BIBLICAL FOUNDATIONS OF BEHAVIOR: THE HEART BELIEF SYSTEM
# 7 of the of the Walk Applied Model
Counseling & Discipleship Continuing Series.
The Walk Applied is a comprehensive Biblical model
that is applicable for counseling,
discipleship. mentoring, teaching, etc.
The Godly belief system that replaces the sinful, idolatrous belief system of the Flesh. Rebellion Idolatry is replaced by the Assurance Construct, and Need Idolatry is replaced by the Guarantee Construct.
Over the past several installments we have been discussing the very negative topic of the sinful flesh - the innate belief system that we were born with that drives us. We now turn attention to the much more pleasant topic of The Heart. The Heart is the new belief system that the Spirit implants in us as a result of our spirit man being raised to life in the wondrous action of salvation. Paul tells us in the New Testament that only those whose Spirit has been raised and brought to Spiritual life can comprehend the Spiritual.
THE HEART BELIEF SYSTEM
The Heart belief system is not integrated quickly. We still live with a sinful, driven and relentless flesh. Unfortunately, we will only fully shed the sinful flesh when we pass from this natural existence into the Spiritual realm where those who are saved will enjoy full fellowship with Jesus and heavenly Father. Over our lifetime, the Heart belief system slowly but surely replaces the sinful Flesh as we walk with Jesus in an intimate and personal relationship with Him.
The reader will recall that we established that there are 2 major Idolatry constructs: Rebellion Idolatry and Need Idolatry. Both are made up of 6 idols each. The Heart is comprised of two "Belief Constructs": The Assurance Construct and the Guarantee Construct:
The Assurance Construct replaces Rebellion Idolatry
HUMILITY replaces PRIDE
Humility teaches us that God is absolutely sovereign in all things. Over time, we learn to become humble servants. Indeed, humility ultimately brings us a palpable undercurrent of serenity and joy no matter what the circumstances. Humility is understood to be an intentional act of loving submission because we acknowledge that His will is sovereign in all things.
SONSHIP replaces PERFORMANCE
We have been adopted into the family of God with all the rights and privileges that being in the family of God brings with it. Redemption means we have been literally purchased back from Satan's authority. Our "title deed" has passed from Satan back to God. We will never be rejected because of what we do or don?t do. In His Word, God clearly proclaims the He will never leave us nor will He forsake us. Jesus?death and resurrection paid the awful price that needed to be paid for sin. We are adopted sons and citizens of the Kingdom!
ACCEPTANCE replaces FACADE
There is no longer any need to show a facade. We are fully accepted as we are, despite our deplorable sinful condition. That's why it's important to understand that we are His adopted children fully and totally. We are citizens of God's country. We have sealed with the deposit of the Holy Spirit. Our sins have been fully paid for, past present and future. All has been taken care of!
STEWARDSHIP replaces SECURITY
The concept of stewardship is one that many Christians are typically familiar with. The notion of stewardship means that we own nothing, and that we are fully dependent on God to faithfully provide for each and every need that we have when we need it. God is always faithful, and His word tells us that he will never leave us and he will never fail us. We could easily substitute the word custodian for stewardship. God wants us to use whatever he provides us with in a Godly fashion. We are managers of all the good things He wants to give us.
ADOPTION replaces ENTITLEMENT
Adoption does away with any notion of entitlement, because when we are adopted, we have full legal rights as heirs to the Kingdom. You and I would have everything God wants us to have to the fullest. As adopted sons, we operate under the doctrine of sonship. That means that we are treated the same as legally adopted sons. In Biblical times, to bean adopted son meant that you were treated exactly the same as any other biological heir. It also meant that your past- no matter what you did was for all intent and purposes erased. Your status was completely changed as of the day you were adopted. And that's how God looks at us starting with the moment we are saved. Our sins past present and future have all been covered by the blood of Jesus, no exception! We are fully loved and fully accepted - no matter what our condition or what we have done. There is no sin or offense that is so bad that it cannot be forgiven. The only exception is if we do not believe. That would mean we are truly not saved!
PEACE replaces PLEASURE
To be saved means you should be walking in peace. Obviously, this does not always happen. Christians have the same problems as anyone else. To be a Christian does not mean you won't have the same worries as those who are not saved. It is indeed sad that many who profess to be followers of Jesus simply do not act like it and lead lifestyles that are not exemplary of their new status in Christ. Tragically, there are also many who profess to be saved, but truly, they are not. More to the point, Romans 2 describes a lifestyle of hedonism and out and out immorality. These awful depictions of a relentless pursuit of pleasure should never happen with a true Christian. There should be exhibited a peaceful and moral life, that reflects a life that is anything but chaotic. All that said, for the true Christian, there should be an underlying sense of serenity and peace, even in the toughest of situations and the worst of tragedy. When all is said and done, a true Christian has the sense that it's all going to turn out ok, despite the circumstances. The true Christian understands that he is eternal, and that ultimately, he will spend eternity with Christ. There should be an undercurrent of serenity and joy. We certainly don?t want to discount those who are most surely saved, but have not yet learned how to be in peace. Christians are at various stages in their walk with Christ, and God clearly knows the state of each and every person. So, it's easy to misinterpret the motives and actions of a Christian and where they are in their walk. Through struggles and trials, as the Christian walks out the walk, he comes to understand that God is ever faithful, and He is true to His Word.
