February 2, 2019
An inclination is the direction of your lean; it is the proclivity or predisposition of your heart’s true desire. Your core inclination is the reason for the choices you make and the steps that you take. Your inclination is your bias, that is, it is the predetermined direction of your slant. Whether the bias is from a position of truth, or it is based on deception and delusion, it is still the way you lean whenever decisions are made or steps are taken. Inclinations affect every circumstance and relationship. Hence the statement, “I’m inclined to say…”
When you are settled in your position, then that position becomes your ultimate reason for your decisions. In the end, you will always decide to follow that path or go that way. When your core beliefs are established, then you will resist, refuse, and reject all attempts to sway you to some other path. Your thought will be, “I know who I am," "I know what’s right," or "I know what I want;” therefore, you have decided to not budge. Even if that position of belief or posture of desire is full of pride, even if it is driven by selfishness or it is fully offense-orientated, the lie will win because the inclination is that way. You may come face-to-face with truth, but it will not matter because your position is set. Hence, you will fight the truth, resist humility, and argue for support; you will flee from the situation or the circumstance in order to maintain your own rightness and retain the privilege of being right in your own eyes. This is dangerous ground, filled with highmindedness. The Bible says, “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (Prov. 26:12).
A person will always fall to where he or she leans. When shoved, you fall in the direction of your lean. When pulled or drawn, you will fall to the direction of your slant. Sometimes people will seem to be standing and walking rightly, but when opportunity arose, they were drawn away, or when adversity pushed them, they fell away. The opportunity or adversity was employed by the Spirit to reveal their true inclinations.
Prior to my conversion to Christ, I was stuck in my own mix of Catholicism from my childhood and the beliefs of Congregationalism which came with my marriage; both became melded into my belief system. However, the core of my life was self-pleasing and self-reliance. Pride and inadequacies plagued my life’s decisions and wreaked havoc on daily living. When the truth was presented to me, my inclinations always won out as I pushed away anything or anyone that was not in alignment with my own desires. This was my bias; it was self-driven, and I was self-reliant in all my ways. I leaned this way! The Holy Spirit brought me to my knees in a way no man could do; truth became my desire and my possession. Truth said, “There is no good thing in you” and “Only God is good.” Oh my, the struggle with truth, but truth won me and became my core. I lean toward truth and the ways of the divine nature, thus I became willing to forgo all else to maintain and retain His presence and my relationship with the Spirit.
True inclinations are not always known. They are often hidden and only revealed when pressure drives you to choose or an opportunity arose to draw you. Here, the inclinations are revealed, regardless of what you tell others or the story you tell yourself. True inclinations must be identified, confronted, and surrendered to the divine nature.
As a believer, you must establish yourself in Christ, fully inclined toward the Lord in every way and in every relationship, and in every circumstance or scenario. You must be willing to forgo anyone or anything that hinders your growth in His grace. He is your life (Deut. 30:20). Hence, Scripture says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Prov. 3:5–6). The Lord then adds, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil” (Prov. 3:7).
Many struggle in life because their inclinations are not in the Lord, and many Christians also struggle because they do not lean toward His ways. Though born-again, they continue to resist the Holy Spirit, and attempt to massage truth to fit their life and convince others to believe they are doing well.
I see Christians continually falter because they lean toward their own personal affections. Paul wrote to the Corinthians and said, “You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections” (2 Cor 6:12). Truth was presented to them, but their own affections caused them to choose their own ways, prefer self, and disregard the ways of the Spirit. I have witnessed many falter in their Christian walk because they opted to maintain a relationship with some wayward family member or friend, rather than align with truth, the faithful, and the righteous. I have watched people fellowship with the unbeliever, gather together with those who share some doctrinal preference, or hang around those who are carnally insecure or outright unrighteous, all so that they can appear more righteous and justify their lack by being with those who lack more than themselves. They do not want to embrace the truth; they are content with statements. They like to say it and sing about it; they will talk to others who are deemed agreeable, but it does not translate into their daily life. They are often frustrated or irritated, agitated and aggravated; they lean toward anger. They entertain lust, envy, and malice, and they love to indulge the appetites of the flesh and cater to a host of other weaknesses and wanton ways. Sad to see!
Surely, everyone leans one way or another on a specific issue, in a relationship, or with some belief. People can be set in their ways and you may hear someone say, “Everyone who knew him expected this to happen.” However, Scripture twice records, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov. 14:12; 16:25). The way of mankind and human thought is never right or good. The imaginations of your own heart must be exposed and denied. Truth must be fully embraced. I wrote the book, Answers For Life, to help people hear and know the truth, and establish truth as their foundational thoughts and desires. I wrote the Twelve Statements of Truth to establish foundational truth for ministers and ministries; it is the foundation for Kingdom Quest International and all those associated with this ministry. Truth must be our solid rock, yet so many quote the truth recorded in Scripture, but completely miss the love, faith, humility, and holiness revealed in Scripture.
You must ask yourself the question: What do you really want in your life? Why did you make that decision? Who did this decision prefer? Did your leaning or slant give preference and regard toward the godly, the faithful, and the righteous? Who do you really love? Why?
