Scripture describes people who understand everything about the times they live in except the reality of what God is doing as people with dull hearts.
One day we will each stand before God and give account for our lives (Romans 14:12). The Creator of heaven and earth, Lord of hosts, will examine our time on this earth and then ask – Did you vote for Biden or Trump? Were you pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine? Did you wear a facemask, or did you oppose facemasks? Did you defend your freedom, or were you led away like a sheep?
Of course, I’m joking! The God I direct my prayer and worship toward is not nearly concerned about our generation’s political arguments and culture wars as we often believe. When we stand and give an account of our lives before God, there will be higher priorities and issues for which we will give account. Those issues are related to our hearts. God looks upon the heart of man (Genesis 6:5). The outward choices, actions, and works of our lives are merely a reflection of the state of our hearts.
If that is the case, why do we give so much space in our heads and priorities to the endless political and cultural debates of our time? While vaccines, pandemics, and political leadership are important, they are nowhere near the most critical life issues. The issues of this world distract us, imposing a gravitational pull that sucks us toward the things of this earth rather than the higher priorities of heaven.
While many of us may acknowledge that reality, most do not realize how true it is. The constant pull of our attention away from the priorities of God and toward the priorities of the earth is a symptom of profound spiritual blindness. The result of that spiritual blindness is personal destruction.
The prophet Isaiah described this human condition when the Lord explained to him why the people would not change even when the prophet presented the Word of God to them.
“Go, and say to this people:
“‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
Make the heart of this people dull,
and their ears heavy,
and blind their eyes;
lest they see with their eyes,
and hear with their ears,
and understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”
Isaiah 6:9-10 (ESV)
Many of us today can articulate a volume of expertise and opinion related to the political debates and culture wars our society is caught up in, but we cannot explain God’s purpose in the midst of it all. What is God doing? What is God saying? Is it possible our expertise is more about us and less about His priorities?
That is evidence of a dull heart. We see and hear so much, and yet we miss the real point of it all. We do not understand or perceive what God is saying and doing.
Imagine one of the children of ancient Israel confidently explaining how the plagues that devastated Egypt resulted from Pharaoh’s incompetence. The expert Israelite articulates the devastating toll the plague took on the Egyptian economy and suggests it would likely produce a political shift at the next elections. And for good measure, the Israelite also notes how his countrymen might subvert the effects of that plague of frogs, locusts, or gnats by using a newly developed herb ointment.
The expert has it all figured out but misses how the chaos surrounded them because God was working something in their midst! Far bigger things were unfolding, which no amount of expertise related to the natural disasters and earthly chaos could reveal. A higher level of sight was required, and that sight did not come by focusing and considering the realities of the earth. Sight came by turning the heart toward God, watching, and listening to His heart – above the noise of the earth!
The solutions to the chaos of our times are not found by looking, arguing, or tightly holding to perspectives of this world. Those postures only produce dull hearts that miss the truth. The answers are found in the heart of God, and that is where we need to focus our attention and energy today.