It is the 1950’s in North Korea. Pastor Kim and his congregation were discovered in their hand-dug tunnels after the communists started building a road.
The officials brought them before 30000 people in the town of Gok San for public trial and execution. They were requested to deny their faith in Christ or see four of their children hung. They would not, and told the children they would meet them again soon in paradise. All four children died without a sound.
The officer called for a steam roller to be brought in, and the remainder of the congregation, some 23 people, to lie down before it. As the engine revved they were given one last chance to deny Christ.
As the steamroller began to inch forward the Christians sang a song they often sang together. As their bodies and bones were crushed under the pressure of the massive rollers, their lips uttered the words; “More love to Thee, O Christ, more love to Thee. Thee alone I seek, more love to Thee…”
This may be an extreme example that we are unlikely to ever encounter in our lives, and as a result, pay lip service to. It does raise the question of what whole-heartedness really looks like in our lives.
What is it that makes God say of David, “ He was a man after His own heart,”?
I had an experience last year. We were going on an outreach for 8 days to Swaziland. About two weeks before I experienced God asking me to fast for that entire period. This, to me, was an impossible task. The longest I had ever fasted was three days, now I had to go 8 days with only water while doing manual labour all day, every day.
Eventually I felt I had heard correctly and that I was to pray and intercede every mealtime when the other people ate. This was my role and function during this outreach.
The result, I went for 8 days without everything but water, I did not skimp on my responsibilities or workload and God revealed incredible things regarding intercession, spiritual warfare, and more importantly the position of our hearts.
God’s primary objective is to capture our hearts, He is much more concerned with where our hearts are than any of our actions….
How is it then that we tend to be so much more concerned with our physical environment than with God’s agnda? (His ways are higher than our ways, and his thoughts than our thoughts) We see the consequences in the physical easier and more quickly than we do in the spiritual if ever. It is a part of our phycology, instant gratification. We are instructed to heap up treasures in heaven, everlasting treasures. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Suddenly, those crazy North Koreans are not so crazy after all. They had learned to see from heavens perspective. To follow God’s agenda, and to surrender their hearts and lives completely to Him. Even if seemingly, this decision leads us to discomfort or even death in the physical, for this is not where the treasure is.
We should be careful here to go into super-sprituality and move to a dualistic world view where the spiritual and physical do not mix. This could not be further from the truth. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways, but whole-heartedness, that permeates every single area of our lives. Whole-heartedness is a position of our hearts towards the Father. This includes very area and relation, otherwise it would constitute half-heartedness.
What does whole-heartedness look like in your life, your career, your decisions, your responsibilities and your commitments? That remains for you to decide, but if everything I do is meant to give glory to my Father, I believe that may be the best place to start.
Dwight L. Moody, one of the greatest revivalists of the 19th century captures this heart so well when he says “The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in and by the man who is fully and wholly consecrated to him… I will try to be that man.
Why don’t you turn over your life to Christ? He can do more with it than you can.”
This is my prayer for each of you, that you may pursue the heart of God relentlessly, and count everything as loss compared to the priceless privilege of knowing Christ more intimately. May your life become a sweet-scented love letter to the Father and everything you do bring glory and honour and praise to Him.
May you encounter more deeply the heart of the Father. As a spring that bubbles forth perpetually share this newfound intimacy with a thirsty world.