Most of the time behavior becomes a focus whether it is with our kids, or spouse, church, family, or even ourselves. I often find myself thinking “Gosh why did I act like that or why did they act like that?” but I am learning that the behavior is more of a symptom than it is the real issue. I have even wondered why after I read the word or hear about an issue I still mess up. Take anger for example. I know it is ok to get angry as long as I don’t sin. But If I’m mad at someone and I think they’re being a jerk (or any other slanderous names that could fit in that category) it takes everything in my will power not to yell that at that person. Sure I have gotten better over time but I still am like God what‘s the deal? Then I saw this verse.
“But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward.” Jerimiah 7:24
That first question I had was why do we hear or know and not see things change instantly in our behavior?
I realized our hearts are like our houses they need daily cleaning, deep cleaning, and sometimes spring cleaning. Our hearts even need to be purged when they get too cluttered. Then when we get them clean we have to guard them like we do the living room from our kids before company is coming.
I know the verse that says guard your heart because out of your heart flows the issues of life, some versions say because it affects all you do (Proverbs 4:23).
The world, movies, and even friends will say “Just follow your heart, just listen to your heart.” But the truth is your heart and my heart can be deceitful and unless it is purified with God’s truth we absolutely shouldn’t listen to it. The only thing it will tell us is to follow what we want and what we desire.
Proverbs 24:12 reads: “If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?”
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:3
Now for today I want to leave you with how to guard your heart. Two things that can be like a fortress to keep out wickedness. It is quite the opposite of what the world tells us guarding our heart looks like. Love and faithfulness are our guards.
I used to think how can I guard my heart and love people? But the opposite is true when I love and I am faithful without expectation I actually guard my own heart. When I am faithful to forgive or show mercy to those who wrong me I am the one who keeps my heart pure. Today’s issues of the heart is hardness. If our heart is hard it because resistant to God’s word. It becomes deceived by its own deceitfulness. I don’t know about you but I hate being made a fool. I defiantly don’t want to be deceived by my own heart or tricked into having a less fulfilled life because of my own foolishness.
If you want God to begin a work in your heart today like I do pray this with me today:
Dear Lord we come to you in the name of Jesus. We don’t want to be fools. Please reveal to us the issues of our heart. Start with showing us the areas in which we have been hard or resistant to your truth. Show us where we are lacking in love. Please begin to soften our heart to hear your voice and understand your word. Amen.
We can’t go into detail about all of the heart issues in one blog post so I will be talking about this for a few days. Check back Sunday for the next post about issues of the heart.
May you be blessed and encouraged.
Annette Burke© & 4Her Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.