Desperately Sick and Deceitful Hearts (Jeremiah 17:9) - Radical

Desperately Sick and Deceitful Hearts (Jeremiah 17:9)

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
(Jeremiah 17:9)


This verse is a stinging indictment of the sinfulness of man, the sinfulness of our hearts. This is a reality we see all over the bible, really, from Genesis 3 on, that we have a sinful nature.

We don’t just kind of sin every once in a while. We are sinners at the core. We rebelled against God. We have hearts that are bent away from God. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick,” desperately sick. We can’t underestimate our sin problem. It is serious. Our sin problem is extremely serious. Before God, for our lives, we need to be aware of this every day. Even as followers of Christ, so we have been forgiven of our sins, we’ve been given a new heart. God has transformed our heart, we’re new creations, yes, but there’s still this sinful nature that remains in us. We  need to be aware of its severity, of its seriousness, and not take it lightly.

We are prone to wander and to leave the God we love. Let’s pray that God will daily conform our hearts more to the heart of Christ.

We are prone, still, to disobey God. It’s like that author of the hymn Prone to Wander. “Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.” We need to pray just daily. God, help us, just as You taught us to pray, Lord Jesus. Lead us not into temptation. Deliver us from evil. We are prone to evil. Our hearts are deceitful, are sick without Your grace, and Your mercy, and Your power. Lord Jesus, we praise You because Your heart is pure and holy, because You never once sinned amidst all the temptation You face. Jesus, help us, our hearts.

We need You. We’re so prone to wander. We feel it in our lives, in all kinds of specific ways. God, we don’t want to sin. God, we want to turn from sin. God, I want to turn from all sin in my life. I don’t even want to think a thought, to say a word, to have a desire, to do anything that is not pleasing and honoring to You. I don’t want any pattern in my life to be displeasing to You. God, I want to be holy. I want to be pure. I need You to change my heart, just daily. Oh, God.

Conform my heart more to the heart of Christ. Lord, help me. Help me, help others who are listening to this. We have deceitful hearts. We are desperately sick. We praise You. We praise You for Your grace, and Your mercy, that saves us from our sin, that reconciles us to You, that brings us into relationship with You that gives us victory over temptation and victory over sin. God, we pray. Help us to live in that victory. Give us strength in our hearts to say no to sin and say no to temptation, to walk in step with Your spirit, Lord Jesus.

We need Your help daily. All day long, and we praise You for Your promise of help, daily. All day long. Change our hearts more and more and more and more to be like Jesus. We pray in His name. Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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