and desperately corrupt, it says in Jeremiah. And many of us have said, "Amen," thinking of our own hearts.
How hard it is to face one's own heart, one's own sin as a Christian. The Holy Spirit in us makes our sin that much uglier and thus, that much harder to face.
But what many of us miss is the reality that God's plan for the creation of man was to use sin to show man's utter depravity without God, and his utter helplessness apart from Christ to be righteous.
We are completely and utterly dependent on Christ for righteousness.
In recently going through another time of trying to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit to show me anything in me that is sinful or displeasing to God, and then being overwhelmed by what I see, and then realizing that I am coming under the condemnation of Satan, I come back again to this:
I realize that what I rely on in my life is always looking for Jesus in me. I look for the Holy Spirit at work in my heart.
As a believer, you ought not count on the deceitfulness of the heart to rule in your life. You shouldn't expect sin to dominate your heart. This can cause you to be weighed down by condemnation and a cycle of sin. Bad words that have been spoken over us can keep us in a cycle of condemnation, and patterns of wrong behavior. Simply hearing grace-filled words about the reality of Christ's work in your life can lift you out of that cycle.
The passage in Jeremiah about the deceitfulness of the heart is talking more about the heart that has not met Christ. Every Christian, though he/she has encountered deceitfulness in his/her heart should be able to say emphatically that in spite of deceitfulness in his/her heart, the heart has also continually and constantly led him/her towards Christ.
Today I called a sweet woman of God to share my struggle with seeing ugliness in my heart. She simply reminded me of the danger of falling into condemnation. She basically spoke positive, grace-filled words over my life that come from the word of God.
Don't be discouraged by what you perceive to be wrong with your life.
He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus, Phil 1:6. He will do the work. It is His work!
And we have to get used to the fact that the flesh is with us every day, like a crusty shell that we have to live with. It doesn't have to rule us, but we shouldn't be surprised that it's there. We turn it out daily. We crucify it daily. It won't go away. Tomorrow it's still going to be there!