Some time ago, our church building was burglarized. The break in happened at night. The thief broke a window and stole some electronic items.
It is so sad that this happened to a small rural church like ours, in the middle of nowhere. There is no respect for private property or for God, even in a southern and “God fearing” community such as ours anymore.
I don’t know the exact figures, but millions of crimes are committed each year including break-ins, robberies and burglaries. If you visit big cities like Miami, you will see iron bars on doors and windows everywhere. You will also see guard dogs and alarms protecting most properties and don’t forget the security guards.
The human heart is just like those houses. Our hearts have been burglarized and broken too many times. To avoid this onslaught, we protect our hearts with the iron bars of anger, apathy, sarcasm or solitude.
Jesus sees our hearts and he sees all the hurt and disappointments that live there. He also sees all the futile defense mechanisms that we use to protect it. Jesus sees all of that and everything else, including our lusts, passions, inclinations and deviations.
Jesus sees everything that is in our hearts, because He lives there. Jesus cares about our hearts and he has compassion for our sufferings. He wants to heal our broken hearts, but the only way He will do this is by breaking the power that sin and the flesh have over us.
He needs to break us before he can remake us.
Jeremiah 18:4 tells us what Jeremiah, the prophet saw when he went to the potter’s house:
“And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.”
Spurgeon said: “God breaks those He wants to make great.” He did that with Jacob before he became Israel. He broke Saul in order to make the apostle Paul and he broke Peter and transformed him from a Christ-denying disciple into a bold preacher of righteousness in the name of the Lord.
We need for Christ to break in into our hearts and for Him to break and destroy all the pride, lusts, rebellion and sinfulness that still remain there. Let us submit to his pruning work (John 15:4) as He removes all the useless “branches” from our heart and remakes us according to:
“…the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13)
I love old cars that are still in good condition. The chassis and exterior of the older automobiles are stronger than the fiberglass or aluminum exterior of most modern vehicles. The older engines are simpler, stronger and in many cases longer-lasting than their modern counterparts.
The cars, trucks and vans of today are not made to last. After a few years with the same vehicle, you must be willing to trade it in for a new one, or pay thousands in repairs every year if you expect to keep your used car.
There are, however, a few modern technological advancements that make the modern automobiles better in some aspects. I am referring to Automatic Braking, Rearview Camera, GPS, LoJack, OnStar and Cruise Control. Of all these, the Cruise Control is my favorite, because it allows the driver to rest their legs, especially in a long trip.
Cruise Control has also become the favorite of many followers of Christ today. They supposedly have received Christ as their Lord and Savior, but soon after that, they connect to the “Christian Cruise Control Network” and intend to coast and cruise, instead of walking and running with Christ in service and obedience.
Christ did not die on the cross for us to live an easy and trouble-free live. We have not been called to a Cruise Control kind of life, but we must all submit under the control of the cross. Cross Control is what we need. The Bible tells us:
“Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Mark 8:34)
We must be obedient followers of Christ. Jesus gave us the example as,
“He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:8)
If you want to go on a cruise from time to time, go ahead; just make sure to stay away from all its temptations. On the other hand, submit yourself under the Cross Control and forsake the unbiblical and dangerous idea of living your Christian life in cruise control mode. Get up from the pew and serve your Lord in the church building and in any other place you may be in at the moment.
We can find salvation at the cross. We can find rest at the cross. We can find peace, joy, love and power at the cross of Christ. The cross has become our banner and all those that are under its control will be truly blessed in this life and in the next. Paul understood the power of the cross and rejoiced in it, as he exclaimed:
“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14).