Friday, September 9, 2011

The Two-Faced Heart

Like Janus, the two-faced Roman diety - facing both forward and backward from whose name we get January - our hearts can face in two directions.
I ran across a sermon by J.C. Ryle on Lot's wife. The bottom line of the sermon is that unless the Holy Spirit is deeply at work in our hearts to change how we think and act that we will "look back" and be drawn back into sin just like Lot's wife.
Our tendency is to think that Lot's wife was "bad" to disobey and cast a quick over-the-shoulder glance at the city of Sodom which obviously had left its "hooks" in her heart. We turn our spiritual noses up and look down them at Lot's wife. The truth is that our hearts are no less "hooked" to the sin patterns deep in our hearts.
We are all broken and need God's renewing power to change us from what we are to what Jesus died, rose again and now reigns to ensure we can and will be as the Holy Spirit works the on-going process of sanctification in our hearts.
Dr. Ryle says, "[All of us] need the grace of the Holy Spirit. ... The same fire that melts the wax hardens the clay; the same sun which makes the living tree grow, dries up the dead tree and prepares it for burning. Nothing so hardens the heart of man as a barren familiarity with sacred things."
Only God can turn our hearts to face Him and move toward Him alone!

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