Proverbs 4:23 (New International Version)
23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
Proverbs 4:23 (English Standard Version)
23Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
My child is my constant little shadow and there are just times where I need to get on the floor and pray but I can't really say what I need to get out in prayer with her there. Things that are just too personal. So, she will say: "Mommy, what are you doing on the floor?" To which I reply, "baby I am praying in my heart to God." The other day she asked me and I quote, "Mom why is your booty sticking in my face?" Because I was just on my knees...not prostrate. Then, we went to pray over the classrooms that I teach in and she in an exasperated voice said, "MOM WHAT ARE WE DOING!" I told her and she just said, "mom, I will pray in my heart."
I love this verse about Hannah's prayer:
1 Samuel 1:13 (New International Version)
13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk...
With Eli's accusation she goes on to say, "I was pouring out my soul to the LORD." So, yes God who knows the heart, and searches the mind hears our hearts when we pray. There are times to cry out in prayer, times to just groan in prayer, and times to fall on our face. There are also times when I journal in prayer but there are times where I want no written record of what I am praying...I only want it coming from the tablet of my heart to the God who can read it. Just He and I.
So, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and I have a VERY stubborn child. I was known for my sarcasm growing up. I am not saying that I am proud but let's just say my child is the spitting image of me at times.
We are in the car after school and I asked her if she ate her lunch, to which she told me no because her cheese and pepperoni (not pizza) were in the same bag touching. I was like Morgan come on! I can't believe you. To which she looked and said, "Mom, I am saying Oh well to you in my heart." I think she thought as long as it was in her heart and she was just vocalizing what was already there that there was no need for trouble (which trouble really starts brewing in our hearts and minds...amen!). Then, she showed me her work for the day and I have to admit it really bothers me because she is a perfectionist. When I say that I mean that if she is going to do something she wants it to be perfect the first time. So, she has a sheet of paper where I can see she has traced her name and then there is a line for her to write her name all on her own and I see a huge black spot of crayon. I knew immediately that she got mad and took her attitude to paper and made huge scratch marks over the name she tried to write.
I am so bad to fail myself in my mind before I start something so I really need to continue in prayer for her over this and myself. I then said, "Morgan! You got mad because you couldn't write your name perfect and you scratched it out as fast as you could, didn't you?"
"Mom," she said, "I got mad to it in my heart and scratched it out!"
She is just getting to where it came from. Her heart. The seat of her emotions. There is no worse worldly advice than to say: "follow your heart." Now, if you are seeking God and you are truly delighting in Him, He will become your desire. His ways will become the desires of your heart. If you are a true worshipper of God it will permeate into everything that you do. Not to say we will ever reach perfection we are just in that daily process of sanctification as we seek Him.
So all of this is to say I have been listening to some of the things that I have been saying lately and I have been so upset at the clear condition of my heart. As children of God we are called to be a royal priesthood, a holy people set apart to God (1 Peter 2). We are called to declare the praises of the one who brought us out of the dominion of darkness and into the kingdom of light...the kingdom of the Son He loves. We are heirs and co-heirs with Christ but if out of the heart the mouth speaks what is the barometer of our life really like. In the dark of night, who are we really? Who are we really when we are all alone before God.
I don't know about you but I just plain get sick of myself. I am miserable if I have the knowledge of what God wants me to do and I am not doing it. Praise God for the Holy Spirit within us that causes that unrest over sin. God has saved us from His wrath not just to live at status quo. He is holy and our lives are to be a fragrant aroma, pleasing to Him and a sign to the lost of this world.
I have been studying about when Moses was on the mountain in Exodus 32:15-26, and he was receiving the law and as you know the people that God delivered out of Egypt got tired of waiting on Moses (their leader) and decided together with Aaron to throw all the plunder they had received into the fire and make a golden calf to worship. Clearly, the people were following Moses and not God if they rebelled that quickly and decided to worship a stinking golden calf. Especially after all God had done to lead them, tend to them, and provide for them. Our hearts are so prone to wander. So, an angry Moses comes down the mountain, breaks the tablets, asks why Aaron led them into such great sin. Idolatry is such great sin and I pray that you and I would still see it that way. Idolatry is destructive. Anything that we think about more, love more, serve more, it is an idol. Believe me I have had my share in idolatry and it betrayed me every time. Our hearts are only safe when they are set fully upon God. There is wholeness, which is part of the greek word for integrity, when our hearts are fully committed to Him. Idols will fail us every time but God will never fail us. Man this scene gets really graphic when you see how Moses burns the calf immediately, grinds it to powder, pours it over the water and makes the Israelites drink it. He is like: LOOK WHAT THIS CALF CAN DO FOR YOU. You want it! you got it now drink it. Then, you see Aaron pass the buck and a war is about to break out that is how serious God took this. The peoples hearts were not set on the Lord but when Moses cries out for the people to make a decision and says "Whoever is for the LORD, come to me." We see that it was the Levites (Moses was a Levite) that rally to him. That is when the Levites become set apart and they get no allotment of land because they are the Lord's chosen people and priesthood. The Lord is their portion because they chose the Lord. Then, the bloody scene takes place. I can not even imagine but y'all idolatry will be the death of us and cost us our very lives. It makes us sick spiritually and sometimes even physically. I have prayed for a while, "LORD, please show me when I am feeling empty that it is an invitation for You to fill me." Otherwise, I will find something to fill me. I hope you understand what I am saying but so often we are looking for a person or possession or something to meet the need that only God can tend to. We are wise to let all others off the hook and let God be God.
