Rend Your Hearts – Not Your Garments
Heard this morning:
Rend your heart, not your garments, and turn to Adonai, your God. For he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abundant in mercy, and relenting about the calamity due.
Rending your garments is only an outward show of mourning, it is for others to see. No change is really made, just an outward appearance. No different than hired mourners to make a show of weeping at a funeral of someone they don’t even know. But it looks good.
Rending your heart is an inward thing, it may be invisible to others, but it results in a real change. It is true mourning, brings true repentance and real change.
We (the ones who name the Name of Jesus, Yeshua) are too quick to rend our garments at injustices (real or perceived) and not our hearts at the real problem: sin. We make a big deal about OUR rights, OUR hurts, but what about Him?
A few years ago, there was a fad about WWJD bracelets, “what would Jesus do”. It is true, if we really took the time to ask that question and listen for the real answer, a lot of trouble could be avoided. But in reality, it was just more of rending our garments, for show. Because if we really wanted to “do as Jesus would do” a lot of what we do “in His name” is really just rending garments and nothing like what He would do.
Remember James and John? When they were not received in a town, they were ready to call down fire from heaven and destroy them, Jesus told them NO. Remember the lady caught in adultery? The “righteous” had the right to stone her, but Jesus said NO. Remember the leper? The law said that a leper had to remain separate, away from people. Jesus not only received the leper, He touched him and healed him. Remember the disciples who saw someone else casting out devils in the name of Jesus and told Jesus to rebuke them because they weren’t “with them”? Jesus said NO.
Social media has made many of us into vocal warriors. We are quick to rend our garments and shout out the injustices we see, we are ready to call down fire upon folks who think differently. We are ready to block, unfriend, and report those whom we believe are wrong. We are “fact-checked” ad nauseum by others who have no more information or truth than we have. We are indignant and ready to fight to the death for our rights.
What if…what if we stopped rending our garments and instead, we rend our hearts? What if we really asked Jesus/Yeshua what He would do? What if we as the body of Christ actually worked to advance the Kingdom of God instead of our idea of what government should be? After all, the world will never be subject to the Law of God and can’t be, until Jesus/Yeshua comes back and sets up His kingdom. We forget that a sinner will always sin, that is all they know. But we are not of the world if we have been born again. So why are we so shocked when the world does what it does?
We are supposed to pray for our leaders. But not so we can get our way, listen to what it says:
I Timothy 2:1-4
1. Therefore, first of all I urge that requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made on behalf of all people—
2. for kings and all who are in authority—so we may live a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and respectfulness.
3. This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior.
4. He desires all men to be saved and come into the knowledge of the truth.
Do you see that? Pray for all people, which includes leaders so that we can live a peaceful and quiet life in godliness and respectfulness. And the reason is because He desired everyone to be saved and come into the knowledge of the truth—and the Truth is Jesus. Not what we think is truth. Rending our hearts in prayer and intercession, not our garments so that we appear to be offended.
What would Jesus do? What DID He do? He only had harsh words for the religious “righteous” leaders who were concerned with their place in society and their power to lord over the people. For the sinners, He said come to ME and as they came, they were changed.
We don’t fight this fight with our natural mind or machinations, we fight this on our knees and from our hearts. We don’t convince anyone with rhetoric, we take it to the Lord, get His heart, His mind, and only say/do what He says to say/do.
Let’s rend our hearts, not for show but to see the lost be saved; to repent and seek God to turn the hearts of the people to Him; to heal our land; and to see the Kingdom of God advanced one soul at a time. That is why we are here. We are to bring His Kingdom to earth, to make disciples and bring His message to the lost.
We don’t win people by force, we win them by showing His Heart, His Love.