Don’t Lose Heart! [Noval]

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Interesting Coral Formation – Grand Cayman Beach Dive

3/6/18

 Proverbs 6:

At the window of my house
    I looked down through the lattice.
I saw among the simple,
    I noticed among the young men,
    a youth who had no sense.
He was going down the street near her corner,
    walking along in the direction of her house
at twilight, as the day was fading,
    as the dark of night set in.

10 Then out came a woman to meet him,
    dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.

Something  different struck me about Proverbs 7 this morning.  The young fool who gets seduced by the adulteress wasn’t looking for trouble- at least initially.  He was just sort of wandering aimlessly.  Some translations (like the NIV, above) say the young man lacked sense, but the Hebrew word translated thus, leb, is perhaps more accurately rendered heart.  Loss of heart leaves you vulnerable to seduction. 

What does it mean to lose heart?  Generally we correlate it with discouragement, emotional depletion, loss of motivation.  Perhaps most fundamentally it’s about loss of vision- about our identity and purpose, the meaning of our lives, the reasons we have to get out of bed in the morning.  

The gospel addresses all of this.  The good news of Christ is essentially a call- to repentance, to holiness, to incorporation into the Body of Christ; to the Great Commandment of loving God and loving neighbor well; to the Great Commission to make disciples of every people group; and to the Cultural Mandate: to reclaim every aspect of creation- art, music, culture, literature, technology, business, philosophy, the environment, law and government- and place it under the Lordship of Jesus. 

What a calling!  What an identity!  What a sense of purpose!  But, like the young fool, from time to time we lose heart, a sense of identity, purpose, significance and calling, and just sort of drift.  And like the young fool, that leaves us vulnerable to all sorts of  “adulteresses”: flesh-driven hedonism with respect to our physical appetites, materialism/consumerism, mind-numbing and soul-rotting entertainment, legalism and pharisaical religion, addictions. 

So maybe a really important question to ask ourselves as part of repentance is: who AM I, really??  Identity is destiny. 

The loss of focus, of a sense of connection to a purpose and identity that’s far greater than ourselves is usually a drift, a slow fade.  Life is so daily, as Charlie Brown observed: cutting grass, paying bills, cleaning house and (more and more as we age, I’ve found) visiting the doctor.  Maybe that’s another reason why the spiritual disciplines-private and corporate worship, meditation, study, prayer, journaling, fellowship, etc are so important.  They remind us of who we really are and what our life really means so we don’t get seduced.

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