Christine Caine - Our Spiritual Core
"'Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?' Jesus replied: '"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind". This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it.'" We could just camp there all morning. You cannot separate the first from the second. "And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" And then, to me, one of the most unbelievable verses in the entire Bible: "All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments".
All the Law and the Prophets hang on, if you want the Cliff Notes version of Christianity, Jesus says: This is it. If you couldn't have anything else, this is what you're gonna have. That you have to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and just in case you think that your entire Christian life is meant to be spent in the closet with just you and Jesus, let me tell you about the second part that is just like the first. The second part says: "And that you have to love your neighbor as yourself".
Six hundred and thirteen Old Testament Mosaic laws summed up right there. Some of us, we can't even fit a sermon into an hour. Jesus says, "I'll take 613 laws and I'll just sum them up into this: 'Love God, love people.'" Love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind. And then you love your neighbor as you love yourself. I felt the Holy Spirit say to me, "Christine, most of you do love your neighbor as you love yourselves, you just don't really like yourself". And you'll always love others based on how you view you. And it'll come out of you in your relationships and your marriages and families, workplaces.
And most of us do love God sincerely, we really do, with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind. The issue is we just love him with all of our broken heart, with all of our wounded soul, and with all of our tormented mind. And unless we strengthen our core, you know, Jesus could have said, "Love the Lord your God with all your cute outfits. Love the Lord your God with all your great and wonderful gifts and talents". He didn't say that. He said, "Let me sum it up for you and get back to your core". And there's a call in the church of Jesus Christ. Could we please just cut the fluff and get back to basics 'cause we're in a war and we need to fight a fight here. Love the Lord your God with all your heart.
Do you wonder why he said heart, soul, mind? If you work on that, none of us like to work on our core. You know this year, I turn 49 in just a couple of weeks. Please send gifts. And so I thought, "You know what? I'm just gonna make sure that I'm strong. I'm gonna go and do a fitness assessment test". Now, don't ever do one of these unless you wanna be depressed, is the issue, unless you have a counselor ready. And this is what I found out, that I had 30.8% body fat. Now, that's pretty intense. And I didn't look that much different to how I look right now. Thirty point eight percent. I was aerobically fit, I was running round the world doing what I do, but I was in what they call the critical range for my age and somewhere in the next few years I could have easily had some kind of heart attack or some kind of other issue because there was this hidden fat that nobody could see and I wasn't actually strong.
So I do wanna declare and decree that over these last few months, even with a crazy travel schedule, that since then I've been working on my core. Now I didn't like core. I love jumping on the treadmill and running. We like that. We love doing our Christian thing that we're good at and we just love doing it. But nobody wants to work on heart, soul, and mind because that takes effort and that's painful. And you know what core exercises are. You know, the things we don't like to do: sit-ups, you know, let me show you. But it's those exercises and our sit-ups and all the stuff that work muscles that you can't see but you need. And you don't know you need 'em until you need them and if you haven't got them when you need them, then you'll collapse.
And so I've gone down to 19.4% body fat which, that's a pretty good thing in these last nine months. But I've got a good ways to go. But here's the point of all of that. I have to commit to doing a whole lot of exercises on muscles that no one can see, that I don't even like doing those exercises, they don't bring any fast gain, and they're a lot of hard work. And here's the bottom line for our Christian faith. The day of just donning on great clothes on the outside is not gonna cut it. It's not gonna cut it.
We live in such urgent times that we're gonna have to start to strengthen the muscles we don't wanna strengthen. We're gonna have to start working on things we don't wanna work on, and the bottom line is we're broken. We're broken. We talk the stuff. We sing the stuff. We shout the stuff. And we make it bad news for a whole lot of people because it's not good news in our own life. And if it's not working for you, sweetheart, you are not gonna fool anybody else. It's as simple as that. It's as simple as that. So it's little wonder to me that God started with our heart because the heart is the seat of our passion.
If God's got your heart, he's got you. Love the Lord your God with all your heart. Has he got your heart? I wonder. This whole Christian deal, is it a religious show? Is it a religious obligation? Is it just what we do because this is what we've done since we were born? But if he's got your heart, you know, when your heart's in it, everything changes. Do you remember when Mel Gibson did the movie, "The Passion of the Christ"? Now, you notice it was not called "The Boring Religious Obligation of the Christ". It was called "The Passion" 'cause our heart is the seat of our passion. Jesus went to the cross because of his passion. The Father gave his Son because of his passion. I don't want a religious obligation. I want passion.
