One of the most disturbing rhythms in cardiology is called Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), an erratic and irregular heart rhythm that poses multiple problems from fatigue to strokes. Whether it’s by simple medications or invasive means, I will do anything to change my patient’s heart rate to a regular and controlled rhythm. At the end, however, it is not whether one has AFib or not; the real question is what caused the Afib.
When we take “spiritual vitals” it becomes evident that many Christ-followers are living in “Atrial Fibrillation,” where their hearts and souls are disturbed, filled with doubt, unbelief, anxiety, and fear. This translates into a spiritual “stroke,” rendering the Christ-follower weak, unsteady, and powerless. What is the cause of a powerless life and can it be overcome?
Sampson lived a life of power until he met Delilah. The Holy Spirit empowered him to frustrate Israel’s enemy, the Philistines. But when he got caught up in the web of deceit and sin, living a life of adultery, he not only lost his hair, but he lost the very power that fueled him, the Holy Spirit. One of the most ominous verses in the Bible is that he didn’t even realize that the Lord had left him (Judges 16:20).
When Jesus came down from the Mount of Transfiguration, his 9 disciples were trying to cast an evil spirit from a boy who was tormented. Jesus did not say, “It’s all good, y’all; step back, I understand; no worries, let me bail you out!” No. Jesus called his disciples a “perverse generation,” saying, “How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me” (Matthew 17:17). Jesus rebuked the demon, and the boy was healed. Jesus was disappointed by His disciples’ obstinate and hardened hearts!
Jesus told his disciples multiple times that He was going to be betrayed, slandered, murdered and that He’d be raised from the dead on the third day (Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:33). His disciples did not understand and after His death and resurrection, Mary Magdalene and the two disciples on the road to Emmaus told the disciples that He had been risen. What was their response? They did not believe!
Joshua, the high priest, and Zerubbabel, the governor of Israel, were attempting to rebuild Solomon’s temple after the Babylonian exile. We find in Zechariah 3:1-5 that Satan was accusing Joshua of being filthy. God replaced Joshua’s filthy clothing with righteousness, covering his sins with His atoning blood. The Lord spoke to Zerubbabel in Zechariah 4:6, stating, “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit.” Condemnation and self-righteousness can not only ruin a project but can render people powerless. By God’s might, the temple was built!
Sin, an obstinate-prideful heart, unbelief, condemnation, and self-righteousness are the ingredients that tweak one’s spiritual heart, leading to a road of a powerless life. So what are the “medications” we can dispense to reverse this maddening rhythm, and how do we overcome?
What changed Sampson’s heart? A simple prayer, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes” (Judges 16:28). Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:16, “I pray that out of His (God’s) glorious riches He strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being.” Sampson drew strength from God through the Holy Spirit.
What changed the disciples’ hearts? The Holy Spirit, like a blowing of a violent wind, came from heaven and filled the whole house they were sitting, and tongues of fire rested on each of them (Acts 2:1-3). Powerless disciples were transformed into roaring lions through the fire of the Holy Spirit.
What changed Joshua’s and Zerubbabel’s hearts? Not their might. Not their power. But the Spirit of the living God!
Erratic rhythms. Rapid rhythms. Irregular rhythms. They all throw us off course. The way to get back into a regular rhythm and live a life filled with power is to come to God as you are. Visit Calvary’s Hill where Jesus spilled His precious blood for you and me. Accept the Father’s untainted love for you. Know that God is not mad at you (Romans 5:8) …He poured out all His wrath on His Son on the cross. God loves you! Accept that the Holy Spirit is given to you by God in Jesus’ name and He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that Jesus said (John 14:26). The Spirit will comfort you (John 16:7). The Spirit will guide you into all truth and tell you of things to come (John 16:12). The Spirit will give all who desire Him joy and peace (Galatians 5:22-23). The Spirit of God gives us liberty and transforms our hearts from glory to glory (II Corinthians 3:17-18). The Spirit will empower you, strengthen you and make you bold (Acts 1:8). Yes, the Spirit of God who raised Christ from the dead dwells in you and will give life to your mortal body (Romans 8:11). Awaken and accept your sweet standing in Christ!
The erratic rhythms of life are at times unbearable. But the antidote is simple. Leave unbelief behind. How? Stop following the world and its ways. Leave condemnation behind. How? Know that God’s love for you is unchanging. Leave sin and an obstinate-proud heart behind. How? Resist the devil and draw near to God, to His Word, and be purified in His atoning blood. Leave self-righteousness behind. How? By believing I Corinthians 5:21, “He (Jesus) who had no sin became sin so that we can become the righteousness of God in Christ.”
As our soul’s desire for God increases, unbelief dissipates, erratic rhythms convert to peace and power and our confidence in God’s love, Christ’s atoning gift, and the Holy Spirit’s fire sets us on a path filled with strength and leads us from power to power, victory to victory and glory to glory!