Friday, September 30, 2011

But above all else...

After some recent conversations I have had with someone near and dear to me, I've been thinking lately about how our hearts drive everything we do, and about Proverbs 4:23 which says: "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Solomon (who is believed to have written Proverbs) goes on to list ways that we should conduct behavior, but the first and most important part of this is the mention of the heart being the wellspring of all we do.

This is why it is important first and foremost to have a Christ-focused heart. We cannot expect to do good things and be good Christians because of the good things we do. Our hearts must first be consumed by Christ and THEN we are driven to do good works, out of pure and genuine love and gratitude. Without Christ-filled hearts, works of love are impossible. Our works are meaningless...Because God is love and who does not know God does not know love. 1 John 4: 8 says: "Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." ...........GOD IS LOVE. That means that apart from God, there is no love.

The attitude of your heart is everything. Stop trying to chart God on a grid. Let yourselves be captivated. Our God is the God of the Universe! In Him all things live and breathe. He knows every fiber of our being and still loves us completely and unconditionally. He wants to have a personal relationship with YOU. Let your heart be totally opened up to feel awe and wonder and adoration. Love Him back. Above ALL else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. But when I say guard your heart, I don't mean close it up and don't allow it to feel. What I mean is, make sure it is totally and completely handed over to God. There is no better way to guard your heart than to put it in HIS hands.

Monday, May 16, 2011


I just finished watching an animated movie about the Exodus of the people of Israel out of Egypt, which I came across on TV (Insomnia at its finest). It really hit me as I was reminded of the people’s lack of faith and trust as God led them in their journey. Because he loved them so much, He removed them from a life of oppression and appointed Moses to lead them toward a promised land where they would have everything they needed. Along the way, they complained about the discomfort and inconvenience of the journey, and even through their disbelief and questioning, God provided for them what they needed and more.

I have never thought about it this way before tonight, but I am one of those Israelites. God has taken me away from the life I lived when I didn’t know Him. He is leading me on this incredible journey to a perfect destination which He has promised in His Word.

Yet, I feel discontent. I complain about inconveniences. I continue to long for the mediocre comfort that has been taken away from me so that it can be replaced with the life God intended for me.

God loves me so much that He is crafting my life to be an adventure that leads me to Himself, even though I am undeserving. I should be humbly serving Him in gratitude. I should be loving Him back.

My prayer is that I can surrender my own will to His. I have no idea what else lies between myself and my destination. Lord, empty me of myself and fill me up with YOU. I need the faith and trust that I have been lacking all along.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

On Surrenduring..

A father loves his little girl, so he gives her a plastic toy necklace made to look like a string of pearls. Just something cute, no biggie. But the girl freaks out, she puts on her plastic necklace and refuses to take it off. She wears it to bed, she bathes in it, it never leaves her neck. Soon it starts to get all gross and her neck is turning green, and things are getting out of hand.

So moved is the father, that he decides to give the daughter a real pearl necklace. So he finds his daughter, and he holds the real pearls in his hand behind his back, telling his daughter that he has a surprise for her, then he holds out his other hand, and he asks his daughter to take off her favorite necklace and give it to him.

The daughter runs away crying! How could my father ask me to give up this thing I love so much. If he knew me, and understood this situation, he would never ask me to surrender the one thing I care about most. But she knows she can’t hide forever, so she gathers up her courage, and with tears in her eyes, she hands the father the old cheap plastic necklace. Only then does she see what the father has in store.

On surrendering, it’s not about what you’re giving up, it’s about the real and authentic and much more valuable thing you’re receiving. It’s about asking God to take away something you want, to make room for the thing that He wants for you. This is a prayer He will honor, and that you won’t regret.