Have you ever been in an earthquake? Were you prepared or did it catch you off guard? How about a heart earthquake? You know what I’m talking about, one of those moments where your hidden faults are exposed and your life starts to crumble…
Scripture: Psalm 19:12-13 (NIV)
Who can discern his errors?
Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.
Preparing for a Heart Earthquake: Mending the Hidden Faultlines
I live in Kansas and Kansas is typically one of the last places you’d expect to experience an earthquake. That has changed and I’ve felt at least half a dozen in the last year. I’m doubly unprepared. First, I never expected them in the first place. Sure, when I lived in California I expected them, but not in Kansas. Second, I still don’t have a plan because I presume they really aren’t that bad.
But recently they started getting worse and causing real damage.
Hidden sins are like a hidden faultline that set us up for heart earthquakes. If no one else sees them, they must not be that bad. Yes, they might cause a minor disturbance in our lives when we succumb to the temptation, but by the next day, we’ve completely forgotten about it and moved on.
Those who live in earthquake prone areas prepare for it. They fortify their houses and create an earthquake kit for when the big one comes. They know what to do when it comes.
What if we did the same thing for our hidden sins, the hidden faultlines in our hearts? What should go into a heart earthquake readiness kit?
We can fortify our hearts against the temptation and affects of sin through prayer, fellowship, scripture memory and creating habits and practices that help us avoid our weaknesses. We should also have an emergency plan for when the fault becomes too great. Who are you going to call when the temptation hits? What decisive actions can you take?
Dan Allender and Tremper Longman address the major heart idols that undermine our faith in their book Bold Purpose. Praying through the chapters of this book can bring great freedom as they deal with issues like power, relationships, work and money, pleasure and more.
One of the best things we can do is remember the faultless foundation of our faith is Jesus. This song from Hillsongs is a great reminder of this:
The psalmist in Psalm 19 says “keep me back from presumptuous sin; let them not have dominion over me.” May that be the cry of our hearts – every day, starting today.
Prayers for Today
Self: Lord, I ask you to keep me from presumptuous sins. Reveal the faultlines in my heart and show me how to fortify myself through the Gospel. Show me the people and plans that can help me become more righteous and not be controlled by secret sins.
Family: Father, you know how sins tend to be passed from one generation to the next. Protect my children from my secret sins and create opportunities to talk about our family’s deep secrets. I pray we could grow to embrace and love the Gospel message of freedom from sin.
Work: Teach me to be gracious with my words and actions toward every person I encounter through my work. May I be quick to admit my errors to my co-workers and colleagues and quick to also forgive their sins against me.
Church: I pray our church would be a place where people who struggle with secret sins would feel safe. Help our pastor(s) and leaders to model openness in how we wrestle with sin.
Community: Show me how to practically love three people today whom I encounter.
World: I pray for our local officials in law enforcement as they deal with people who struggle with hidden sins that are also illegal. I pray through the enforcement of the law that many would find mercy as they don’t receive the full penalty for their sin and are given a second chance to repent before you. I pray especially for prison ministries and those who work inside prisons to lead many prisoners to true freedom.
Fortify our lives against the threat of a heart earthquake, Oh God.