Security is an Issue of the Heart
The stock market plunges overnight and a lifetime of earnings disappears; the phone rings and we hear of the unexpected death of a friend; we go to the doctor for a routine check-up and discover we have only a few weeks to live; we go to work on Tuesday morning, September 11th, and hear that thousands have been murdered and our country is going to war. The Bible says in a room of mourning there is wisdomcite because the fragility of life is revealed. We are forced to admit life has no guarantees and nothing in this world can shelter us from the uncertainties around us. Hemmed in by this reality, we begin to look beyond the affairs of this world in search of something or someone who really can give us the security we desire.
Security is defined in the dictionary as “freedom from fear and doubt.” The more unpredictable our world becomes, the more important our perception of security becomes. That which we perceive as protecting us from fear and doubt will become the object we hold closest to our hearts. Issues of the heart are also the issues we are least willing to have challenged. This book addresses the issue of security. It will first challenge the will because a person must be willing to entertain ideas that some say are too personal to be discussed. It will then challenge the mind because the heart cannot accept what the mind rejects. Ultimately, it will challenge the heart because this is where the issue of security resides for each of us.
A Risk too Great to Take
During my senior year in college, some friends of mine started a Bible study. One of them asked me one day if I was a Christian. I was offended and amused. I remember telling him, “I live an okay life and I try to treat people well. I like to have a good time, but I don’t hurt anybody. How can you even suggest to me that I’m not a Christian?”
This person then asked me a question I’ve never forgotten. He said, “Lee, if you died tonight and you stood before God and He said, ‘Why should I let you into heaven?’ what would you say?”
I surprised myself because I actually sat there and tried to envision myself standing before God and having to answer this type of question. The picture that came to my mind made me nervous and the words that came out of my mouth were, “I’ve tried to live a good life and be a decent person.”
My friend responded, “So you’re trusting that what you do and how you live will be good enough for Him to say you’re a good person, He sees your good intentions and you can come in.”
I nodded, “Yes.”
My friend said, “Lee, it sounds like you’re trusting in the works of your life and hoping your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds.”
I said, “Yes…that sounds pretty rational to me.”
He responded, “Lee, if you died tonight, you would spend eternity separated from God.” Needless to say, this got my attention. I didn’t necessarily agree, but the risk of being wrong was too great for me not to check this out further.
I started meeting with him privately to study the Bible. I began to realize most of my thoughts about God were based on “what seemed rational” because of my opinion and the opinions of others. I had never looked at what the Bible said about Him. I had created a picture of God in my own mind based on an image of what God is “probably like.” You’ve heard the statement: God created man in His own image and man returned the favor. This presents a problem because until we see God as He truly is, we will not be disturbed about our predicament before Him. If we are not disturbed about our predicament, we will not be interested in His solution. If we are not interested in His solution, we will not understand the sacrifice He made to provide the solution. Without such understanding, we will never know the depths of His love.
One thing we talked about was the fact that every man is born a sinner and because of this, he is separated from God. I had always heard God loved me and sent His Son to die for me. I heard this my whole life as I was growing up in church. I remember thinking, “Why did He send His Son to die for me? That seems like such an overreaction. I’m basically a good person and all I need is a little help to live down here. He didn’t have to die, did He?” I had never understood that although God is a God of love, He is first and foremost a God of holiness. (See note A)