A NEW HEART FOR THE VALLEY
Spiritual renewal, for individuals and for communities, begins with recognizing that our hearts are unclean. Israel had “shed blood upon the land”—probably a reference to violence and injustice. They had followed idols, setting their priorities wrongly, and giving their allegiance to false projects and purposes. They had acted contrary to God’s law, misrepresenting his character in the world and so “profaning his name.” The exile was a product of ancient near-eastern power politics, but it was also a way to make the Israelites come face to face with the sorry state of their lives and the corruption of their faith. Jesus’ simplest sermon was “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand, believe in the good news.” (Mark 1:15)
How well do you represent God’s character in your life?
American idols include success, popularity, power, and anything else that we come to love and pursue without subjecting it to a holy purpose. Do you have any idols?
Do you make confession part of your daily prayers?
How do you approach it if you do?