So, in my own assessment lately I am like, "God why would I trade your Glory for another? Something cheap that is not You? Why would I seek to drink out of broken cisterns that hold no living water?" I was appalled at a couple of things I said lately that came straight from a heart that needed to be tended to. I hung up the phone the other night and couldn't believe myself! I had to humble myself and ask for forgiveness immediately as the Spirit of God, that I am sure I was quenching, was grieved within me.
Some of the things I have struggled with lately maybe wouldn't seem like a big deal to you but they are to me and God. He just convicts us in different areas. What may be permissible for you, may not be beneficial for me and likewise.
So here are some verses I am thinking on about what to set my heart on and what not to set my heart on. We clearly need God to do a transforming work in our hearts that will change our actions and our attentions.
2 Chron 19:3- Set your heart on seeking God.
Psalm 119:30- Set your heart on Gods law (His word). Apply your heart to understanding and meditating on God's word.
Psalm 119:32-by running to do His will, in the path of His commands, He will set our hearts free.
I got an email from a lady at our church that is in her 70's and y'all she is precious and loves Jesus. She loves people. She asked me to go to her hair place and invite a girl to church and I knew that even though it was not really convenient for me to drive there, that I had to go then while my heart was sensitive or I would not be obedient if I didn't hurry to obey. The lady wasn't there but I left a card and I think it had more impact on the man working there then anything. We won't always see fruit of our obedience but we obey anyway. If we don't obey quickly, chances are we won't. Our sometimes good intentions are just good intentions. Can I get a witness? That is my problem a lot.
Psalm 119:112--set your heart on keeping His decrees to the very end.
Malachi 2:2--set your heart to honor His name in whatever you do.
Colossians 3:1--Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
1 Peter 3:5--But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
Some things not to:
Psalm 62:10--Though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them.
Jeremiah 22:17--Do not set your heart on dishonest gain, shedding innocent blood, oppression or extortion.
Luke 12:29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.
We can be so used to hearing a great word, walking away, and never applying it. Raise your hand if you are guilty like me. LORD, break our hearts that we would be sensitive to You. We only get one go at this life let us live for You, for freedom and holiness. God in a world of idols, You be our portion the Only Wise King enthroned on our hearts. Take all of us LORD. We are dangerous on our own. Let us apply ourselves to your word Lord. May we be bound to You in freedom and liberation that comes from the Holy Spirit and from a life yielded to You. LORD, may our lives be a living sacrifice. Just like the levites were a gift to the people may we be a gift of Your grace and mercy and testimony to Your saving power to those around us. We can't fool You Lord...let us be wholeheartedly Yours smash our idols before they break us to pieces.
One more thing because I could go on but I took this picture a few weeks ago. Morgan is handing out scripture cards to her friends for Halloween (her idea...the kids will love that! LOL but she is giving candy). She took some for share day already and when she picked this box up the bottom fell out. Immediately I thought LORD, when the bottom falls out in our own life, let Your word be what flows from our hearts.
Let's face it, we are bent on rebellion in our own sinful nature. Our hearts are not toward God on our own. Lord, please help us. Please God let us yearn for You. Not a person, not a thing, not possessions but God You. We are desperate. Like Daniel the world wanted to rename him and his friends and make a mockery of Your Name, let us resolve not to defile ourselves. If anyone has half of my past record they will know that leaving the God they love breeds iniquity and shame. Thankfully, You take us back and You are merciful, but God You are Holy and You desire for us to be Holy. Let us be men and women that can be entrusted with Your work and let us bear Your Name and You be honored. So often I have brought reproach on Your Name, with great regret. Save us from ourselves. Let us live and walk in the Spirit Lord. We need You! Give us a heart to love You Lord.
If the Lord did nothing else for us, let us cry Your presence Lord is all I want even if it is the death of me.
Matthew 6:33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
random off the wall: I got a little critical spirit when I kept seeing a ton of misspelled words (like me of all people should be the spell check police) and now I promise I am being humbled because I can't spell a thing lately.
Thank you for all two of you who read this blog! You are precious to me!
Romans 8:5Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.Romans 8:4-6 (in Context) Romans 8
Colossians 3:2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.Colossians 3:1-3 (in Context) Colossians 3
1 Peter 1:13[ Be Holy ] Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.