“A third work when God brings the soul home to himself is by taking the heart off from the creature, disengaging the heart from all creature-comforts: that is the third work ordinarily that the soul may perceive of itself. It is true, God’s work may be altogether in the seeds in him, but in the various actings of the soul, in turning to God, it may perceive these things in it. The disengagement of the heart from the creature is the calling of the soul from the world-‘whom the Lord hath called he hath justified’-what is the calling of the soul but this?
The soul which before was seeking for contentment in the world, and cleaving to the creature, is now called out in the world by the Lord, who says: ‘Oh Soul, your happiness is not here, your rest is not here, your happiness is elsewhere, and your heart must be loosened from all the things that are here below in the world.’
This is the work of God in the soul, to disengage the heart from the creature, and how contrary is a murmuring heart to such a thing! Something which is glued to another cannot be taken off, but you must tear it; so it is a sign your heart is glued to the world, that when God would take you off, your heart tears. If God, by an affliction, should come to take anything in the world from you, and you can part from it with ease, without tearing, it is a sign then that your heart is not glued to the world.”
Burroughs p. 86-87
Taking the Heart off the Creature
We have seen previously how that in the way of learning contentment, true contentment, we must be brought through many trials, and we must learn to lose the things we hold so dear. We have seen that the way to contentment in any such circumstance is by sumbitting to the will to God, trusting in Him to make up in grace and peace in our hearts for what was lost of the outward comfort, and by being full of His Spirit which will produce in our hearts love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and meekness no matter what may be happening on the outside of us.
But have we seen that it is of necessity that our hearts are disengaged from all creature-comforts?
I have noticed that ever since God has called me up and out, there has been a slow process in the beginning, and is speeding way up now, where I am brought into situations and circumstances where I have no choice but to let go of what I held onto so tightly.
And this doesn’t always mean something outward, it can be an inward thing as well.
We may have to give up:
- dreams for your life/family
- ideas that are contrary to God’s Word
- plans that are not in accordance with God’s Word
- habits that are not in tune with God’s Word
We may also have to give up outward things too:
- a relationship that is not honoring God
- a vehicle
- a cellphone
- the town/home you love
It is a gradual process where the Lord seems to be directing every part of our life to Himself, and bringing it down into a death in some way, whether literally or figuratively, in order that He may take the place of that thing and bring Himself in and give us new life in it’s place.
But there is more to the process.
In this process, our hearts are gradually loosened from the world and all the things of the earth that we might cling to and seek contentment in and from.
So that once they are brought down to the death—— our hearts are no longer attached to the thing, and instead it has been brought all the more to be attached to the things unseen, where Christ is.
And in all of this detachment of the things of this life and world, God is getting us to place our only hope and trust in Him to provide the things not only for this life, but for the nourishment of our spiritual life. He becomes the source, the ONLY source, of all our comfort—-and though we have not seen Him, we love Him, and hope in Him alone.
This is the work of God in preparing us for His Kingdom.
Contrary is a Murmuring Heart
One would think that it is not contrary to murmur when things of this life that we hold so dear are taken away. For that is a natural reaction. We are not used to losing what we want in any way, especially if we live in the land of plenty. To have something taken away seems like an extreme offense and act of hatred towards us. It does not come across as the loving discipline of a Father.
It comes as a tearing of the heart.
But this is not a good thing. If we are called up and out of the world in heart by the Lord, then for us to cling to this life is to be an enemy of God. God’s Kingdom is not of this world, and if we are made to be co-heirs with Christ in the Kingdom of God, then we are to have no part in this world. For the Cross of Jesus Christ has the power to crucify us to the world, and the world to us. That is it’s purpose. We have been crucified with Christ to the affections and lusts, and we are to reckon ourselves dead to this world.
“For ye are dead, and your life is hidden in Christ with God”.
“So it is a sign your heart is glued to the world, that when God would take you off, your heart tears”.
If truly our hearts have been torn over some loss of the comfort of this world, and we are truly unable to move past it and give it up to the Lord, we must look forward and get in touch with the Lord inwardly, and allow His light to shine and show us His purposes!
FAITH UNTO ENLARGEMENT!
He is trying our faith—He is emptying us of all that is NOT of God—and He is making room and way for Himself to fill us and be all in all!
Christ Jesus is to be LORD over all of our lives, and we are to come to a point where we willingly let go of all things, that we may know Him and the power of His resurrection.
That is not to say that we won’t hurt and grieve over a loss of any thing that we hold dear. But when our minds are renewed, we shall be able to be loosened from any thing in this world, that we may have our entire conversation in heaven, where Christ is.
Our life is not in this world, it is in heaven. We live here now in our bodies, but we are to be always gravitating in heart towards heaven, not earth.
Take Abraham and Lot.
Lot looked around and set his face toward Sodom. His heart went towards the world. Abraham went to a land he knew not, with his heart toward heaven.
The more we cling to something, the more fear we will have to lose it, and the bigger the cry when it is taken.
Let us seek to have a heart loosened from this world. A heart that is heavenward.
“For we brought nothing into this world, and we certainly will bring nothing out.”