I was sitting in church yesterday, listening to the ending worship song during communion when a line of a song hit me. It reminded me of a prayer I used to constantly pray — I would ask the Lord to break my heart for the things that broke His. I wanted to have brokenness and compassion for those things that He grieved. People who have yet to come to Him. The family with nothing in need of a miracle. The harsh word I spurt out in anger. I want my heart to be broken for those things because it is in the brokenness that healing can come. Miracles can happen.
When my heart is broken over the things that His heart is broken over, I understand. I desire change. Restoration. And when I understand what God wants and His heart, my motivations are out of the way, and I can let Him do His work. I am in line with what He wants. So as I heard this song, I prayed it again. It has been a loooong time, but I prayed. And what came to mind wasn’t what I expected.
Let me rewind a little [I tend to do that a lot, don’t I?]…the other day, during a conversation about people whose hearts are closed off to the Lord and who openly attack Him, someone mentioned this verse:
…so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth… (Philippians 2:10)
The person smiled and the comment carried the air of revenge. “Someday we’ll get ours,” was the kind of attitude. Well, when I felt lead to pray for a God-centered heart, this came to mind. You see, most of my life, I thought of the “end” when Jesus comes back as a reward for Christians and a revenge to the non-believer. This thought process felt weird though because wishing hell on someone is pretty harsh in my mind. And whenever this verse — every knee will bow — was used, it was usually used like “well, if they don’t believe now, they’ll feel really stupid in the end!” And as I sat in my church service, the worship song continuing on, my eyes filled with tears…my heart broke.
I felt that all my life, I had gotten it wrong. We’ve heard the verse,
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. (Romans 12:19)
But I believe it is far more than just being angry and not getting someone back. Its letting God heal your heart and truly give it to Him. So when we bitterly declare that someone who challenges our beliefs will one day be avenged in being “obligated” to bow before the Lord, this isn’t evidence of a healed heart who will let their Redeemer take care of it…it is evidence of a heart still hurting.
It [love] does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (1 Corinthians 13:5-6)
So when I recalled that conversation, the Lord allowed my heart to break for those people in the end who finally realize [regretfully too late] the majesty and glory of the One who loved them. That our hearts should not be glad at the bitter revenge in the end but broken at the people who will finally see but all to late. Friends, if only you could see the tears welling in my eyes now. Does that break you? Does that cause sorrow in your heart? I believe that it would be a sin to rejoice in the final “HA!” that we think we might have. Does that convict you? Does it make you feel angry? Upset? That something is somehow unfair?
If we are to feel Godly sorrow for those who do not yet know Him here on earth, shouldn’t we feel an overwhelming grief over the thought of those people reaching the end, still not knowing Him, realizing He is real and loves them, but with no more time? That makes my stomach hurt. It makes me feel sick. And it should. It should drive us and motivate us.
Do I have all the answers? No. Do I have mastery of Revelation and end times and know what will happen? FAR from it! But this was just something I felt the Lord laid on my heart, and it felt so urgent that I felt I had to share. What do you think?