Inner Feelings Should Lead Us Heavenward

Inner Feelings Should Lead Us Heavenward

Inner feelings should lead us heavenward, but they often don’t because we allow the devil and the corrupt ways of this world to interfere.

Inner Feelings Should Lead Us Heavenward

Inner Feelings Should Lead Us Heavenward

A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church

8 November 2015

Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References:

Genesis 15:6
Deuteronomy 23:3
Ruth 3:1-18
Psalm 42:1-11
Mark 12:38-44
Hebrews 9:24-28

Inner feelings should lead us heavenward, but they often don’t because we allow the devil and the corrupt ways of this world to interfere.

Some of these inner feelings are about something we have done wrong , or something that others have done to us, and we hold on to them and haunt ourselves, even for years without taking them to the Lord and asking for His forgiveness.

None of us are perfect, but we all can be children of God.

The Bible teaches us that when on the cross, Jesus took upon Himself the sins of the world; in fact, even His human lineage contains people that were a part of evil and sinful worldly ways.

In Ruth 3:1-18, we are told about some of these worldly ways in Jesus’ human lineage.

Before we go on, note what we are told in Deuteronomy 23:3…

3. “No Ammonite or Moabite shall enter the assembly of the LORD; none of their descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall ever enter the assembly of the LORD,
NASB

And in earlier chapters of Ruth, we are told that Ruth was a Moabite and yet she even became the grandmother of David, which helps us better understand God’s forgiveness and grace.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at the third chapter of Ruth.

1. Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you?

Naomi, a Hebrew woman is speaking to Ruth, and as we listen to her, let’s see if we can read between the lines and detect her inner feelings.

2. “And now is not Boaz our kinsman, with whose maids you were? Behold, he winnows barley at the threshing floor tonight.

Are part of Naomi’s inner feelings about her fear of being rejected by the rest of the Jewish people, because she had a Moabite in her family?

Let’s keep this in mind as we listen in on what she tells Ruth.

3. Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself and put on your best clothes, and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking.

If everything she is proposing is in the heavenly will of God, why are her inner feelings concerned about keeping everything secret?

4. And it shall be when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies, and you shall go and uncover his feet and lie down; then he will tell you what you shall do.”

5. And she said to her, “All that you say I will do.”

What Naomi is telling Ruth to do is filled with all kinds of sexual innuendo and behavior that was not permitted under the Hebrew Law, which makes Naomi a part of this lineage of worldly ways.

6. So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law had commanded her.

7. When Boaz had eaten and drunk and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain; and she came secretly, and uncovered his feet and lay down.

8. And it happened in the middle of the night that the man was startled and bent forward; and behold, a woman was lying at his feet.

We can only imagine what kind of inner feelings Boaz was having.

9. And he said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth your maid. So spread your covering over your maid, for you are a close relative.”

10. Then he said, “May you be blessed of the LORD, my daughter. You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether poor or rich.

Boaz’s inner feelings about being an older and wealthy man are reflected in his comments to the younger Ruth, and even though he blesses her, we are left to wonder whether all his inner feelings are the kind that leads us heavenward.

11. And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence.

12. And now it is true I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I.

Boaz obviously has inner feelings for Ruth and wants her for himself, but according to Hebrew tradition he must first ask this other relative.

13. Remain this night, and when morning comes, if he will redeem you, good; let him redeem you. But if he does not wish to redeem you, then I will redeem you, as the LORD lives. Lie down until morning.”

14. So she lay at his feet until morning and rose before one could recognize another; and he said, “Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.”

This also shows us that Boaz knew that what Ruth did was not proper, but he went along with it, and wanted Ruth for himself.

This is a reflection of Boaz’s inner feelings.

15. Again he said, “Give me the cloak that is on you and hold it.” So she held it, and he measured six measures of barley and laid it on her. Then she went into the city.

16. And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “How did it go, my daughter?” And she told her all that the man had done for her.

17. And she said, “These six measures of barley he gave to me, for he said, ‘Do not go to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’ ”

18. Then she said, “Wait, my daughter, until you know how the matter turns out; for the man will not rest until he has settled it today.”
NASB

Naomi has a fairly good idea about Boaz’s inner feelings, and even many Godly people find themselves having these inner feelings of lust.

By contrast, in Psalm 42:1-11, we hear the inner feelings and yearnings of a person who desires to be in the presence of God.

1. As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So my soul pants for Thee, O God.

2. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;
When shall I come and appear before God?

3. My tears have been my food day and night,
While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”

Here we can also detect the psalmist’s inner feelings about being rejected by many of the people because of his faith.

4. These things I remember, and I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go along with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.

In the following verses we can also understand the psalmist’s inner feelings about being in despair.

5. Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him
For the help of His presence.

6. O my God, my soul is in despair within me;
Therefore I remember Thee from the land of the Jordan,
And the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.

We hope that we all can see that this person’s inner feelings of despair are still leading him heavenward; he is not falling into the traps of the corrupt ways of this world.

7. Deep calls to deep at the sound of Thy waterfalls;
All Thy breakers and Thy waves have rolled over me.

8. The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime;
And His song will be with me in the night,
A prayer to the God of my life.

9. I will say to God my rock, “Why hast Thou forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”

These are similar kinds of inner feelings that Jesus expressed from the cross, and what we talked about a few weeks ago.

10. As a shattering of my bones, my adversaries revile me,
While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”

11. Why are you in despair, O my soul?
NASB

Even with all these inner feelings of despair and rejection, the psalmist is still seeking the Lord, which leads him heavenward and away from the corrupt ways of this world, which is exactly what all of us should be doing.

In Mark 12:38-44, we are told of the contrast between the inner feelings and actions of both ungodly and Godly people.

38. And in His teaching He was saying: “Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and like respectful greetings in the market places,

39. and chief seats in the synagogues, and places of honor at banquets,

40. who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation.”

Jesus is telling us that these scribes are filled with the sin of the pride of life for they care more about their positions in society than in helping the people they are to serve.

We have seen these same inner feelings in clergy even to this present day, and in their pride and inner feelings of self-importance they lead others astray, which is the reason that Jesus says that they will receive a greater condemnation.

41. And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the multitude were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums.

42. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent.

43. And calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury;

44. for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.”
NASB

This woman’s deep inner feelings were to serve the Lord in any way she could, which is an example for all of us to follow, and it has nothing to do with the money, and all to do with truly living in the heavenly will of God.

If our inner feelings should lead us heavenward, then as we read Hebrews 9:24-28, our inner feelings should be centered upon following Jesus’ example of living in the heavenly will of God.

24. For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;

25. nor was it that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood not his own.

This tells us about the futility of all animal sacrifices throughout time, even to this present day.

Our sacrifices should always be our true repentance, and offering our lives to the Lord that we might serve Him in this world as examples of His heavenly will.

It’s not about death or dying; it’s about being one with Christ to the best of our ability.

26. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

27. And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,

28. so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.
NASB

The interesting thing about Jesus’ example, as expressed here, is that this has always been the heavenly will of God.

Note the example we are given in Genesis 15:6…

6. Then he [Abram] believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.
NASB

Abram simply believed in the Lord, which we believe also includes those inner feelings of repentance, or having a repentant spirit, which led to his forgiveness and being considered as righteousness.

This doesn’t mean that the Lord took away his or our sinful nature, for we all have that upon this earth; it simply means that Abram overcame his sinful nature through his faith in God, just as we should.

This is why all our inner feelings should lead us heavenward.

Amen.

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