I want you to hear me well, right now. Passion's not hype. Hype is manufactured. We can get you on your feet with hype but it won't change a thing. You could be sitting down full of passion and you'll change the world. You'll change the world. So you've gotta ask yourself some questions. Where's your passion 'cause you'll go after where your passion is. You can yell and scream at a football game, you don't need to go to church for that. Hype will not change the world. Passion, the passion for Christ, will change the world. We need a church that is passionate for Jesus.
Now, why often are we not? Because our heart is full of toxic waste. Some of us are on the verge of a spiritual heart attack because our heart is clogged with insecurity, with fear, with shame, with lust, with greed, with envy, with guile, with gossip, with slander, with anger, with bitterness, and you are putting a demand on your heart that your heart cannot actually meet. And unless you allow the Holy Spirit to come in and do some open heart surgery and unclog those arteries and those valves, you're not gonna be able to cross that finish line.
The Bible tells us in Matthew 15:19: "For out of the heart," out of the heart, "comes evil thoughts: murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander". Comes out of the heart. Oh, you can put the body in prison but you can't put the heart in prison and you can't legislate the human heart. Only Jesus can transform the human heart. That's what we need is a heart transformation. A heart transformation. And how much do we need in our world Christian women whose heart does not freak out? The Psalmist says, "When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me," where? "To the rock that is higher than I".
Some of us need to stop being led to stuff that's taking us away from God and start being led to the rock that is higher than I, and it will bring peace into your heart. I love the apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:16: "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day". Church, we will be such a light to the world if we don't lose heart. Trials come, tribulations come, but Jesus says, "Hey, have heart. Take heart. While the rest of the world is freaking out and losing heart, would you take heart because I have overcome the world. I'm still on my throne, all of the government rests upon my shoulders. It's okay. I've got this". He's got it. I don't know what you're confronting right now but don't lose heart.
How much better to stand before a generation and go, "You know what? I got some scars. I can't hide it. The blood of Jesus doesn't give me amnesia. My past happened. Yes, I was abused. Yes, I was abandoned. Yes, I was rejected. But let me talk to you about the healer of my soul that brought redemption, that brought healing, that brought restoration, that gave me a life beyond my past, that enabled me to move past my past. A God that has given me a hope and a future and a destiny, a God that has wiped away the slate of my past, given me a brand new start and a hope for the future. Let me talk to you about that God. He's a redeeming God, he's a healing God, he's a restoring God, he's a God that speaks to dry bones and they come to life. He brings life, he brings hope, he brings purpose, he brings destiny. Let me tell you about my Jesus. Let me tell you about my Jesus". How much better and how much brighter would our light shine if we walked in the victory that is ours in Jesus's name, in Jesus's name.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and then with all your soul. This is the one that I think the Christian church has missed. This is where I think, honestly, many of us get confused and I honestly believe we are sincere. Many of you, you're listening to me right now and you're like, "God, I want that to be true for me". I honestly believe it. I've done this deal for 27 years now. I'm too old to try to impress anyone. The hour is too urgent to play games. I really think people want breakthrough and I really think deep down a whole bunch of you really hope what I'm saying is true. I really think you do.
And if you're willing to work, you know, I joked about 20 push-ups. If you saw me in January, I couldn't do half a push-up. I couldn't do half of one. But you gotta work the muscles that hurt so that you can get strong down the track. I came to Jesus one big, gaping, wounded soul. I had learned to put Band-Aids on things that needed surgery and so then you would press it and it would seep like pus over everything I touched because wounded people wound people. And we have what we call a lot of wounded healers in the body that are using God's people to try to heal their own wounds rather than building and lifting God's people from a place of strength.
And you seep everywhere you go and you feel bad about it and you go to church and you think, "If I just pray more, if I just fast more, if I just pray in the Spirit more, then just, God, why is it not changing"? And then eventually, deep down, you give up because you're like, "Well, it must be a personality-type thing. Chris Caine with her abuse and her past, must be an Australian thing, a cultural thing". It's not a personality-type thing and it's not a cultural thing. It's a blood-type thing. It's called the blood of Jesus. It came to set us all free. It's his blood that needs to run through our heart and bodies but you've gotta let Jesus, through the power of his Holy Spirit, to touch those deep dark places in your soul. We've all done it.
Oh, I can't tell you the soul wounds I had, the vows I made. "Nobody will ever do that to me again. I will never trust a man again. I will never open my heart like that again". And we jump around from church to church, from man to man, from place to place. We can't stay in a job, we can't allow God to deal with our hearts or deal with our souls because that muscle hurts because someone presses it and we start seeping and people start to see through our external veneer 'cause we put a Band-Aid on it and God says, "Would you let me squeeze the junk out? Would you let me heal the wound"?
