TechWise: Living with God’s Wisdom in a Digital Age Pt. 4

Screening Our Hearts

Colton Conrad

Plato’s Cave: Our Cave is Our Hearts

What is a Heart?

 “The Heart is not just the seat of the emotions. It is the seat of the mind, will, and emotions… The heart is the seat of your deepest commitments – what you most love, adore, and are concerned about.” Tim Keller

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23

We All  Have a Heart Problem

Sin does at least 3 things to our hearts:

It impairs our vision. We don’t see God or ourselves rightly.

It distorts our hungers. We want the wrong things

It makes us ill. We are sin-sick.

“When sin enters the story, shalom is vandalized.”      – Barry D. Jones

Should we follow our hearts? No.

Jeremiah 17:9-10

God judges the thoughts and intents of our hearts.

Psalm 44:21, Hebrews 4:12, 1 Samuel 16:7

X-Ray Questions:

The answers to these questions could be called “Functional Gods”. And often, these “functional gods” stand opposed to our “professed God”.  – David Powlison

When you are pressured, where do you turn? What do you think about? What are your escapes, or characteristic fantasies?

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What are your characteristic hungers?

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“Not only do we remain unfulfilled when we pursue these hungers, but in their very pursuit comes a disorientation that misrepresents and misunderstands where the real satisfaction comes from.”                                     – Ravi Zacharias

Jesus says, “I am the bread of life.”

Where do you bank your hopes? What do you think will fulfill you in the future? Or to put another way – on your deathbed, what would sum up your life as worthwhile?

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“People energetically sacrifice to attain what they hope for. What is it? People in despair have had hopes dashed. What were those shattered hopes?”                                             – David Powlison

How do you implicitly say, “If only…” (to get what you want, avoid what you don’t want, keep what you have)?

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 “___________ won’t lay down it’s life for me, but it can demand I lay down my life for it.”

Jesus lays down His life for us.

Our sin-sick hearts find glorious salvation in Jesus Christ.

“’I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.” (Jeremiah 24:7)

Christ died to bring us to God.

 “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.  1 Peter 3:18

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”  Ezekiel 36:26-27

God brings true light into the cave of our hearts so we can see the beauty of Jesus Christ! And how beautiful He is when we have been forgiven so much!

SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS:

1. The heart is the seat of your deepest commitments – what you most love, adore, and are concerned about.” What are your deepest commitments?

2. Read over the Tests for Making Wise Decisions handout. Which of these stands out to you as a good test for the decisions you usually face daily? How would these help your online interactions?

3. David Powlison’s X-Ray Questions can be very helpful in identifying our functional “gods” and allow God’s grace to make our functional and professed God one and the same. Reflect on the following questions from Powlison and read the biblical passages:
A. What do you want, desire, crave, lust, and wish for? What desires do you serve and obey? See: Ps. 73:23-28; Prov. 10:3, Eph. 2:3, 4:22; 2 Peter 1:4, 2:10; James 1:14-15, 4:1-3

B. What do you think you need? What are your “felt needs”?
Powlison writes, “. Felt needs are frequently taken as self-evident necessities to be acquired, not as deceptive slave-masters. Our culture of need reinforces the flesh’s instincts and habits.” Matt. 6:8-15, 6:35-32; 1 Kings 3:5-14.

C. Whom must you please? Whose opinion of you counts? From whom do you desire approval and fear rejection? Whose value system do you measure yourself against?  Read: Prov. 1:7, 9:10, 29:25; John 12:43; 1 Cor. 4:3-5; 2 Cor. 10:18

4. What does how you use technology say about what you desire? If you were to look at your search history or most watched channels, what would you conclude you were “seeking”?

5. How might knowing that the goal of the gospel is to bring you into relationship with God – into a reconciled relationship with Him – change the way you approach your life with Jesus?