It’s another icy cold day here in Texas, so here I am all cozy in my apartment ready to take on The Heart part 2! :)
Do you ever just take a breather and think about what God has been doing in your life the past couple of months? Or think about where your heart was a few weeks ago compared to where your heart is now? Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of now, we forget to stop and ask “Lord, what is it that I’ve been missing or looking past that you have been trying to show me before I continue doing what I feel is right”... because as most of us know, sometimes what we think is right in our hearts isn’t really right...
In The Heart (part 1), I shared how our hearts can be wild creatures (or monsters). The more we feed our hearts with wrong selfish desires, the bigger and stronger those desires become. Because of that, it’s easy for us to deceive ourselves and get hurt. Being mired in fear, bitterness, and despair is also evidence that we are not protecting our hearts...
“When the peace of Christ is ruling in our hearts, attitudes like anxiety and discouragement can't remain. They are contrary to the culture of His Kingdom. The Presence gives us peace, assurance, and strength.”
– Chris Tiegreen (Experiencing God’s Presence)
Because our hearts are wild, it is so important that we make a habit of stopping and examining our hearts to see what it is that’s currently driving us before we move forward. Is it our desire, or God’s? There has been times where I have made a wrong decision or have said something just because I felt like my heart was telling me to. I have learned that the more I focus on my heart, the easier it is to get caught up in my own ways (which also leads to stubbornness and selfishness).
How do we protect ourselves from this wild creature that lives within us? Well it’s pretty simple, seek the Lord daily. All day, every day. I’ll be honest, I’m a 22 year old girl who fails at this all the time so don’t think I’m telling you it’s easy to do, because it’s definitely not. Thankfully the Lord has given us many scriptures to remind us how patient He is. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work at it... Now is the time to train our hearts by giving our thoughts and desires to the Lord daily so eventually they will align with His.
“If we are filled with the Spirit’s Presence, then he is stirring up many of our dreams and desires.”
– Chris Tiegreen (Experiencing God’s Presence)
Something we should always be praying for is a discerning heart. What we don’t want to do is crucify every desire or thought that pops into our head when it could be seeds of inspiration being planted by Him. No, not every thought is from the Lord. But many of our deep and lasting desires are what drive us to accomplish His purposes in our life. What we need to remember is that what God wants for us is far more better than what we want.
"Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart."
– Psalm 37:4
I recently experienced a change in my heart and I must say, it is such an incredible feeling knowing God was the one to do it! Sometimes it takes a while for us to realize what He’s doing, so give Him time to show you. Remember, He is not a genie that gives us everything we ask for at that moment. If He was constantly giving us what we want right away, we would never feel satisfied. We would be like little kids, always wanting and asking for the next best thing. Our hearts would never grow or mature. And God wants nothing more than our hearts to grow and mature in Him.
Ways to keep your heart in check with His:
Journal– whenever I have something on my mind or heart, I like to journal; especially after reading His word! And lately I have found it very comforting to write down my prayers. It’s so awesome to go back and read what I wrote 5 months ago and see how God worked it all out! It might have taken 2 weeks or 6 months, but He always always always answers our prayers and journaling is just a way to show and remind us of that! So what I would suggest is have a journal just dedicated to God. Whether it’s notes from church, favorite bibles verses, inspiration quotes, or prayers– use it to draw you closer to Him and try to write in it daily.
Worship– like I said before, sometimes the simplest thing can be so hard to do. Like praying. When other thoughts are consuming me, I like to turn on worship music. It’s amazing how your favorite worship song can make you feel close to the Lord again. So whenever this happens to you, try distracting yourself with worship songs. My favorites right now are “How Deep the Father’s Love” and “Worthy of Affection” by Shane & Shane.
Accountability– surrounding yourself with people who are constantly seeking the Lord and show fruit in their lives are very, very important. God uses the people around us in more ways than we think. Friendships are very important! If you don’t have godly people in your life, it’s time you get some. Join a church and get connected in a small group or bible study. Pray for God to bring you a friend that will keep you and your heart accountable.
So it’s time we be patient with Him as He is with us. Don’t be afraid to lift your desires to Him. Don’t hold back from pouring out your heart to Him. And last but not least, ask for a discerning heart.
"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
– Psalm 73:26