“Return to Me with all your heart, And with fasting, weeping, and mourning; And rend your heart and not your garments.” Now return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness And relents from sending disaster and harm. Joel 2:12-13
All other gods are harsh taskmasters, needy, and very demanding, The Lord is not and has no need for human assistance.Yet He desires relationships with His imagers and asks us to participate.
Other gods demand sacrifices and are never satisfied, impelling humans to serve them day after day. Not convinced? Ask the Incas, Wiccans, Greeks, or Egyptians about their gods' demands. Know anyone enslaved to the gods of food, alcohol, or sex? There are reasons the men who sacrifice their relationships with wives and children for the gods of gaming or sports are called ‘fans’. Such slaves are impelled to make sacrifices for those demanding gods. The rending of the heart is internal and deeply personal. The Lord ASKS us to expose our hearts and refuse a fleshly, outward display of mourning. Submitting to rending our hearts is a cold-blooded decision. Only the LORD and the man see this. There are no style points in the Kingdom of God. Jesus mirrored Joel 2 when He proclaimed “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.” The tearing of garments is an outward, external display. Marketing for the sake of a human audience. Dallas Willard said, “One of the greatest misconceptions of our faith, and actually one of the greatest acts of unbelief, is the thought that our spiritual acts and virtues need to be advertised to be known.” Daily Battle Order:
Let us be disciplined to do the great internal works first, to allow the Lord access for deep change. Place your public relations department entirely in the hands of God. If we rend our hearts, He will light our candle so we can be the light of the world.