“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
“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.
32” Do not offend Jews or Greeks or any part of the church of God for that matter. 33 Consider my example: I strive to please all people in all my actions and words—but don’t think I am in this for myself—their rescued souls are the only profit.” 1 Corinthians 10:32-33 The Voice
I cringed a little when I read “do not offend anyone.” That sounds impossible! Some other versions read “do not give offense” or “do not cause others to stumble.” At first this really felt burdensome. This goes for both outside the church as well as inside the church.
Then as I read on to verse 33, I saw clarification. I realized I was looking at this through a people pleasing lens. It is impossible to please people all the time. If I look at it through the lens of God’s Word, I just have to stay true to that. Now that’s not always easy either! However, it is only possible to begin stepping in that direction if I let go of people pleasing. I have to use the ways of Jesus as the filter for my actions, not other people.
I have to look at people through the eyes of Jesus to see what they need. I have to look past behavior, choices, and circumstance. I have to simply look at a person’s heart. That is what Jesus did best. He looked at a person’s heart, diagnosed what they needed and met that need of their heart. Without fail, that was found pleasing to all who would receive Him. That is what it is always about: rescuing and transforming lives.
Father, help me to keep my kingdom glasses on as I look at people. Let me see everyone through Your eyes.
1”Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” 2 Corinthians 3:1-3 NIV
When I read these words, I think of every minister, preacher, missionary, evangelist – every Christian — to be surrounded by people that walk and talk like Jesus because of their personal imprint on hearts around the globe as an incredible testimony! Wow. Think of all the people in the world, on our block, in our sphere. We have God’s mail we are supposed to deliver! This is why I always ask God to search my heart. I don’t trust my heart but I always trust His. His hand in my life can do things that I may not be able to see or touch or ever know about. It all counts for His kingdom. If others can simply see Him in me, He will do the rest.
Bless these words from You, Father, and make them a meditation of my heart. I praise Your Mighty Name! I praise Jesus, Your Son, the Name Above All Names! Make me into a living letter from Christ. Make me into Your image. His image. Continue to write Your words on my heart, Lord. Make me that vessel that Your living water can flow through freely.
“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.
“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