You know, last year, I came here, you saw me. I had just had the surgery two or three weeks before for the thyroid cancer. Well, look, it's a year later. Finally, but it's took healing for this scar, for this wound, to heal, it took time. And a lot of us, we do not wanna engage or embrace the pain of recovery. We don't wanna do that. We don't wanna go through the process of healing. And so we just leave God out of those areas and we walk around like one gaping wound. We get pumped up in a church service and then we're normally okay for, you know, Sunday, Monday, but by Tuesday our evil twin sister has turned up at home. But I believe in process of healing and restoration, it takes time. You are keeping him and his light out of the very places of darkness in you that only he can heal. Only he can heal.
I speak to you as a woman that's been there and constantly goes there, and says, "God, I'm gonna let you go deeper. You can have a key to places that I just silently vowed nobody will ever go to". And why can you give him the key, ladies? Why? 'Cause you can trust him. Scripture tells us that God is light and in him there is no darkness. God doesn't have a dark side. Your uncle, your father, your brother, a friend, a cousin, a neighbor, a boss, they may have had a dark side but that's not God. God does not have a dark side. You can trust him.
The Psalmist tells us that God is good and that God does good and Romans tells us that all things work together for good. All the bad things can be woven together for a good end if you allow God to go into those dark places and to bring healing and restoration into your life. God can turn it around. People may have hurt you, people may have wounded you, people may have broken you, people may have betrayed you, but Jesus never will leave you. Jesus will never forsake you. Jesus is good. And you can trust him. There is not one thing in this room that is too big for God. There's nowhere that you've been that God cannot come to or has not been there with you. God is with you, God is for you. God can heal you, God can redeem you.
There's not a problem that's too big for God to solve. There's not a promise too hard for God to fulfill. There's not a prayer too small for God to answer. There's not a disease that God cannot heal. There's not a heart that God cannot mend. There's no wound to which God cannot tend. There's not a relationship that God can't restore. There's not a person that God can't save. There's not a sin that God can't forgive. There's not a bondage that God can't break. There's not a need that God cannot meet. There is not a enemy that God cannot defeat. There is not a mountain that God cannot move. There is nothing my God cannot do. There is nothing my God cannot do. And because there is nothing that my God cannot do, I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me. All things.
You could do hard things. You could do hard things, girls. You could do some spiritual push-ups. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul. Finally, all your mind. Your heart muscle and your soul muscle reveal your destiny, but your mind muscle will take you to your destiny. It's your mind muscle. Of all the inner core muscles spiritually that I have to work on more than any other, it's this one. I spent a lot of years thinking wrong thoughts and broken thoughts. A lot of years. And I am only ever one thought away from thinking how I used to think. You wonder why I'm obsessed with the Word of God and with the house of God? Because I don't trust me.
I have got such an Achilles heel in my mind for me to fall back into insecurity, for me to fall back into fear, for me to fall back into shame, for me to fall back into guilt, it's just one thought away. Just one thought away. Our thoughts are like a train, girls. They take us somewhere. The problem is, most of us don't think about what we're thinking about. We just jump on the first train of thought and then we wonder why we end up in the wrong destination.
And I think sometimes, at the end of a day, when we're angry again, we're bitter again, we're full of unforgiveness again, we get to God and we go, "How did I get here"? And God says, "Honey, you jumped on the wrong train of thought. You just jumped on a train of thought that was taking you to the wrong destination". And you know what? You can assure yourself before you open your eyes in the morning. The devil will make sure that the wrong trains of thoughts will come into the platform of your mind. But just because they come into the platform, doesn't mean you need to jump on it. You're gonna say, "I'm gonna wait 'til a train of thought".
How does Paul say it in the book of Philippians? "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is just, whatever is praiseworthy, whatever is of a good report, I will jump on that train of thought and I will end up at love, at joy, at peace, at kindness, at gentleness, and longsuffering and self-control. I'm gonna jump on the right train of thought that's gonna take me to the right destination so that I will fulfill the right destiny".
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and guess what? The by-product is that we will love our neighbor as we love ourselves. They will no longer be saying, "Why didn't you come sooner"? Because we will be running into the highways, into the byways, and we will reach a generation with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, in Jesus's name. In Jesus's name, let it be, Lord. Let it be, Lord. Let your daughters arise. Let them be strengthened, father. We scatter into a lost and a broken world I pray in Jesus's name. In Jesus's name.