Summary: As the Word exposes areas within us that are in direct opposition to the Word of God, we begin to understand the price of inclining to His Word and applying those principles.
Inclining and Applying - Part 2 – Proverbs 2:2
Intro.: Last week we looked at the “inclining” portion of our text. As we set our lives before the Word of God, we will find delight in the eternal Word who lives inside of us. We will also become aware of the bitter war going on within our members. As the Word exposes areas within us that are in direct opposition to the Word of God, we begin to understand the price of inclining to His Word and then applying those principles.
I. Applying our Hearts
A. Remember: pain comes from the Word exposing our hearts
1. At this point, many begin to doubt God’s methods
2. But two things have to happen for us to be overcomers
a. The Holy Spirit MUST expose the lies & secret sin in us
b. We MUST yield to Him in the destruction of these things
B. Why does God take messed-up humans & make us like Him?
1. Why is the painful transformation necessary?
a. God wants us to know Him, not in theory, but for real.
b. He wants to establish a home in us where Jesus can abide
c. He wants full possession of our hearts and minds
1. Our strongholds and compromises block this union
NOTE: Jesus will not abide in the same heart that tolerates, or worse yet, embraces sin and compromise.
C. Our Heart vs. our Mind
1. Our mind is where the seed of sin begins
2. The enemy plants the thought & we decide to nurture it or not
a. If we choose not to nurture it we fulfill 2 Cor. 10:5
b. If we dwell on it, we are building a stronghold
NOTE: I heard this earlier this week. “Watch your thoughts, they become your words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become your habits. Watch your habits, they become your character, Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
3. The battleground of the mind is where we fall to our sin nature
4. Our mind can lead us to sin at the same time our hearts despise it
NOTE: It’s when our heart longs for that sin pleasure that sin owns us
II. The Lord judges our hearts
A. This is a holy act of love, not an attack on our failures
NOTE: When we begin to understand what God is doing and why, we will begin to embrace it, pain and all, instead of running from it.
B. The purity of the Word will illuminate the impurities of our hearts
C. Instead of burning with desire toward sin, we will burn with desire toward holiness
NOTE: At this point, God will no longer have to force us into His purifying flame. Here, we will freely plunge ourselves in, knowing the glorious results
1. Greater Christlikeness
2. Life leaping from the pages of the Word
3. Prayer becoming a living adventure and encounter with God
4. Signs, wonders, miracles and healings as a natural outflow of life
5. Christianity no longer being a boring, religious routine
III. Obedience and Contrition
A. Obedience is the manifestation of the Word of God ruling in us
1. It is a place of true rest, depending solely and wholly on the Father
2. READ: Isaiah 66:1-2
NOTE: The 4-fold process of receiving, treasuring, inclining and applying results in a heart that is “contrite”
B. Contrite literally means “lame”
1. Something within has been broken and wounded in a good way
NOTE: People who are contrite, no longer put their confidence in the flesh, they are dependent on the Lord in all aspects of living.
Concl.: So, it is not enough just to receive and treasure the Word. This is a necessary foundation, but we then need to incline our ears and apply our hearts. This is walking out obedience to the Word of God.
God is searching for those who are obedient, contrite and who have come to such recognition of the authority and sacredness of His Word that their hearts tremble as they are exposed to the living, piercing, discerning power of the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Eph. 6:17, Hebrew 4:12