Please pray – Father in Heaven, thank you Lord for the many blessings You have afforded me, those I know about and those dear Lord that I don’t know of. Father, today we just want to say thank you. Thank you for all you have done and are doing in our lives. We thank you Jesus for allowing us the benefits of Your Holy Spirit, we thank you for the unmeasurable love you have freely given us; thank you for speaking to us through Your Word and into our hearts; thank you for Your sacrifice that gave us the way to reach You; thank you for saving us from this fallen world and conquering death…in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.
As a matter of fact – What happened to the tables the Ten Commandments were written on and Moses smashed? Were they salvaged and pieced back together? No, actually a second set was written, again by the hand of God. The verses describing the creation of the second set of tables are separated in the book of Exodus. (These are sequential verses):
Exodus 34:1, 34:4, 34:28, and 40:20 At that time the Lord said unto me, hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood. And I will write on the tables the words that were in the first tables which thou brakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark. And I made an ark of shittim wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in mine hand. And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the Ten Commandments, which the Lord spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the Lord gave them unto me. And I turned myself and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they be, as the Lord commanded me.
Lots of folks, (including myself), have overlooked this fact; Hollywood sure did. “I will give you a new heart” Ezekiel 44:9 Hi to all. Thank you once again for taking part in this ministry. It is a blessing for me to be able to send out encouraging words and sharing with you the inspired messages the Lord has given.
It is universally known that in most people’s lives there has been some one that reached us in a way that has forever stamped an impression on our hearts. Also, there are some who have taken a piece of us that without the help of our Lord, could not be mended; would you agree? Also we have those who had (or have) that special someone in their life that gives them a sense of fulfillment and they believe, keeps their heart safe in every way, Amen? Would you say you followed your heart when making this decision or was it divine intervention? Let’s ask Jesus to take the wheel, shall we?
We’ve all heard the quote “follow your heart” or “your heart know best”. We’ve even used these quotes before while giving others advice, haven’t we. This is probably the worst advice you can give someone or even tell yourself. Let’s get a better understanding of this, shall we? The Holy Spirit has taken me a long way around to get this set up for us but please stay with me, it’s worth it. This is directed to someone out there, you know who you are, so I have to move with His guidance. I was led to read the book of Ecclesiastes and while doing so I found myself becoming weighed down by what the writer of this book was leading to and what his revelation was. The Book of Ecclesiastes was written with certain indications that suggests Solomon is the author. The word Ecclesiastes essentially means “the preacher” and is a translation of the Hebrew word koheleth. Solomon became king in Israel after the death of his father David which King David was a man of faith. One day God appeared to Solomon and asked this question, “What shall I give you?” (1 Kings 3:5). Solomon could have asked for riches, power or to defeat his enemies; but instead he selflessly asked for wisdom that he might be able to help his people, (verse 9). God was so pleased with this unselfish answer, He not only gave him wisdom but riches as well. The wisdom God granted Solomon surpassed understanding beyond what any person had ever had before (verses 10-12). This wisdom afforded him in answering the biggest questions concerning the meaning of life itself. In the first few chapters he discusses what seems to be the futility of human life; first we are born; we work then grow old; then die. Generation after generations, century after century; it’s the same and nothing has changed from this cycle. Verse 9 says there is nothing new under the sun. “Under the sun” is referring to all human and worldly things. He questions the meaning of and the purpose of this endless cycle. How many have considered this thought also? There has to be something more in life than just live then die. In verse 13 Solomon is determined to use the wisdom God gave him to find the answer. Solomon then decides to seek all the things humans can do, that we can have, what we can see and experience in an attempt to find total fulfillment, happiness and meaning. You may be familiar with Chapter 3 out of all the other chapters. It deals with these endless cycles in a more poetic way. Modern songs have been written using the words in this scripture:
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace (3:1-8).
Solomon realizes in this verse that although everything is positive or negative, it will all end when it’s time. He continues his search and it is revealed to him, systematically, that in our vanity, (“vanity” in this context; futility, uselessness, pointless, worthlessness), he emphasizes the temporary nature of worldly things. Regardless of all the hard work we put in, all the accolades we accomplish or even all the money and worldly goods we can acquire, the haunting reality is that it will all end one day in the grave (6:6), and, how unfair life can be, which seems most of the times the unjust are prosperous and the righteous suffer, which is still true to this day. Sorry, I know this is a downer but stay with me, the good news is coming…
Chapters 8 and 9, where we revisit from the last message the sobering thought that death comes to all, remembering however, those “in Christ” are resting. Verse 9:10, you will remember from last message also, tells us not to waste time but to work hard because the inevitable will take place. Everything we do or want to accomplish must be done while under the sun and do it enthusiastically.
9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. For there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.
The joy here “…do with all your might”, is the gladness of the heart that springs from a sense of the Divine favor. Labor for sinners is to be seeking the salvation of their souls. For believers, proving their faith, embellishing the gospel, glorifying God, and serving their generation. All of us in our place can find God’s work to do.
Solomon goes on to describe in a metaphoric manner the aging process and how difficult it becomes getting old, 12:3-6. He then concludes in chapter 12: 7 and 8 by saying, “Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. Solomon searched tirelessly and with great effort to seek out the true meaning of happiness and fulfillment. He tried with scientific discovery (1:10-11), wisdom and philosophy (1:13-18), laughter (2:1), alcohol and money (2:3), entertainment (2:4), property (2:7-8), and luxury (2:8). The Preacher turned his mind towards different philosophies to find meaning, such as materialism (2:19-20), and even moral and ethical codes as well as every diversion of every kind that he was able to find. He realized that everything was meaningless, a temporary distraction that, without God, had no purpose or longevity. For all the “vanities” described in the Book of Ecclesiastes, there is but one answer; Christ. Solomon searched everywhere to find what and where, if at all, was total happiness. As Christians it is to our advantage that he paved the way for us to know that true happiness is not of this world but in the will of God. Doing His work for His glory.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
I took you on this journey with Solomon for this reason. The silent message is simply not to follow your own heart.
Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. 11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun
Solomon followed his heart without God to find meaning and fulfillment. We are not to follow our hearts, it is the wrong thing to do and the wrong advice to give anyone who needs guidance.
Jeremiah 17:9-10 9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10 I, the Lord, search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
Without God’s guidance, our hearts are not benevolent, they are selfish, in fact, if we alone do what our hearts tell us to do we will distort, weaken and exhaust every desire, every beauty, every person, every wonder, and every joy. Our hearts want to consume these things for our own self-glory and self-indulgence. It was never designed to be followed, but instead to be led. They were never designed to be gods in whom we believe; (the saying, “believe in your heart” or “believe what your heart tells you”), no, our hearts were designed to believe in God. If we were to follow our hearts, they will lead us to a narcissistic, self-indulgent misery and ultimately damnation. In the wake of all he examined, Solomon, being pressured by his wives, turned from God and worshiped other gods. He turned from the only one capable to give him what he had looked so hard to find. No, our hearts will not save us. We need to be saved from our hearts. The truth is, no one can lie to us more than our own hearts. No one.
Proverbs 28:26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.
Do not follow your heart and be careful listening to it. Remember, your heart only tells you what you want, not where you should go. Listen with discernment and take it to the Master for confirmation. If we will believe the conclusion of Solomon’s search and seek meaning in our lives by finding God and walking in all His ways, including fulfilling the great commission, I know God will lead our hearts in the direction we were positioned to go and show us true meaning while we are “under the sun”. The Book of Ecclesiastes offers us an opportunity to understand the emptiness and despair that those who do not know God will have to contend with. Those who do not know Jesus are faced with a life that will ultimately end and become irrelevant. If there is no salvation, and no God, then not only is there no point to life, but no purpose or direction to it either. Solomon described the pointless meanings of all he experienced and summed it up this way; the world apart from God, is frustrating, cruel, unfair, short and “utterly meaningless.” But the good news is, with Jesus Christ, this life is just the beginning of an eternity and it is only available through Him. Jesus said in
John 14:27 NLT I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.
So don’t be troubled or afraid. It was difficult to read this book for the most part but reading through the tone and the heaviness, I sensed Solomon’s grief of not finding the happiness he searched for in this life. And how he must have felt inside for determining that everything he knew to be fulfilling was meaningless in the end. I can relate to this in many ways.
Life here on this planet is temporary; we all know this regardless if we put our heads in the sand or not. If we focus all of our attention on attempting to find true happiness and fulfillment here in this world, we can be pulled away from the one who loves us, as did Solomon. We can lose our eternal fulfillment and the promise we have. This is not to say we shouldn’t seek happiness, on the contrary, we should but where we look and participate is crucial to God. He wants us to be happy while here but He also wants us to know the difference between happiness under the sun and happiness “in the Son”. Undoubtedly, earning a living is important to life, however, we can easily drift into over-emphasizing the day-to-day, wage-earning job above Christian responsibilities. At the same time, the Kingdom of God can easily suffer from the “out of sight, out of mind” syndrome. To guard against this happening, we must consciously put God’s Word as our highest priorities. This is not to say that Christian works should be given the greater time but that we must have a higher regard for them. We must consider it an absolute necessity not to neglect them. You cannot let this world distract you and take your focus from what has been so purposely orchestrated for you by the Most High. We have an instinct to survive life built into our genetics by the Creator of life Himself. He created us with a desire for eternity and put in our very essence this instinct for a reason. We have a responsibility to walk righteous by God and help others find and know Jesus. We are to obey God and His laws, love Him without reservation and complete His commission set before us. Give our heart to the Lord our God and let Him cleanse it and keep it pure.
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Only when we do we will find our true purpose in life and the peace, the happiness and complete fulfillment that we all seek.
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
If we want to be close to Him, if we are seeking His heart, then listening to our own will set us apart from God as was in the case of Solomon. We have to surrender our hearts to Him. Surrendering your life means:
- Following God’s lead without knowing where he’s sending you.
- Waiting for God’s timing without knowing when it will come.
- Expecting a miracle without knowing how God will provide.
- Trusting God’s purpose without understanding the circumstances.
This can be (and is) hard work and, unlike Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane as a true example of surrendering to His Father’s will, in our case it will require intense warfare against our self-centered nature and this level of maturity doesn’t come easy but stay the course and stay focused.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart. And do not
lean on your own understanding.
This is the first step; trust God with all your heart Saints. We must make Him the Ruler and King of our hearts. If we are doing His will, then we are listening to His heart and not ours.
Please pray with me – Gracious Holy Father, thank you for Your precious word. I ask You use this message for Your glory and may it bring us closer to knowing You and what our purpose in this life truly is. Let us not look for the happiness and fulfillment from the world but yet allow us the wisdom to know it is found only in You. You are our peace; You are our happiness; You Lord God are our fulfillment. Jesus You are our Comforter, our Redeemer and through You and by You only are our salvation. Thank you Holy Father for allowing us the time to seek you and understand how we are to reach the Gates of Heaven. Guide us daily, Father, be with us and keep us from the enemies snare, in the Precious Name of Jesus, Amen. Thank you to all who offered up prayers. Let us keep each other in prayer for strength and perseverance to endure this journey until we are called to rest. Please attend a church if you are not. We are told by Jesus we must attend for fellowship and edifying of the body.
Hebrews 10:24-25 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another on to love and good deeds. 25 Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made a habit of, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
I pray that God blesses you all in countless ways!