Jesus Didn’t Die for Your Heart to Be Dry

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Leadership Lesson: Leaders who last put their walk first.

Conversing with God all day is not the same thing as seeking His face.

At least, not in the way He has commanded us to.

Jesus was super clear about the centrality of God’s Word in the life of a disciple.

‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” (Matthew 4:4, NLT)

“Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.” (John 17:17, NLT)

You cannot seek to grow closer to God without a Spirit-saturated Word-life.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s not that it is not meaningful to God, or that there is not SOME value in it for us. But let’s not deceive ourselves into thinking that ONLY telling God what WE want, think and feel is full obedience.

It’s not. It leads to a DRY heart.

And Jesus didn’t die for your heart to be dry.

In Matthew 13:18–23, Jesus details four different heart-sets of those who hear the Word (the seed is THE WORD, not merely spiritual feelings or heart-to-hearts with God – as important as those are).

  • The seed that fell on the footpath (v 20) – The people didn’t understand the Word, on account of satanic opposition.

  • The seed fell on rocky soil (v 21) – The people DID understand the Word, but they didn’t PRIORITIZE the Word above other things. Consequently, they did not develop a reliable ROOT system, which could sustain them amidst the inherent difficulties and opposition that come with being a Christian.

  • The seed that fell among the thorns (v 22) – These people had a heart that worried and desired other things. It had COMPETITORS that they did not oppose, which choked (i.e., killed) the life-flow of the Word.

A dry heart means you’re not seeking to hear Jesus through the Word (or at least not up the level He’s called you to).

Without a deep and healthy root system, you won’t last in leadership, and you won’t stand out as someone who brings with them the blessing and wisdom of God.

You can get through almost ANYTHING when you’re a tree planted by a stream of water (see Psalms 1:3)

  • Sickness
  • Discouragement
  • Loss of friends
  • Change of jobs

This is anecdotal, but over the last 20 years of pastoring, when someone admits to being spiritually dry, 90% of the time, they also admit to not prioritizing Bible intake in any disciplined way.

“It could be better,” is the almost-universal answer when I ask, “How is your Word-life?”

“Well, I talk to God all day long,” comes in second place.

When I probe a little deeper, they mistakenly (sometimes even boastfully) say that their communicating to Jesus in the car on the way to work or between errands is THEIR version of seeking God.

The problem is, THAT’s not GOD’s version.

You talking to God as you go about your day is not the same discipline as HIM TALKING TO YOU through a resolute Word-life.

One-way prayer is not enough to develop a strong root system.

Consider the following:

  • People who ONLY talk to God all day are rarely CORRECTED just by the Holy Spirit – the Spirit uses the Word for that! Your conviction level will be very low, comparatively speaking.
  • Your conscience will just be trained to do what is right in ITS OWN EYES (there is an entire book of Judges that demonstrates the folly of this).
  • The Holy Spirit tends to give us words of wisdom for others WITH the Scriptures we’ve recently consumed. When we don’t, He doesn’t. 

For the speculative, I dare you to try two weeks with no Bible intake and then two weeks in which you have 20 minutes of Bible every day. Your conviction level will be substantially different.

If we want a heart that is alive, it will take

  1. Paying attention to the Word (reading it with faith that God wants to speak).
  2. Pursuing deep roots in the Word (consistent study for the purpose of deeper understanding).
  3. Actively opposing competitors to the Word in our hearts (ripping out loves that would take our time from disciplined Bible-intake).

What are the competitors that might be sabotaging your focus on the Word?

  • School?
  • Career?
  • Cleaning the house?
  • Too much focus on cars, golf, media, or the like?

God’s Word is your staying power.

Want to feel less DRY and closer to Jesus in the coming year?

It will take a Spirit-saturated Word-life.

Leadership Lesson: Leaders who last put their walk first.

Father,

Thank You for Your Word. It comes to heal, cleanse, save, and restore me. It will always bear the fruit You want it to. I long to have an enlarged heart that would love Your Word more, as it is Your primary communication to me. Would You grant me to pursue and enjoy Your Word with diligence, guardedness, patience, and zeal? Send me fresh manna, Master! Amen.

Want to go deeper? Pick up the Power of a Focused Life series at the BibleLeadership.com store.

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Posted on January 14, 2020

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