There seem to be two types of extremes folks go to to get healthy. The natural way and the medicinal way. Natural guys use diet and exercise. The medicinal pop pills and do everything they can but not diet and exercise. Spiritually there are similarities.
There are those who naturally wait on the Lord and naturally grow in faith. There are those that can't wait and will hit every conference and seminar and read every book and find themselves medicated on rules and laws of dos and don'ts.
In Acts, chapter 15 the legalists come into town and rip off everyone's joy. Paul and Barnabas are ticked. There was no small discussion. Now in a Jewish culture this means elevated voices and hands flying everywhere. The argument was the ole your not saved because…. There are too many ministries putting heavy yokes around peoples necks to make them Christian especially here in Japan. They want to de-weed the soil prior to planting the seed. They want to make the person worthy of the seed. Jesus never did that. He just spoke the word and scattered the seed. The legalistic guys were of the persuasion to medicate with the law. The Law will make you worthy of Jesus and the Jewish culture. It is interesting to point out that the Law is not a medicine. It is a blood test to see what pulses through your heart. You want to test your spiritual blood. You apply the law and wham you have dangerously high levels of covetousness. You have a lying tongue disease.
The law won't cure you and it won't save you "it just shows you how dirty your face is" says Ravi Zacharias. In the Bible God has already tried our hearts; the diagnosis? Genesis 6:5 thoughts continually of evil. Jeremiah 17:9 the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. Jesus' own words in Matthew 15:18-20a is "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are [the things] which defile a man:
So as God sees the heart as a sickly diseased thing why do well meaning Christians say quiet frequently, "Oh you just have to trust your heart on that one." Proverbs 28:26 says those who trust in the heart are fools. So if your on an airplane and the engine just quit you have to put on a parachute. The flight attendant hands you a moldy bag that is stained from being stored in the back of the plane. It is fuzzy with mold and smells bad. A bug crawls out. The Attendant says, "Its okay you just need to trust the chute!" WHAT? Give me a new one. Trusting your heart is like that rotten chute. You won't know the result and risk disaster.
The Lord wants to give you a new heart a heart after him. Peter in Acts 15:8 "God knows our hearts."
We need to trust God especially when he says in John 7:38 "He that believes on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." You want to be a healthy Christian. Why do we trust in sick evil wicked things? But if we believe in Jesus and look to him we will out of our belly/ (or heart as another translation says) will flow rivers of living water. Not just a stream of sentimentality. It is a multiplicity of rivers of living water.
When there is death in the water there is strange doctrine or non-scriptural encouragement or even a shadow of the gospel. Those are all poison. The river of living water heart flows the living Christ through the Holy Spirit and showers a deluge of scripture into a persons life. You can pray for a family members' soul for years and nothing will happen. It is like praying for a plant to grow but you don't plant the seed. You say well I have faith that God will work it out. Really?
But if you plant a seed you greatly enhance your chances of seeing Christ work in your lifetime to save that person. Faith in Christ comes by hearing the Word of God. Those who trust their heart are fools and spew poison that leads to eternal death. So be healthy by giving your sick heart to Jesus and allow him to give you the upgrade to a powerful loving heart that is full of rivers of living water.
One of the sayings that Pastor Romaine said that I loved so much was, "Be a garden hose in the hand of a two year old with the Word of God." They will be walking somewhere and not be conscious that they are dousing everything on the way. I love it. Amen