Steve Lyston | The nation needs a new heart
Matthew 15: 19: "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies."
The heart is the source of all evil actions. Many times, you will hear people say, "How could a someone really do something like this?" Whether it is rape, killing children, or some other heartless action. If there is to be any change at all, only a new heart within the nation in general will bring the change that is needed. Legislation has its role, but that will not bring the change that the nation needs. Only God Himself can change the hearts.
There are many types of hearts mentioned in the Bible, but to have effective change in a life, organisation or nation, the people will need to have a new heart with a right spirit. A wrong heart brings a wrong spirit; and the wrong spirit causes us to make the wrong choices. It is critical that even when we are putting people in positions, they have the right heart and spirit.
It must go beyond academics and a plethora of degrees and letters behind the name. We need people with willing hearts - stirred-up hearts, wise hearts, broken and contrite hearts, established hearts, pure hearts, hearts of flesh not stone - these kinds of hearts are gates for change and will bring success. (Exodus 35: 21 & 35; Psalm 34: 18; Ezekiel 18: 31; Ezekiel 36: 26; Psalm 112: 8)
Negative hearts, wicked hearts, evil hearts, proud hearts, jealous hearts, stony hearts, lying hearts, lustful hearts, weak hearts - these are some of the negative states of a heart that impact a nation negatively, and we have to begin effective intercession for those with these kinds of hearts to rise up in our nation for change to come.
Man looks at the outward appearance, but God searches the heart. We can't bring reformation or transformation on an old heart - that is, a heart that is unrenewable and unwilling to change. Only those who have received a new moral nature and regenerated heart will see the manifestation of God and change come.
For example, many times you will hear people say, 'What is the Church doing?' or 'Look how many churches we have around' and there is no change. Some say the Church is doing nothing. However, the Church is never a building or a name - we are the Church! The Church is in us, and a person can go to church or say they are a Christian, but they have an old heart or wicked ways. This is why the Bible consistently says that for any change to take place, there has to be a new heart, a heart of flesh. Why do we think that when David assumed leadership of Israel he could not walk in the old armour - the old ways?
Let us look at the evil that is manifesting locally and globally. For example, for years, the media have been using influential people with wicked hearts to sensitise the younger generation in the way of sexual immorality. When we look at some of the things that some of our local television channels are showing to our children; when sexual perversion has eaten away at the fabric of society, sometimes many behave as if they are ignorant to what is happening in the society.
Protect our children
Our primary-school children are wanting to experience oral sex and get tattoos. We are no longer, as parents, teaching our children how to dress; and when they are raped there is an outcry. We must recognise that while there must be self-control on the part of the abuser or attacker, we must protect our children by teaching them how to properly attire themselves - after all, they are children, not little adults. Remember also that children practise what they see and are a reflection of us. Likewise, the state of the nation is a reflection of the state of the Church - and we are the Church. Many say we are a Christian nation, but the truth is we are more a religious nation than we are a Christian one.
Giving our children marijuana to smoke, and tablets in school without the proper parental foundation, is a recipe for disaster. How many parents would even understand how to function with some of the new technology today? Yet, there are lobby groups who fight any form of discipline or moral guidance that would keep our children grounded. Something is wrong with our hearts.
We would think that everyone would want crime and violence to stop in our nation, and if we all had pure hearts and all wanted change in the nation in this area, then it would stop. But who says everybody in the nation wants crime and violence to stop? Something to think about.
- Steve Lyston is a biblical economics consultant and author of several books, including 'End Time Finance' and 'The New Millionaire'.