Thoughts on the Heart

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Jeremiah 17:9

I’ve had a bit of a rough week, my troubles largely self-inflicted. I won’t go into any graphic detail, but I should think that the above quote is sufficiently informative.

I’m sure we’ve all heard countless times various -isms to the effect of “trust your heart” or “trust your conscience.” I am leaning ever more towards the opinion that these truisms are nothing but ignorant half-truths at best and vain delusions at worst – at least so far as applied to myself.

The heart is fickle and indecisive; it wants one thing but rarely clarifies how you are to go about obtaining it. It is insistent and petulant in its primitive desires, unreasoning in its persistent demands for lustful gratification, constant amusement, and transcendental bliss. The heart is not a being of reason, of contentment, nor of faithfulness, but a beast of wretched selfishness.

God is true when we are false. Those of you who in His Son already profess salvation – be wary of trusting your own hearts, how you feel before God, how you feel about your actions. “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21). When our hearts are not firmly fixed on God’s purpose and His holy commands, when we take first the counsel of our flesh before that of the Mighty Counselor, we are quick to turn astray into selfish vanities and foolish self-delusion.

In short – I deceived myself for almost a whole week that I could control my lust in the moment of self-gratification, against all wisdom and caution, and while God graciously has not punished me with stripes, I beg that He would, if only it would keep me from sinning against Him again. Instead, I must live with my conscience – I must fasten myself ever tighter to His forgiveness. By grace and grace alone are any saved at all. This last week is a reminder most sharp – my own efforts and plans shall never substitute for His blessing.

Lord, my God,
Watch my soul tonight.

El Shaddai, my Prince of Peace,
Guard my wayward steps.

For I am but a child,
A fool little better than an animal –

Yet one whom you have uplifted,
That he might dare to be a man.

Lord, give me strength, and give me grace,
That grace in which I undeservedly live,
That I might rejoice in obedience,
Not for one night but until my last.

 

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Desire’s War

I am still too long.
Again and again it comes,
like a war in the trench,
volley by volley,
an unceasing bombardment.

I fight, fight and die to myself,
Time and again and repeat,
chained to my rifle,
red from the fire,
rhe flesh minions,
soaking the ash-blackened soil.

Leave me be!
I will not stand
your presence-your
moaning wail
siren call
hellbound hail
I need none at all!
I need not your defeat;
There are no seats,
on the train of grace,
for your monstrous race.

Away with you, witch’s sprites,
temptresses and idols!
I do not want
your cheap trinkets,
half-minute pleasures,
short-stopped sensuality.
Your attentions are delicate
like the spider entombing her witless victim

God has set aside,
this one for greater glory;
He will not be had –
Neither Him nor His servant!

Consumptor

Purge me of hunger
Not for bread
But for flesh

It gnaws       turns
tears      the screws
bites      ever tighter
twists     and tighter still
I want it gone!
No more         the flesh
Nevermore        as ash
It fades                  the cursed parasite
throbs and pulses and swells
like an abscess of desire
The hunger grows, devours
engorged upon itself till
it bursts and drains its human pus
into the mouth of Hell.
To Sheol it beckons me
a king and his son battled this beast and came to dun;
his name was David, son of Jesse
and his son was Solomon, Bathsheba’s son.
But they cast themselves upon Your mercy
They were spared the fire, though not the pain
and ascended they on high to rest
in Your Maker’s Hands.
Make it tremble, make it burn
Reduce it to ash
Put the flesh to the sword
and from the Consumptor’s gory pyre
arise the spirit saved to light.