Ezekiel 13-15

Do you have a pure heart? That’s what pleases God, and it is what will bring you to your best life.

So just what is a pure heart? It’s one which seeks God’s will and not its own. A pure heart is free from self-centeredness and strife and as such, can hear properly when God speaks.

Jesus said, “I can of my own self do nothing: as I hear I judge; and My judgment is just, because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father which has sent Me.” (John 5:30) When we are willing to seek our Father’s will and not our own selfish one, we will hear clearly from Him also.

This is the key to what makes false prophecy. A man who selfishly seeks his own will doesn’t hear God’s voice clearly. He is busy running after his own desires, and his thinking gets to be contaminated. Thus he doesn’t hear clearly.

What is a false prophet? He is one who speaks out of his own mind, and doesn’t represent the Lord..

So this is what we see in Ezekiel. The prophets in Jerusalem are saying “peace, peace,” when there is no peace. They are speaking from their own minds and tickling ears – leading people astray.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)

So let’s allow Him to strip away those preconceived ideas and selfish ideologies, and fill our hearts with His truth. That’s where His freedom lies – and that’s where we find the greatest happiness.

James 1

(Note: James, who wrote this book, was the natural brother of Jesus, but didn’t believe in Him until after His resurrection. James went on to be one of the early church leaders, a fact which should give us hope concerning our families who are not yet believers).

I like the way the Amplified Bible starts this book. “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you fall into temptations, testings, or trials, knowing that the trying of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”(V 2-3)

Remember how Hebrews harped on endurance, or patience? Well, here we go again. Endurance is one of the most important factors in our faith-walk. We have to hold up our faith with endurance, or we will give up and miss out on the blessing.

But if we have endurance working on our behalf, we will receive the things we are believing for.

So when you come to testings and trials, don’t sit down on the job. Think of yourself as being in an intense workout, producing your endurance muscle. You are getting stronger, and closer to your goal, even when it doesn’t seem like it.

While we are waiting, we need to realize that it is not God who is testing us. “God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.” (V 13) Your own lust is tempting you and testing you. So as you are holding on to your promise, know that your heart is being cleansed by your resolve also. When you don’t give in, the devil starts losing his hold on you.

Hold fast. Endure. Be patient. You will receive, if you don’t quit! Faith and patience can accomplish wonderful things in your life.