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Having A Change Of Heart Before Doing Something We Regret

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks
The Truth Network Radio
November 4, 2023 12:00 pm

Having A Change Of Heart Before Doing Something We Regret

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks

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November 4, 2023 12:00 pm

In this episode of Encouraging Prayer, James Banks and Carmen filling in for Robby Dilmore, discuss having a change of heart before making a regretful choice. 

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Hey, this is Jim Graham from the Masculine Journey Podcast, where we explore relationship instead of religion every week. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just a few seconds.

Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network. On Encouraging Prayer, Dr. James Banks, author of the bestselling Prayers for Prodigals and many other books on prayer, provides weekly biblical insight to help you learn to love to pray. And now, here's James. Proverbs 4 23 tells us, Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Have you ever done something foolish, something that you later wish you hadn't? Chances are your heart had a lot to do with it, and today we're going to talk about it. Having a change of heart before we do something we regret. James, do you want to take it from here? Absolutely, Carmen.

It's good to be with you today. And what we're talking about is those things that we sometimes do or could be in danger of doing that could wreck our lives and cause ourselves or those we love pain. I'm talking about the sins of the heart as you were going there that have to do with relationships and how we deal with those we love. And to take this seriously, I think we all need to own this, to humbly acknowledge that we're capable of things that maybe we'd rather not mention, you know, that would surprise others if we acted on them.

And that's just part of being human, part of what it means to be tempted. So let's start by admitting something God says about us in Jeremiah 17, 9. He says, the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure, who can understand it?

And man, we've seen this in the world, but we also have to acknowledge we've seen it in ourselves. But in verse 10, the next verse, God gives us this hope. He says, I, the Lord, search the heart and examine the mind to reward each person according to their conduct.

So we're not left to ourselves. God can meet us in this, in those places in our minds and hearts and help us. I think that's a solid starting point because of what Jesus says about examining ourselves before we're critical of others. James, James and I were discussing this before we went on air and saying that the last thing we wanted to do was to be critical or judgmental of others. James, in three and a half decades of work as a pastor, you've counseled a lot of people through these heart moments, haven't you?

Why don't you explain a little more, why don't you explain a little more what this can look like, just so we're clear? Well, I've seen both men and women who have been tempted to leave their spouses for their quote unquote soulmate whom they met online, or they've been tempted to walk away from a years long marriage because their husband or wife just doesn't get them like that special someone at work. Or there are those who are living faithfully with God in singleness, but they're so desperately in need of human companionship that they begin to compromise their faith by getting involved in the sexual relationship outside of the covenant of marriage.

You know, maybe they move in together just to see if things will work out, or that person who's tempted to view pornography because they're upset with their spouse or frustrated that God hasn't led them to a husband or wife yet. I mean, this covers so many areas, and you're so right. We can't have a critical spirit in these matters. I mentioned this, again, because these are matters of the heart, and we're all capable of stepping in the wrong direction with this. And the question is, how can we guard our hearts so that we don't go against the counsel of God's word? And I think the first step we have to take is to watch our hearts carefully.

What do you mean? Sometimes our hearts can be deceived by things that feel good. Let's say that you're married, and you see a picture of that old boyfriend or so many new years ago on Facebook or some other social media, and maybe you get a little sentimental and you think, well, should I reestablish contact with them again? I mean, after all, seeing their picture again makes you happy.

So what's wrong with that? But that's the very thing we have to watch. Just because something makes us happy for a moment doesn't mean that it's what God wants for us. So the next step, then, is also crucial. Will we let God into that moment and say, Father, what do you want me to do?

I can't underscore how important that step is. Proverbs 28-26 tells us that those who trust in themselves are fools. But those who walk in wisdom are kept safe. And I don't think that's a message we hear very frequently today about not trusting yourself. But of course, God's word also tells us that if we want wisdom, all we have to do is go to Him and ask.

Wow, that's so good, James, even though it may not be the easiest thing for us to hear, because what we're doing is adverting a train wreck. All of us have seen people who have acted on those decisions without asking God, and you're right. It helps so much to realize that we really can't trust our hearts first. We have to trust God most of all. Yeah, I mean, that's just it, Carmen.

I think it's good to ask, how much do you trust yourself? You know, are you able to let God help you take a step back and say, okay, not me, you know, not what I want, but what you want, Lord? Which is exactly what Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. And scripture tells us that in the end, because of his humbling himself that way, God lifted him up, and I have to believe he'll do the same for us. He'll help us and encourage us, even though it isn't easy, and we'll avert great harm both for ourselves and maybe for others as well.

That's just it. I mean, the real question is, who's going to be first? Is it going to be what I want or what God wants? And this is about what we really, ultimately what we worship and who's in first place. I was reading a great piece in our daily bread the other day by my friend Sheridan Boise, who lives in London, and he quotes the novelist David Foster, who said, everybody worships. If you worship money and things, then you'll never have enough. Worship body and beauty, and you'll always feel ugly. Worship your intellect, and you'll end up feeling stupid.

And Boise wraps it up this way. He says, our secular age has its own gods, and they are not benign. But our God is.

And if we come to Jesus when we're struggling with something like this, the last thing he's going to do is, you know, turn us away or say, how can you think like that? He knows us. And yeah, we'll have to do what's right, you know, but the beautiful thing is, because he's Lord of the heart, when we give our hearts to him, he'll change them.

He'll actually help us want what he wants and see things from his point of view. And we will never regret that. That's a good place for us to land today, James. And like Mary Lou Renton, I think you've stuck the landing.

No scorecards here. But we do need to pray. Jesus, help us. Help us to just walk humbly with you, to trust you more than we trust our hearts, to trust you more than we trust ourselves, because you are always good and always faithful. Amen. Amen. You can hear more from Pastor James by visiting his website, jamesbanks.org, or by visiting Peace Church in Durham, North Carolina. May God bless you and encourage you as you pray.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-04 14:18:15 / 2023-11-04 14:21:58 / 4

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