Heart


My words have not been right lately. I have been short-tempered, prideful, and questioning. My words are a reflection of my heart. My heart has been experiencing shame.

My heart needs to change.

Not temporary or surface level change, but deep heart-felt change.

Recently I received some email communication from someone I have not communicated with since May 2009. Their communication contained something that caught me by surprise and I did not interpret part of it correctly so did not respond as well as I wish I had responded. Their second message said they had hoped that I had been “set free” this past year, but it was clear I was still working through some things. There was a part of me that felt justified that I had reason to still be working through issues as things are not yet resolved with my last church, but deep down what really bothered me was that this person had seen something I had not seen, even after all these months of hard work. When I stopped to look, I realized they were addressing something in my heart and attitude that needed to change.

Today I finally had the time to work on that with God.

Correction, today I finally had the courage to let God work on me.

Often we know when something is not quite right in our heart. We may avoid it, deny it, reject it, or twist it, but we are still aware it there. I have known recently that things were not completely right in my relationship with God, but I did not know what to do about it. Yesterday the weight of it became heavy and I knew I needed to change. I knew it was time to look at what lay underneath. However, I also knew that I couldn’t change anything. All I could do was to let go, to open myself up to God, and to trust that he would lead me.

So, this morning before I even started the day and moved from bed I laid my heart bare. I surrendered and let go of all plans, all desires, all expectations. I asked with a sincere heart for the Lord to change me and to reveal what I needed to know.

Today has been an amazing day.

The Lord waits for us to come to him.

He is always ready. He will always respond and will not fail us.

That doesn’t mean we will get the desires of our heart or he will answer how we want him to, but he will respond.

Like David, I became aware of my sin, and I cried out for him to change me. (Psalm 51)

Like Paul, my heart grew and my desires are changing so that I am drawn to be like Christ, even in his sufferings (Phil. 3)

This song holds a lot of truth, and it reminds us that the heart, our heart, is the key to our relationship with the Lord.

We can’t change it, but he can change us on the inside. It is our heart that needs to change.

I long for freedom to live in the truth
I want to be more like you
But every time I try to bring about change
I try to change the visible me
There's only one way I'm really gonna change…

Just like King David I cry out to you
Create in me a clean heart
I've grieved you again, I need your release
From patterns that keep me is sin
There's only one way I can finally break free

Change me on the inside
Change me on the inside
Change me on the inside

God isn’t finished with me yet. There are still areas of my heart I need to let go of, but today as we celebrate America’s independence I am also celebrating the freedom I have from sin, from bondage, from chains of falsehood and deception. I am celebrate that the Lord has changed me from the inside and he will change me even more. I long for freedom to live in the the truth, and I know the only way to break free and really change is by having the Lord change me, from the inside!

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I have posted several times about the condition of our heart and how it connects to our decisions, actions, thoughts, etc. Our actions, including our words will reflect our heart and what is inside. It is not a completely accurate gauge as there can be things that impact how others perceive us or things that can hinder our communication from accurately reflecting our heart, but it is a tool we can use to evaluate both our own heart and that of others. (Be careful about judging others by this tool alone though!)

Yesterday I read something about the verse “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)

The verse makes it clear that there is a connection between our hearts and what we treasure, but it leaves a question that we should ponder.

Does your heart lead you to what you treasure, or does what you treasure affect your heart?

“Where your treasure is” is commonly interpreted as referring to the things we value. That means the verse could be read as “Those things we value and focus on affect our heart.” I think that is true, but if we consider the heart first it could be said that “The condition of our heart affects what we value and focus on.”

Scripture is pretty clear that our heart is key to our walk with God and our beliefs.

Do you think our heart leads our focus, or our focus leads our heart? Do we need to have a clear answer, or is it okay to just accept that both the heart and our focus are important?

I have a confession to make. The condition of my heart is sick. I have been looking at it lately and have come to realize…

…my heart is hard
…my heart is selfish
…my heart is judgmental
…my heart holds anger, fear, insecurities
…my heart wants to listen to others even when God’s word tells me something else (in other words I make them false gods and idols)
…my heart deceives me and listens to untruth

I want to speak words of redemption to others.
I want to show love and grace.
I want to be content, peaceful, and feel hope and joy.
I want to stop being so sensitive to what others say, and to stand firm on God’s truth.

For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. (Matthew 12:34b)

I guess it is time to do some more work on making sure my heart is healthy, or my words will never be what I want.
Heart, it truly is the center of who we are.