THE GUARANTEE CONSTRUCT REPLACES NEED IDOLATRY
THE GUARANTEE OF PROVISION REPLACES PROVISION
God is faithful to provide for every need we have and some, if not all, of our wants. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus emphasizes that God is very aware of every need, and is anxious to meet our every need. This is where your faith comes in. In the overall context of the Bible and how it applies to our lives, we must never forget what it means to have a relationship with God. A significant part of serving our creator God is that He has a purpose plan and will for our lives, and submitting to God's plan for our life is a substantial part of our relationship with Him. When we pursue our calling, we can expect that God will meet our every need. This is not to say that our lives will be peaches and cream. Suffering to one degree or another is part of the equation. Jesus tells us that. For some, that calling or path will be dangerous and could involve great risk. Read Foxe's Book of Martyrs(or any other book about martyrs, for that matter). It is full of stories of men and women who suffered and died for God?s Kingdom. Like Jesus, and as Paul tells us in Romans: Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. In other words, Jesus suffered just like us (actually far greater than any of us can ever expect to!). Another passage that applies here is: "I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread." (Ps37:25)
We must not mistake provision for prosperity. God will ensure that you are equipped and provided for according to your calling. For some, it may include great wealth. Others may be called to very austere circumstances. In any case, you will be provided for according to your call. There maybe times when it appears that God has forgotten you! Never forget that God is always faithful! He will make sure you are provided for.
SECURITY REPLACES HOME
The natural need/idol of home is merely the physical manifestation of what we know as security. There is a fundamental drive in all of us for shelter. Certainly, this includes far more than just structural protection from the elements. It seems intuitive that the drive for what we know or desire as home is a very complex, invested deep emotional amalgam of protection, family, intimacy, comfort and love. When we enter our home, there is usually a deeply-held innate emotion that reflects something that's almost primal. No doubt, the notion of home reflects a certain "something" that seems far more than the sum of the parts. Conversely, when that notion of home is violated by natural disaster or by the hands of others - accidentally or violently - there is usually profound feelings of violation, betrayal and insecurity as well. as fear, anxiety and any number of other emotions. A house is a structure, but a "HOME" is something far more.
SPIRITUAL IDENTITY REPLACES IDENTITY
The Bible lays out a vision of what it means to be a new creation in Christ. It's a vision that is so exciting and overwhelming that nothing in the natural can even begin to compare with it. We were bought and paid for via the death and suffering of the Son of God. In other words, we have been deemed priceless; our value is inestimable. We are fully accepted and fully loved, and nothing can change that. We have been adopted and made citizens of His spiritual kingdom. We each have been declared and judged perfect via the promise covenant. We each have been given a grand purpose and a mighty calling that is fulfilling beyond anything we might accomplish in the natural for earthly purposes. And we will spend eternity in the company of the Living God. Nothing on earth can compare to that or even approach it.
ADOPTION REPLACES INTIMACY AND ACCEPTANCE
We all want to be accepted by those around us, and it represents a very powerful and innate urge in our psyche. Indeed, there is nothing inherently wrong with seeking intimacy and acceptance. God encourages these qualities in our life, and He does brings people into our life that can satisfy this legitimate need. But we can never forget that Christ is "the way, the truth and the life." Indeed, it is in a true spiritual relationship with Jesus that we experience full acceptance, intimacy, and love. It is in the safe harbor of Christ that we can find the full peace of someone who supports us and never rejects us. The author of the Book of Hebrews tells us: "Never will I leave you; never will I forsakeyou." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"(Heb 13:5-6)
WISDOM REPLACES KNOWLEDGE
In our rational society, knowledge is king. We want to believe that we can somehow figure out everything we need to know. Since we believe we are evolving to ever higher levels, we think that we don't need God.This false belief underlines the truth that "knowledge puffs up" and that without love, knowledge is worthless. Make no mistake knowledge is indeed valuable in the right contest. Galatians reports that God wants us to increase in knowledge.
In Biblical times, Wisdom was esteemed above all. It meant something along the lines of "to master the art of living." Proverbs clearly tells us that wisdom is vastly superior to mere knowledge:
"Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;those who hold her fast will be blessed. (Pro 3:13-18)
CALLING REPLACES PURPOSE
In God, we have a purpose, plan and will that brings us a fulfillment that far exceeds any natural purpose. While it is true that there are many noble and worthwhile purposes here in the natural, it seems intuitive that God has an eternal purpose that applies to each and every one of us. Jeremiah has a very ponderous message for us in Jer 6:16:
"This is what the LORD says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls".
As we will discuss later, we are eternal creatures living an eternal existence and we will have to face an almighty God who placed us here to seek and obey His will. The contention is, then, that what is of foundational to our relationship with Him is that we walk the path He has set aside for us. Indeed, the conclusion reached here is that the second question that God will ask of us is: "Did you follow the path I set aside for you?Good question, that!
Next Time: #8: Authority & Submission
N. Patrick Marica contributes incisive Christian commentary on this blog on a regular basis. He has been the Director of Godly Training Ministries since 1993. He has his MA from Liberty University in Marriage and Family Therapy. He is the author of the forthcoming book: The Walk Applied". He has been married to Kathy since 1985. They have 2 adult daughters and 1 extraordinary son-in-law.
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