This morning as I was getting dressed for work my wife mentioned that it was something like -25 (degrees celsius) out with the windchill. The thought went through my head: “Nothing can live and grow in such a frozen wasteland!” And then a couple of verses popped into my head:
Thus says the LORD:
Cursed is the man who trusts in man
and makes flesh his strength,
whose heart turns away from the LORD.
He is like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,
in an uninhabited salt land. (Jeremiah 17:5-6 ESV)
How easily deceived is the human heart! That we turn away from God is pure folly. That we imagine even for a moment that life can be found in “the desert” or that refreshment can be found in “the parched places” or that comfort and pleasure can be found in “an uninhabited salt land”!
I think few of us pastors actually set out to sojourn in a spiritual wilderness. But I think many of us succumb to the temptation to “trust in man” or make “flesh [our] strength”. Sometimes I do this deliberately. Sometimes I do it by simple neglect. But every time I do this my “heart turns away from the LORD”.
John Piper’s blog this morning also reminded me that drinking from the fountain of God’s grace to us in Christ is a daily–no, a constant–discipline for the vitality and happiness of the re-born soul. Have a read, get a hymn book and sing out loud to our Saviour’s praise.