Posts Tagged heart

Reasoned Idiocy

Ecclesiastes 7: 24 – 25

Whatever it may be, it is far off and very profound—who can fathom it? So I turned my heart to understand, to search and seek out wisdom and an explanation of things and to know the stupidity of wickedness and madness of folly.

I recently wrote a criticism on how Christians, perhaps especially clergy, seek to understand the things of God. Including myself, we often attempt to reason out God and His ways. We vainly try to comprehend spiritual matters through an application of our intellect. The bottom line may be this, we are just not that smart. We worship our great intellect, but it really is nothing when we probe the deep things of God. It’s like asking a gnat to understand our thoughts. They are just without capacity. I continue to watch us, though, attempt to reason out the great mysteries. It makes us look even more foolish and again the thought runs through my mind, “We just aren’t that smart,” and it seems the evidence is in our vanity.

See what this verse says in contrast. In order to understand the profound, we must turn our “hearts” to understand. Boy, that sounds soft, doesn’t it? I always hated that ooey gooey stuff at church, which might explain why I floundered so long at the pool of rationality and why I enjoyed philosophy and logic in college. Now, I have traveled this great distance just to find that all the answers were in the one who lives in my heart if I should be so bold and daring to search my heart.

I am not alone. Our entire culture has raised reasoning above God. If a thing cannot be understood through our intellectual prowess, then it lacks genuine credibility. Want proof of how we have enthroned intellect above seeking God with our heart? Here is this same verse from the NASB version, my preferred version, “I directed my mind to know, to investigate and to seek wisdom and an explanation.” It’s not until you go to the footnotes that you discover that the editors couldn’t swallow the word “heart” so they replaced it with “mind.” How do you like that?

We will never find truth by seeking it with our minds. That is just the reality, like it or not. I wish spirituality and divine truth were a function of reasoning, but they are not, and really, it is for the best because, once again, “we just aren’t that smart,” we think we are but, that is fallacy on top of fantasy.

All of the great mysteries of the world and beyond are yours to know. God has saved up all His knowledge and wisdom for us. We must go down into our hearts and seek Him and His wisdom. He is more than willing to reveal His truths to us, but we must first connect with Him, and He does not live in our brains. To get to the “heart” of a matter, you must search with your heart. All truth lies within reach if we will learn to seek our Father humbly and diligently with our hearts. It’s all there for you if you can get out of your head.

Acceptable Meditations

Psalm 19: 14

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.

This scripture may be familiar to you. Check out this one too, “Let my meditation be pleasing to Him, (Psalm 104: 34). I have read Psalm 19: 14 for years. When I do, I think about the words of my mouth. How much thought have you given to what you meditate on?

Two thoughts occurred to me as I compared these scriptures. First, God’s interest is not in what we think but rather that which issues from our hearts. Do we even consider that we can mediate in our hearts as well as in our minds? We do take things to heart though, don’t we? Those are the issues that are of central importance to us whether they be instances of offence or gifts of kindness to us. We hold those things in our hearts and roll them around and around in the very spot where they can do the most harm or the most good. That is why forgiveness is so important. We can take someone’s bad deed and instead of forgiving them and sending that offense away, we deposit it into our hearts where it can fester and grow. And we wonder why we have health issues.

Another revelation from these scriptures that may startle you when spoken out loud is that our heavenly Father can see the meditations of our hearts. Whoa! Is that a bit scary? That bad thought about someone that we have held onto is now buried in the tender tissue of our hearts AND Father can see it. Jesus revealed this to us in Luke 16: 15, “And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts.” Still, somehow it just doesn’t register that God is looking on those thoughts and meditations of the heart. Does that make you hold your breath for a moment? It does me. Those thoughts are not good for us nor are they good for anyone. The Spirit living inside us certainly does not enjoy them. Paul said it best, “Finally, brothers and sisters, keep your thoughts on whatever is right or deserves praise: things that are true, honorable, fair, pure, acceptable, or commendable,” (Philippians 4: 8 GW).

Done and Done

1 Corinthians 2: 9

Just as it is written, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND WHICH HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”

The part of this verse which really grabbed me was that God has already prepared things for us. The verse does not say that once we pray, God will prepare these things which are beyond what eye has seen and ear has heard. It says that He already has prepared all these things for us. That is a pretty big revelation. This substance, these things which God has already prepared for us is beyond what has ever entered our hearts. That is the second part of the revelation, that God has already created things for you that you currently don’t even know you want.

Ephesians 3: 20 says that God is able to do for us beyond all we can think or ask. Before we have even dreamed up the next idea or want, He has already created and stocked it for us. He has already prepared things which are beyond our ability to dream or think. So, ten years ago, for instance, or 20 years ago, God prepared the things that you want and need today. I hope this is a revelation which is sinking in. Take it a step further though.

