Operation Cold Heart

And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.

One of the most if not the most tragic signs of the end of the age is one we tend to overlook the most-hearts in which love has grown cold. The Christian heart, indwelt by the Holy Spirit is to be ablaze with love for God and love for others. But as we witness the strategies of the Evil One being played out across the land, we understand that perhaps his primary goal is to replace the flame of a heart filled with the love of God with the icy resolve of love for self.

True agape love as it is understood within the context of the Trine God is always “other than.” The Father says of the Son, “Your throne, O God, is forever.” The Son says to the Father, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.” The Spirit glorifies the Son as God’s love is poured out in our hearts, and we cry, “Abba!” And then ultimately we see God’s “other than love” realized in the person of Jesus who gave himself for and to us. This heart of humility, preference , and sacrifice as seen in Christ is to burn within us. We are to have the same disposition as was found in Jesus who, “though he was God, did not demand and cling to his rights as God, but laid aside his mighty power and glory, taking the disguise of a slave and becoming like men. And he humbled himself even further, going so far as actually to die a criminal’s death on a cross.” This is a heart on fire with love! A stark contrast to the cold, self-centered heart we see on display in many who name the name of the Lord today.

Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.

Sadly, even now many of us are being deceived and have grown cold as deceptive spirits and demonic teachings insinuate themselves into our hearts. One characteristic that is always present in a heart grown cold is the emphasis on “my, me, and mine.” As lawlessness increases the heart can be taken captive by “causes, movements, and things.” The sad result is a heart that once burned with the love of God and others becomes a cold heart that loves itself more than anything or anyone.

Fortunately, when it comes to “Operation Cold Heart,” we have been provided with a fullproof defense: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”

Holy Fantasy

I have someone very dear to me who is really having a hard time with…, well, life in general. They recently told me that although they love Jesus and desire to follow him, they just can’t seem to “get it together.” Destructive relationships, substance abuse, struggles of all kinds, you name it; they are in a bad way. Well, unbeknownst to them, I rode by their house the other day. I didn’t knock or go in. They never even knew I was there. I just sat in the car for a moment. And as I sat there, I began to fantasize about what I’d like to do for them.

I thought to myself that if I had the means to do it, I’d go up, knock on the door, tell them to pack up their stuff, say goodbye to _ _ _ _ _ _, and move them in with me. As I thought about this, I realized that my moving them in with me would only really change their environment. The initial move would not somehow magically make them “change.” If I did that, if I were to take them out of their circumstances, I would need to do so with an understanding that the move was only the first step. I would have to commit for the long haul.  They would mess up. They would stumble. They may even resist my influence even after I reached out for them. Chances are, they would probably sneak back over and see _ _ _ _ _ _ again. But I thought to myself, I don’t care, I love them, and what ever it took to help them- I would do it. That’s when the Spirit whispered to me.

Can you believe that God has “fantasized” about you? Before the world was ever created, he saw you in Jesus, filled with his very life. He saw you experiencing the very fellowship of the Father, Son and Spirit. And the cool thing is, he does have the means whereby to make his “fantasy” reality. He loves you, and when he draws your heart to himself, he does so knowing full well that the initial “move” is only the first step. He knows you will stumble, struggle, resist and probably sneak back over to see _ _ _ _ _ _ again. He KNOWS all these things going into it, so don’t believe the lie that because of your struggles he may give up and abandon you. He is committed to complete the work he began in you when he came and moved you out of your reality into his. This may sound strange, even offensive to some, but the Father would no more leave you than he would Jesus. Think about that!!

Jesus was praying and said,“[Father], I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” (John 17)