved heart are directed to the heart condition of the unbeliever. It has been my personal and humbling experience that any heart that is not submitted to God is a depraved heart. This type of heart can reside in the worst of us in the same way that it can in the self-righteous, or religious. Depravity is an equal offender in the hearts of those who will not access The Work of Grace under the New Covenant through Christ.
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
That deceitful and incurable heart is that stony heart that is taken away and is replaced by a heart of flesh! The Holy Spirit gives His people a new heart and causes them to walk in obedience! And not only is the heart new, everything is made is new. The regenerated person is a new creation and no longer possesses a lifeless heart of stone.
2 Corinthians 5:17
So that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
When this verse talks about old things, it includes the old heart. It is gone! The Holy Spirit makes a person new again! There is a total metamorphosis that has taken place and to say that the heart of a believer remains deceitful and incurably wicked is to deny the transforming work of the Holy Spirit!
Does the Christian still sin? Yep! He most certainly does. The presence of sin is still constantly with him. It will harass him, make him do what he does not want to do, to the point of making him cry out that he is afflicted, distressed, grieved, and even vexed (Rom. 7:14-24). But there is a stark contrast between the depraved unbelieving heart and what I call a new rogue heart. You see, the sin of the old, unbelieving heart is cultivated by not allowing God to do His work in the heart. This type of heart does not understand the Story of God nor is it allowed to be impacted by the plan of redemption. In contrast, the sin of believers, or the new rogue heart understands that sin is still very much with them but believers hate their sin (Rom. 7:15). They have died to sin, don’t want to live in sin, purpose to no longer serve sin, they are no longer under the dominion of sin, have been set free from sin, do not walk according to the flesh, they are free from the law of sin, and are not in the flesh (Rom. 6:2, 6:6, 6:11, 6:14, 6:22; 8:1-9).
Which do you believe? Has God worked a great change in you by making you a new creation with a new heart, or is your heart still vile and deceitful? One thing is for sure: if you believe that your heart is vile and deceitful, then it most certainly is. Why would God write His will on the heart that is deceitful and desperately wicked?
It is time to click your heels Dorothy! Burn the script on this horror story, because the witch is dead, you are not the Tin-man, and you are not in Oz, Ding-Dong! If you have been stuck in this kind of story, If you have been held hostage by an old heart, If you want a new story and a new heart. Consider what the lord can do with a Rogue Heart!
33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it ton their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
The old covenant failed because it depended upon man's faithfulness to God. The new covenant cannot fail because it depends upon God's faithfulness to man. Without going into all of the theological detail, under the new covenant, we are now hidden in Christ. I know that many would try to derail this line of thinking but for you who are students of the Work of Propitiation that Romans speaks about, if we are hidden in Christ… What heart is being looked at? Whose faithfulness is being looked at? I hope that you will take time to discover more as it relates to your story and LET'ER BUCK!