Week of November 3
"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of all His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe." ~Ephesians 1:18-19
Love for God is powerful. It drives us to please Him, to carry out His will, His heart from heaven to earth (Ps. 119:11). When we seek Him with all of our heart, we will find Him (Jer. 29:13-14), and He is always there for us, no matter where we are, ready to fellowship, ready to pour out His love to us.
In relationship with Him, we are nurtured, restored, filled up with His goodness, willing to serve Him. In His presence, we return to contentment. We are blessed with joyfulness and peace, no matter what our circumstances.
Heart is the center of the human spirit, according to Biblical language. The living word of God tells us to protect and watch over our heart and that it is the wellspring, or source, from which life flows (Pr. 4:23). Whatever we allow into our heart will flow out in some form of speech, thought or behavior. Do we seek the Lord for purity of heart (Matt. 5:8)? Do we invite the Holy Spirit, the one who sees all things (I Sam 6:7), to examine the depth of our heart (Ps. 26:2)?
I've learned that issues of the heart do not just go away. They must be confronted. And if they are not handled privately, they will emerge publicly. Unresolve has the power to destroy our lives and others. One of my favorite prayers is to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any secret sin in my heart so that I may be in right standing before Him. Will we find the courage to confront the issues, to turn our heart around with His help (Ps. 51:10)?
Much the same, overwork dries up the heart (Matt. 11:29). When the busyness of life is prioritized over nurturing our hearts with prayer and meditations of God's word, how will we know the heart of God in any situation (Heb. 4:12)? What can we possibly pour out to those around us? The ones whom God puts in our path? Will we have the patience to love them or even desire to extend compassion?
2 Corinthians 3:3 tells us that the Holy Spirit is written on our hearts. Will we lean to His spirit when we are in need or react from the flesh of our heart (Ps. 19:14)? Indeed, sometimes, a heart circumcision is in order to cut away that which encumbers us so that we may enter into a new place of intimacy with God, a new assignment, a manifest promise.
David is often described as a man after God's own heart. Psalm 119:11 tells us, "Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You."
Do we treasure God's word? Is Jesus our first love? If not, the solution can be found in Ezekiel 18:31, "Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit!"
Indeed, God has given us the power of self-control. And when we exercise it, fruit is produced. Thankfully, we can choose to depart from carnal behaviors, ungodly thoughts and an unloving spirit.
With a heart for God, let us remember David's psalm, "May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests."