A Deep Heart Devotion

Article by: Bridgehaven Team

Counselors Reflect on Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp
A Series to Care for the Care Takers of God’s People

“You see, he was able to resist because of the deep heart devotion he had to his Lord.  His heart was not ruled by horizontal pleasure but by vertical worship. He could not conceive of doing such a wicked thing against God.  A glory greater than the temporary glories of the created world had captured his heart; and so he spoke with an immediate, emphatic, and heartfelt no.”- page 66.

The story of Joseph is an amazing story and does such a magisterial job of showing us remarkable truths about God’s providence.  But that is not all that we can draw from this incredible story.  We can also learn how to avoid getting lost by remembering who we are.

How can a person lose their way to the point that they begin to trust their feelings or circumstances more than the elements in their lives that are more consistent and immovable?  How is it that one can start their journey with enthusiasm and strength, but then stumble in the race?  Let’s face it.  It’s easy for all of us to do that.  On a good day, reading Scripture and believing what it says can be a straightforward endeavor, but when we’re weary or when we have grown distant and, perhaps, cold to the gospel, then it becomes more likely that we’ll live by our circumstances than the stability of our anchor, Jesus Christ.  And that is a dangerous point to be.

Tripp calls this stumbling “identity amnesia.”  This is where a pastor or Christian worker forgets who they are.  The remarkable promises of God fade into their memory and as a result they interpret their hearts with false information.  The character of God begins to lose it’s precedence in their lives.  And they begin to trust what they see in themselves than what they know of God.  This too is a dangerous point to be.

The red flags are distinct, but subtle enough to be missed.  Losing your identity comes when fear overtakes your heart.  When the opinion of others dominates your actions.  When your intake of God’s word moves down the priority list.  When your connection with people who can be honest with you is minimized and you become more and more isolated.  This happens when you allow your heart to become more mesmerized by anything other than the Lord.

Moses was influenced by the fear of his heart when he asked God to send someone else to talk to Pharaoh.  Recall also, that the armies of God stood before the giant with great fear.  Tripp writes,

“David knows that he fights not in the shadow of the glory of Goliath, but in the brightness of the glory of God. It is the courage of the faith residing in hie heart that propels him into that valley.”

When our heart is not drawing our attention to the majesty, glory and utter sufficiency of the Lord, then we become distracted by all the shiny things that make demands for our attention.  It is vital that we become captivated by the glory of God and that we find our devotion to Him to be the most significant thing in our lives.  Our interest must lie in our vertical worship of God, not by a love for horizontal pleasures, which are always misplaced and short-lived.  When we drink from the Living Water Jesus promises we will not suffer from thirst.  If, however, we draw from the well water of those misplace pleasures, we’ll never be satisfied.  That is why our hearts must become entranced by the glory and sufficiency of Jesus.

Where are you drawn?  Where does your identity lie? Whose opinion matters more to you?  Where do you find your satisfaction?  Remember that only Christ can satisfy your thirst and only is He deserving of your devotion.

 Join us as we explore “Dangerous Calling” by Paul David Tripp.  www.bridgehavencounseling.org/dangerouscalling.


To order a copy of your own of Paul Tripp’s book click on the link below.

535826: Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry By Paul David Tripp / Crossway Books & Bibles