You've heard it said....."Follow Your Heart". It's one of those sayings that sounds great, and makes us wanna go "Yeah!". But if I'm honest, that is something that I should be careful NOT to do. Why? Well, it's kind of complicated, but really, SIMPLE.
We all want to believe that at our core, we're basically 'good'. We so desperately want to believe that, that we'll go to great lengths to not only justify our own actions at times, but also the actions of others. That's easier than looking deeper beneath the surface to examine the MOTIVE of those actions. Especially when those actions look and seem 'good' to the outside world.
It's like going through life grabbing fig leaves to cover the nakedness of our need, our deep and desperate need for God's Grace, Love and Mercy.
I spent a lot of time growing up trying to please people. Trying to make sure that I was doing the right thing, the good thing, the thing that would be well spoken of. And although I didn't always succeed (thank GOD!), even when I did, God eventually allowed, and orchestrated circumstances so that what I had done my best to achieve, would be dismantled so that I could come into HIS Grace, and learn to accept my weakness in order to allow and rely on His Strength.
Jeremiah 17:9 says that 'the heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it (perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind)?" Yikes.
Well, I've come to know over the course of my life, and especially in my walk with the Lord, that my heart IS just that. Without Him, and left to myself, if I follow MY heart (instead of His), the results are, and will be disastrous.
So here's the key, at least for me.
The closer I stay to His Heart….in prayer, in His Word, in worship and the study of His Word…..the easier it is to hear His Voice, speaking to me personally.
When I hear His Voice, if I choose to obey (regardless of feelings, circumstances, or what anyone else might think or say), then ultimately, my heart will follow.
See the difference? I want to CHOOSE (with my spirit) to deny myself, take up my cross and follow HIM. When I do that, my heart is then positioned to be impacted and changed by HIS SPIRIT. He alone can change my heart.
HE ALONE CAN CHANGE MY HEART. I cannot. At best, all I can do, all any of us can do, is fake it.
1 Peter 1:21-22 is a favorite verse of mine ever since the Lord opened my eyes and applied it to my life awhile back in a very personal way. It contains a living spiritual principle that once understood and 'seen', is extremely powerful. If we choose to walk in it.
But please realize that all hell will war against that very thing in your life. Just sayin.
1 Peter 1:21-22 says "Through Him (Jesus Christ) you believe in (adhere to, rely on) God, Who raised Him up from the dead and gave Him honor and glory, so that your faith and hope are (centered and rest) in God"…….(now here it comes)……"Since by your *obedience* to the Truth through the Holy Spirit you have *purified* your hearts for the sincere affection of the brethren, (see that you) love one another fervently from a pure heart."
Did you see it?
Heart purification SECOND.
Not the other way around!!
And while it says that *you* purified your heart, in essence, it's your OBEDIENCE to The Spirit of Truth (God Himself) that opens the way for Him to do IN you what could never happen otherwise.
And lest we forget, it's not about the routine of religious duty, obeying rules and regulations….that's religion.
I'm talking about the kind of obedience that flows from a heart of love for the One Who gave it all, and continues to give of Himself to us in ways unimaginable.
That's RELATIONSHIP. And that's what God is after……a relationship with you, with me, with all who will say 'yes' to His offer of Himself and His Kingdom, and all that He has planned for us in this age and in the ages to come.
I leave you with these words from Jesus' lips in John Chapter 14:15, 23. (Read the whole chapter, it's AMAZING). :)
"If you *really* love Me, you will obey My commands"……."If a person (really) loves Me, he will keep My Word (obeyMy teaching); and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him."
Did you get that?????
Our hearts become HIS HOME! His SPECIAL DWELLING PLACE!!!!
I think THAT is what He went to prepare for us when He went to the Cross. Look back at verse 20. "At that time (when that day comes) you will know (for yourselves) that I am in My Father, and you (are) in Me, and I am in you."
It's not just about going to Heaven y'all.
It's about Heaven coming to EARTH. In us. In His People. In the human heart!
Truly, one day His Kingdom will literally, physically come and be manifest and established for REAL. Here ON EARTH. Just as it is in Heaven.
Do we believe that? Then by His Grace, let's press on, and live like it! And let's reach out and help one another to do just that, as we reach out to all who are hurting, tired, afraid, hungry, lost and confused.
His Kingdom Come,