He has already prepared things for you which no human eye has ever seen, which no human ear has ever heard and which no human heart or mind has ever conceived. There will come a day when an idea, concept or dream will drop into your mind. That idea will require resources. That dream will be an expansion of your former thoughts. Where does it come from? Perhaps God is the source of these ideas and dreams and before they are ever perceived, God is already at work providing the means by which they can and will be realized.

If God has already stocked the storehouse, if He has already prepared the resources, then the only question is, how do you requisition the materials. I believe the answer begins right here. We must first apprehend this simple appreciation of God’s provision. We need to allow this revelation to take root in our hearts so that we know and believe that all we need has already been prepared. This is the beginning of living those dreams.

God has great plans for your tomorrow and your today. He is giving you hopes and ambitions and He has already laid aside the substance of those dreams so that you make walk in success and enjoy all the good things He has prepared for you.

Will knowing this verse change your prayer life? Will it alter the conversation you have with God? Will your prayer ask God to provide when the Bible is telling us He already has or will your begin to look more for distribution than manufacturing? Tomorrow can look very different today because now you know He has already provided.

Goodness in my Heart

Psalm 31: 19

How great is Thy goodness, which Thou has stored up for those who fear Thee, which Thou hast wrought for those who take refuge in Thee before the sons of men!

By now we are getting this. God is good. He is good all of the time and all that He has is good. So why send you another “God is good” scripture? I think we are ready to move into God’s goodness emotionally and spiritually. We have gained an intellectual acceptance of His profound goodness. Now what is wanting is to connect that knowledge to a heartfelt belief. We need to know in our hearts and in our spirits that God is good.

There is an expression I would love for us to adopt. It is “radical trust.” Wouldn’t it be great if we all lived in radical trust of all that God is and all that He says? In order to move into this dimension, we must embrace His goodness such that there is no doubt remaining in our hearts. If there is the slightest doubt, then when God speaks, you will hesitate. If we are to walk in the fullness of what Jesus came here to win for us then we can have no hesitation. We have to know in the deepest part of our being that God loves us and always wants what is best for us.

He does not give us problems in order to make us stronger. That is a purely humanistic perspective. He wants to be our strength. His desire is to fold us in the refuge of His embrace, protecting us from the storms. You were meant to live above the fray. He told us that the world has problems but for us to have no worry on that score because he has already overcome the world. Yahoo! So why does Dad need to make us strong when Jesus has already won? Do you see how people’s theology has gotten twisted? Your Dad loves you and that is the $1,000,000 take away. That is the truth that is to be written on your heart. He has stored up good things for you so that you can live in them and all people will see the goodness of your Father in your life. Amen.

Thinking Clearly

Proverb 23: 7               NKJV

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

I cannot get this verse out of my mind so we might as well deal with it. Allow me to say, first, that there are several layers of this verse but I am only going to deal with one. That layer is that the thoughts of our hearts determine a great deal about us from our behaviors to our health.

God created a wondrous mechanism when He created us. The Human body is complex and wonderful. It is no surprise that God is the master healer because he created the machinery. He knows how it works. Therefore, we can find much wisdom for our bodies and our health in the “Operation Manual” He developed for us.

One of the things we are learning through modern medical science and quantum physics is that this statement from the 23rd Proverb is powerfully true and at a very basic level. The truth we are all trying to grasp is that the thoughts we have are imbued with the power to make themselves come to pass. Another way to say this is that the way we think in our hearts, the beliefs which we hold to be truth, will be our reality. If I think I get the flu every winter, then I am right. If I think I don’t get sick then, guess what, I rarely do.

If God knew what He was talking about when He had these words penned then we can change our reality by changing our heart beliefs. This is the essence of Heart Physics with Dr. Jim Richards. There is also a book by Dr. Joe Dispenza titled You are the Placebo and much more about the placebo effect and the power of believing.

If we can harness the power of our own minds and mouths, for that matter, we really can change our destinies and our health. I just imagine God saying, “There is healing for this” no matter the problem. Our emotions are impacting our health and everything around us. Our thoughts are controlling us and determining our future.

The question that keeps buzzing around in my brain is, “Father, what can we not do when we cooperate with you?” What if we really became intertwined with the Father. What if He became the Lord of our thoughts and our beliefs? If we could hear Him speak to us daily, what would He say to us? He might show us how to think about our bodies so as to promote healing. He would heal our emotions. He would teach us how to create the realities He planned for us by marrying our thoughts about us with His.

As we think in our hearts, so we shall be. I believe this. I do not believe or mean to say that we are the answer but I deeply believe that God in us, the integration of us with the Holy One, is the answer to everything. I do believe that our beloved and wise Father built into us the machinery for success at every level including good health. I am convinced beyond any argument that He intended and currently intends for us to be healthy. I am also convinced, persuaded, that His intent is for us to be whole in every realm of life. Whole – nothing broken, nothing missing. Could it be that part of our lack, our falling short of the glory He designed for each one of us, is in the beliefs of our heart? Perhaps we fail because we fail to jump into His arms and trust Him for completeness. What will He do for us if we let Him? Maybe a key to today’s verse, and ultimately to everything we need and want, is how a man believes in his heart about God. Maybe if someone could convince us that God is safe and from that point of beginning we could abandon our religious thinking and finally approach Him with all our baggage, we could become the transformed butterfly which He sees when He looks at us. Maybe we could finally jump into His arms and receive His abundance. We would forsake the pew for His lap. Communion would cease being a ritual and would be a meal shared in the presence of and with the Father. If we could have the thoughts about ourselves that the Father thinks about us we could, and would, be truly free.