When the word of God comes to your life, it cuts to your heart and it brings division to the soul and the spirit (Heb. 4:12). In this time, where do you fall? When truth cuts, pierces, and causes division, which side of the cut are you on; where do you fall? I preached the message, Making The Cut, to explain this scenario. Charles Finney, revivalist of the nineteenth century, said that he expected two things to happen when he preached, there would be those who surrendered to Christ and yielded to his message of truth, and there would be those who hated him, threw tomato, and threatened him.
Many choose self; therefore, they despise the truth and the messenger of truth. During the biblical days, throughout church history, in every revival, and even today, there is a continual flow of contempt for those who walk in the Spirit. Today, we are witnessing a mass indifference to the truth for the sake of a truth that works for me. Where do you fall?
The Gospel is presented to urge you to choose the Lord and incline your ear to Him, so that all of your doings reflect your surrender. There is always the false message, seeking to draw you away; it can carry a threat to intimidate, or it can soothe and sympathize to gain your attention, but either way, it is saturated with deception, seeking to attract your attention and appeal to your inner desires of self in some way. The Lord God warned the Israelites in the wilderness, “Remember all the commandments of the LORD and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined” (Num. 15:39). However, they refused to listen and rejected the godly.
The people of faith will always be inclined to the Lord. Whether in a time of intimidation, or flattery flows to puff you up; perhaps an opportunity arises to make things easier. In all cases, faith stands fast and is inclined to hear the voice of the Lord, to know His way and His will, to hear His wisdom and reject the wisdom of flesh. Faith is inclined to know the will, way, word, and wisdom of the Holy Spirit. People of faith put their trust in God. King David said, “I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry” (Psalm 40:1).
The Lord’s ear is attentive to the cry of the humble. The psalmist said, “Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live” (Psalm 116:2). The Lord’s attentive ear is inclined toward the cry of the repentant believer, the humble heart, and the broken and contrite spirit. This psalmist knew the Lord’s goodness and made a decision saying, “I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes forever, to the very end” (Psalm 119:112). This is the key.
The Lord also makes sure that the people of God know the danger of our own fleshly inclinations. After Gideon died, his illegitimate son desired to be the leader, so he went and spoke to the worthless men of his mother’s family, who then spoke to the men of their city. Hearing their appeal, everyone agreed to be part of their insurrection. Scripture records, “And his mother's brothers spoke all these words concerning him in the hearing of all the men of Shechem; and their heart was inclined to follow Abimelech, for they said, “He is our brother” (Judges 9:3). They listened and obeyed because they sought to reign with him; the plan appealed to their worthless ways. These were men of Israel—fathers, brothers, and sons; yet, their inclinations led them astray.
A person can appear noble, honorable, a patriot to his countrymen and nation, a wonderful father or mother, and a good worker, yet the inclinations can arise and steal away all because the inclinations or affections were never rightly set in the Lord. A man may not steal until the right opportunity presents itself; perhaps some adversity or threat was too great and trust departed; a person may be a great friend till envy arises and hate sets in; a person may be faithful in their marriage, till an attraction came forth and the deep inclination to adultery arose. Christians will love the church body, hugs will be given, and statements of love are made, till they leave in a moment. The love was shallow; their care for self was too deep; hence, they preferred self because they were always inclined to do so. They will find some offense that gives them the reason to leave and satisfy their true desire—their inclination won. They chose the deeper desire that was present all-along.
Inclinations toward self is undermining the church today, as many are relying on their own wisdom and doing as they please, yet they talk God. The Bible records much on the danger of not listening or yielding to the voice of truth and the wisdom of the Spirit. The Bible records, “I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me!” (Prov. 5:13). Then chapter five ends with this statement, “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and He ponders all his paths. His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, and he is caught in the cords of his sin. He shall die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray” (Prov. 5:21–23).
When Judah’s rebellion left no cure, Jeremiah told them, “And the LORD has sent to you all His servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear” (Jer. 25:4; 35:15). They did not listen because they did not have a heart to hear. Same problem today. As Jeremiah warned Judah throughout his years of ministry, so there is a great danger found in the depths of our own inclinations—those desires of the flesh to be satisfied or the need to be justified; the quest to have your own form of truth validated.
People tell themselves all sorts of things to justify their walk, validate their beliefs, and explain their position and posture. They may boast of their successes or excuse their weaknesses and failures in order to appear right before men. I have heard numerous excuses and explanations to justify and satisfy self’s decisions. The imaginations of the flesh nature are most deceptive; every inclination finds evil.
Be aware of “The Big Lie.” The prophet Micah spoke to the rebellious house of self, namely Judah. The prophet charged them with living the big lie; they behaved falsely but talked "God." They boasted about relying on the Lord. They saw themselves as favored and a special, spiritual people. However, they walked contrary to the Lord. Micah said to Judah, “Her heads judge for a bribe, her priests teach for pay, and her prophets divine for money. Yet they lean on the LORD, and say, “Is not the LORD among us? No harm can come upon us” (Mic 3:11). I have termed this, “The Big Lie.”
This sort of spirituality has heavily infiltrated the church today. The church is filled with talk about salvation, grace, love, Christ, and the Holy Spirit, and the Good, Good, Father, but few are walking in His ways, word, will, and wisdom; hence, most are contrary to His works. Beware, it's everywhere!
Learn the Truth! Live the Truth! Love the Truth!
I encourage you to print this out and read it with others in the family of faith.
I urge you to share this message with others.
In the Service of Christ,
Dr. Gary H. Cote