My response to a dear golfing Brother as he revealed his "wretched heart".
Glad the procedure went well.
You are so right that our hearts are wretched! I was reminded of these verses, but had to search to ensure I was interpreting them correctly. I found this;
"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” - Jeremiah 17:9-10 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah17:9-10&version=NIV
In the past these verses have validated my own selfish & deceitful thoughts and actions.
The question is amazing; "Who can understand it?"
The Lord says, "I examine the heart ..."
We know Paul in Romans 7 addresses his own heart ...
... but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. - Romans 7:23-25 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans7:23-25&version=NIV
His response, in my mind & understanding is "Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
This is my interpretation of it all ...
Our hearts are "deceitful above all things" in our flesh. God has given us His son, Jesus Christ as a reclamation for our sinfulness, deep within our hearts (side note, because of Eve & Adam's sin). When we "confess with our mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in our hearts God raised Him from the dead, we are saved." Romans 10:9-10.
His Spirit enters our heart & we are redeemed. Over time of dedication to growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:3-8 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+peter+1:3-8&version=NIV) we grow to maturity and are able gain self-control over our sinful nature. This is called sanctification.
The one thing, in me, that becomes very important is obedience in all of this. Within my own wretched heart, I could follow the world & follow disobedience to leave my wife with whom I have covenanted before God to stay with forever. This is out of the question!! I MUST practice obedience in this one area in order for Him to grow my character by dedicating myself to Him, growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ & loving my wife as Christ loved the church, "even to die for her".
Love you Brother. Certainly more to come if you'd like to continue the conversation.
Trying to follow the Lord's will regarding ministry and the platform of golf.