I hope you will meditate on this verse. I pray also that something in today’s devotional touched you in such a way that you find new and more intimate avenues to your Father. I welcome your comments. Be Blessed my friends, and be whole.

One Way Road

Numbers 32: 11                    NIV

Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of the men twenty years old or more who came up out of Egypt will see the land I promise on oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

I quoted from Dr. Jim Richard’s book How To Stop the Pain earlier this week. In that book Richard’s teaches that the way to happiness and a life of security and freedom is in following Jesus wholeheartedly. I would suggest that advice shows the way to the promised land that our Father has for us.

God is not trying to keep us out of the promise. He is trying to lead us into receiving all of His good gifts. Unfortunately, sometimes we quit on Him or do not go in the direction where the provision lies. I often think of it like the old Pony Express system. The riders needed to follow a prescribed route because that is where there supplies were stationed. God has already provided everything we need also but it is on the prearranged path. God has told us that He has good plans for us (Jeremiah 29: 11) and He has laid out a course and provisioned that route so that we arrive in the promised land on time, nourished and without injury. We just need to stay on track.

How is that actually accomplished though? We speak and write a bit figuratively so how does this apply to real life? I believe there is a practical truth revealed in today’s verse. Although we are living in different times and in a different situation than the Israelites I believe the truth and the revelation is in following Jesus wholeheartedly. I also believe there are several layers of truth in that statement.

First, there are a lot of lukewarm Christians out there. You know them. Some of them even attend your church regularly. Sometimes I fear one of them looks back at me from her home in my mirror. How do we prevent ourselves from being what I call a “Cultural Christian”? Somehow our Christianity ought to color our lives. There ought to be a difference in our lives since Jesus came into it and I do not mean that we attend church every week. A cultural Christian can do that. No, this is a heart matter. There ought to be something changed about us so that Jesus, his current thoughts, his teachings and his example are important to us. Do we really consider what it means to be under his lordship on a daily basis? Do we let him affect our thinking and decisions? Do we talk to him as if he really is our very best friend? Are we following him wholeheartedly or maybe just halfheartedly?

Second, as I said, this is a heart matter. Apparently we are supposed to follow Jesus with our hearts, even our whole hearts. So, our life in Christ is an internal matter. It is not for others to determine the commitment of our hearts. This wholehearted devotion to our professed Lord is not external, in other words, it is not about the things we do. It is not even mental as in study. A heart that loves Jesus will certainly show itself in study and actions but they are only the product. We are meant to have a heart connection with Jesus. He is supposed to influence our hearts and perhaps we even affect his. This is not an intellectual relationship, it is not a work relationship. We are supposed to follow Jesus with our hearts. For some people this is challenging because we have anesthetized our hearts in a vain attempt not to feel or express emotion. But we have learned that we will not enter the promised land if we do not follow Jesus wholeheartedly. This is not because our Father doesn’t want us reaping all the blessings of the promised land. It is just simple logistics. The way to the promised land is through Jesus and the way to Jesus is through the heart. It’s just how it is.

There is a way. The way has been marked out for us. Supplies have been stationed all along the way so that we will always have our needs met. However, there is only one way whether we like it or not and that is in following Jesus, his ways and his teachings with our whole heart.

Whiteboard – Version 2.0

Psalm 51: 10

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

In the March 1, 2016 Word of the Day I wrote about our hearts being like a whiteboard that we can erase and write upon as we wish. If there are bad messages there, we can erase them. Then we can write the truth upon our hearts. I have an updated version of that image which I would like to share with you today.

While in the mountains, I had some quiet meditations. Once, I looked in my heart and thought about the whiteboard I saw God approach it and pick up a marker. “Well, this is pretty curious,” I thought and just settled in to watch what was going to happen. Father began to write on my board (my heart). Can you guess what the first thing He wrote was and in what color? You guessed right! He is always about love first and of course, it was written in red. I sat there and watched Him write the things He says about me.

Later it dawned on me what a powerful revelation this truly is. We can allow the Father to write on the whiteboard of our hearts. He always writes truth and encouragement. If we allow Him to write on our hearts, we will always be strengthened. So, get into a quiet state of mind, close your eyes and picture yourself in a comfortable, overstuffed armchair. See Dad walk up to the whiteboard and pick up a marker. Later make sure that you record all that he wrote and remind yourself of those statements frequently. In this way, you can have the heart and the beliefs about yourself that God has, He can create in you the perfect heart.

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