“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21 NIV
The most critical aspect of our spiritual life is our heart. I believe our heart is like a compass. A compass identifies where you are headed directionally. It establishes:
(1) where you are
(2) where you are in relationship to where you want to go
(3) how you get pointed in the right direction
Our hearts determine our direction spiritually in much the same way. If we cannot keep our hearts pointed to True North, we will be off in where we are heading. True North is God, our Heavenly Father. If our hearts are not aligned with Him, our maps will be distorted, wobbly, and stilted. By aligned, I mean understanding the magnificence of Our Father’s Love. It means we understand and identify with our identity in Christ. So, if you have not done that, I encourage you. Ask Him into your heart and you will find healing and restoration. It is the first step in establishing relationship with the Greatest Love you can ever know.
Father, guide my heart. Help me to always look to You first, my True North, before setting course for any destination. Thank you for your Great Love and the perfect design of my heart, mind, and spirit in Your image!
* excerpt of Spiritual Life Map: Finding the Compass
“you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2: 5 NIV
We are being built into a spiritual house. Jesus was the first living stone and the cornerstone of the house we are building. So what are the spiritual sacrifices that we are to offer? Our bodies, souls, affections, prayers, praises, tithes and offerings and service. All with a joyful heart!
God is not asking anything of us that His Son was not willing to give Himself. It humbles me to think of the heart of Jesus. Such a beautiful and perfect example for us to follow.
There are times that I get all wound up in a frenzy of busyness. When I begin to rush and push and force things, it’s a good indicator that I need to pause. I need to check in with the Holy Spirit to see if I’m on track or not. Most often there is a more efficient and elegant solution than my own.
The beautiful thing about being a living stone is that we have a constant spiritual guide present, the Holy Spirit. He can get me back in alignment. Get me back in the headset of listening for direction and offering every moment up in surrender to a better way. Surrender. Obedience. Sacrifice.
Lord, thank you for Your perpetual living water that washes over me and flows through me. Thank you for Your constant love.
“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” Proverbs 19:20 NIV
I have found that doubt and unbelief contribute to me being slow to act in obedience to God’s Word. It keeps me from moving forward. The more often doubt and unbelief weigh into my decisions, the more delays keep me from receiving my heart’s desires. It can be a vicious circle. The more delays, the more doubt and unbelief. It may start as a little thing. It can continue to grow and rob me of more and more of what God has for me. Sometimes others see it before I do. Their wisdom and counsel are a breath of fresh air. They give me new perspective to take back to the Lord in prayer.
Father, I repent. Help me be sure-footed and know that You are always with me. I am never alone! Keep me firmly rooted in Your Word as a discipline to my heart. Give me faith to move forward and believe for the best! Keep my heart humble and accepting of wise counsel.
39” And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.” Hebrews 11:39-40 NASB
All these: Able, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Joseph, Moses, walls of Jericho, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets. All these had a testimony of faith and did not see God’s promise fulfilled in their lifetime. They saw the promise was for the future and embraced that. They recognized a heavenly, kingdom minded purpose that God had ordained for them. So I have to ask myself, am I willing?
Am I willing to look at what God needs for His kingdom and not look at any immediate manifestation in my lifetime? Do I have that kind of faith? Are there others that will come after me that need to be served by my heart for God’s purposes? Am I willing to even ask that question of God?
That’s a tough question. But the tougher question is: What if I’m not willing? As I look at the young men and women in my Sunday School class, the classrooms of students in guest teaching opportunities, connections through work, online communities and blogs, speaking engagements, etc. What happens if I am selfish? What about God’s purpose? How does it affect thousands of others I don’t know and may never know?
Lord, I pray that Your purpose will always come first in my life. I pray that I keep my eyes set on a heavenly horizon. Thank you for always giving me Your best. Thank you for Your grace and mercy and love. Thank you for Your faithfulness to every need, both today and generations to come.
“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.
*Confessions of an Instrument Pilot: 10 Steps to IFR Absolution http://flighttraining.aopa.org/magazine/2010/December/ifrtraining.html
”Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 1 Peter 2:1NIV
Malice: settled overgrown anger, retained until it inflames a man to design mischief; to do mischief or delight in any mischief that befalls another.
Deceit: flattery, falsehood and delusion which is a craftiness imposing upon another’s ignorance or weakness to his damage.
Hypocrisy: counterfeit piety; counterfeit friendship – those who give high complements that they do not believe, make promises which they never intend to perform or pretend friendship when mischief lies in their hearts.
Envy: grieving at the good and welfare of another, at their abilities, prosperity, fame, or successful labors.
Slander: detraction; speaking against another or defaming him.
2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 1 Peter 2:2NIV
Salvation: the word of God, rightly used, does not leave a man as it finds him, but improves and makes him better.
3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” 1 Peter 2:3 NIV
Taste the Lord: grace is discovered by an experimental taste; there must be an immediate consumption of it. We cannot taste at a distance.
In order to taste grace we have to be united in Christ by faith. Through faith we taste God’s goodness in all our provision, our circumstances, our spiritual concerns, our fears and temptations. We do this by being in His Word and worshiping Him daily. When we “feed” on God’s Word we taste and experience His grace to the fullest.
Lord, help me to feed upon Your Word daily and put aside foolish things – malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander. Help me to grow up in Your salvation.