Living in the not yet: dealing with a stony heart

Stony HeartIn the absence of a good idea for a title and the fact that the idea is similar, I borrowed the title of an earlier post as the name for this one.

In the earlier post, I focused on the places in Scripture where the lament “how long oh Lord” expresses the longing for things to be other than they currently are.

In reading through the early chapters of Hebrews this morning, I read a verse that describes this situation. The writer of Hebrews writes this about Christ:

 “Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.” (Hebrews 2:8, ESV)

This verse tells me that God remains in control and he has given all the world in subjection to Jesus Christ, but we do not see everything operating in subjection to Christ at this time.

It is easy to point the finger at all the trouble in the world as evidence that this verse is true. We have terrorists raining death and destruction on innocent people. We have governments with an anti-religious bias actively persecuting believers. We have disasters both natural and man-made. There is a lot we can look at as evidence that the world is not yet subjected to Christ.

But we must also look inside. If we are honest, we see the seeds of rebellion against Christ in our own hearts. We still struggle against emulating our first parents in their usurping of God’s authority. James tells us:

“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?” (James 4:1, ESV)

So living in the not yet, we struggle with the pieces of the world (including ourselves) that are not in submission to Christ. That is the bad news.

The good news is that one day Jesus will return and set everything right, including my stony heart.