Watch Over Your Heart

“Above all else, watch over your heart; diligently guard it because from a sincere and pure heart come the good and noble things of life.” Proverbs 4:23 The Voice

Why do you think God asks us to watch over our heart?  I think it is because it is central to everything we do, say, think and feel.  Everything that comes out of us, originates from our heart.  If we are co-dependent, it’s because of an injury to our heart.  If we are narcissistic, it’s because of an injury to our heart.  If we are angry, violent or hostile, it’s because of an injury to our heart.

If our heart is guarded, really tucked into God for safekeeping, our hearts can operate in a healthy way.  God can heal every injury to our heart.  We still have to do our part and take our hearts to Him. We have to learn His ways in order to walk through life with a protected heart that is equipped to love others and see others the way that God sees them. It is a love that is not of this world.  It is a love that supersedes any love we have ever known.  It is the love of sacrifice and eternity. It is the greatest love story ever told.

Search my heart, Father. Let me place no other thing before You. Guide me. Please keep my heart straight. Holy Spirit, great Comforter and guide, keep me close to You in all matters. Keep my heart. Tend to my heart. Guard my heart.

Proverbs 4:23-26, John 3:16

Keep It Simple

16” Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good,22 reject every kind of evil.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 NIV

Rejoice always: Our joy is full in God

Pray continuously: The more we pray, the more we are able to rejoice!

Give thanks in all circumstances: If we pray without ceasing, there will not be a shortage of thanksgiving

Do not quench the Spirit: Be mindful. Carnal lusts and affections and earthly things extinguish the voice of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Do not treat prophecies with contempt: We are to value the preaching, interpretation and application of God’s Word in our lives.

Test them all: We must not believe everything.  We must be settled in God’s Word and hold fast to it.

Reject every kind of evil: Others will see the Truth in us if we maintain integrity and a pure heart.

Father God, search my heart. I repent for my hesitancy to step out in faith. Thank you for every perfect thing that You place in my path. Thank you for Your faithfulness. Thank you for Your grace and Your mercy. Thank you for Your patience with me as I learn to let go of more and more.  Thank you for stretching me and preparing me, Father. Thank you for trusting me. Holy Spirit, be my guide. Be my love. Be my bright light in the darkness.

Psalm 26:2-3, Proverbs 2:11, Proverbs 4:23, Philippians 2:15, Philippians 4:8

Confessions Of An Instrument Pilot*

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,“ 1 Peter 1:8 NIV

I recently read an article entitled “Confessions of an Instrument Pilot.”* As I read through his points of discomfort, they really resonated with me in my faith walk.  Here are some excerpts, see what you think:

“A year ago I raced through my…training, learning just what I needed to know…according to…minimum standards.”

“I met the requirements…But that doesn’t mean I’m comfortable with exercising that privilege.”

“Now I find myself anxious…without another…pilot beside me.”

“I lost faith in my abilities to interpret and visualize an approach. The idea of…deviating from what I had planned puts me on edge.”

“If I had trained harder, I wouldn’t feel so uncomfortable….”

I find that when everything is rosy and I feel God’s favor in my life, I am relaxed and calm.  However, when things get bumpy and I don’t see or understand why, I get edgy.

I can see the similarity between instrument flying and walking in faith.  Both have to trust what is unseen.  The pilot has to trust the instruments and their readings regardless of their sensations.  As a Christian, I have to trust God’s Word and my relationship with Him regardless of my desires. Just like the pilot, I can’t always see where I am heading.  I have to trust the instruments that God has given me (His Word and the Holy Spirit) to guide me.

Thank you Lord for Your tools and Your flight plan! Help me trust You more every day and not deviate from Your headings. I believe in You. I love You. You fill me with inexpressible joy.

John 20:29, 2 Corinthians 4:18, 5:7; Hebrews 1:1

*Confessions of an Instrument Pilot: 10 Steps to IFR Absolution http://flighttraining.aopa.org/magazine/2010/December/ifrtraining.html

Personal Prayer Garden

“Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Matthew 26:38 NIV

I have the sense that prayer creates forward motion…on many planes: physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. Active prayer engages with hope and anticipation.  It means we lean INTO it.  We lean FORWARD in prayer. I liken it to a suspenseful movie or conversation that makes you lean so far forward that you are on the edge of your seat.  It feels like if you move one millimeter closer, you are going to fall right out of your chair. Plop! Right onto the floor.

I believe that it is that supernatural tension that keeps us suspended in mid-air.  It keeps us from falling out of our spiritual chair, so to speak.

I have never prayed so hard that I sweat drops of blood like Jesus.  However as I have prayed during particularly hard times, I have felt the sensation that God was carrying me.  That I was staying afloat by supernatural means.  I believe the only way that occurred is through a prayer full of surrender and total reliance on God.  I still struggle.  I still mess up.  I start picking up old patterns of self-reliance.  Ugh. I know it will get better!  I am so thankful that God never gives up on me.  Sometimes I have to walk through painful reminders to get back to that place of full surrender all over again.

I remain thankful.  I know God never leaves me or forsakes me.  Even when my hard head gets in the way!

Father, thank you for Your love and Your grace and Your mercy.  Teach me to pray.  Teach me to pray like Jesus. Teach me to rely on You.  Teach me Your ways.

Matthew 26:36-45, Luke 22:39-46, Deuteronomy 31:6