Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.Proverbs 4:23
God is such a good Father to us! He loves us so very much with a purity of Love we cannot find anywhere else! He cares about our hopes, our dreams, our thoughts, our emotions, our feelings, our health, our desires, our passions, our work, our actions, our choices, and all of it that makes up His children. With that care, comes a daily demonstrated desire to protect us from the ways of the world and, even, ourselves, sometimes. God loves His Children and desires to see us live and live abundantly! However, we are born into this nature of sin that the world thrives on. It is a long journey to unlearn those things that we have learned from the world. Sin is prevalent and temptations lurk around the corners of the narrow path we have chosen, as children of God. I urge you to be mindful of this and stay on alert. Paul writes in Romans about his internal struggle with the sin nature within his body, “For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.“
The newly created desires in our hearts that God places in us over time as He restores us back to Him through this transformation and renewing process will direct our steps. God’s new desires He gives us are far better than the desires of the world or for the things of this world. I can assure you of that! For those things are of the temporal nature, here one moment and gone the next – treasures stored here on earth where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But Matthew chapter 6 tells us to seek the opposite, that of eternal weight of glory, and choose “to store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” And, again, we find ourselves back to the matter at hand – the matter of the heart. God renews our minds and hearts. He cleanses and renews them, daily, through the scriptures. When we become true followers of Christ, submitting all our ways to Jesus Christ, and surrendering our will in order that we may follow His will with full reverence & fear of the Lord – putting the flesh to death and picking up our cross to follow Him – that is when our lives are changed. It is in that moment, we choose to seek God, first. We choose to dedicate our lives, from then on, to the One who died to Save us all. That is when God sees Jesus Christ when He looks upon us as His adopted sons and daughters. He begins placing these new desires in us and one of those desires is to know Him more. It is fueled by a fiery passion to pursue His Word. That is immediately partnered with these deep, intimate love and reverence for His Word. For we understand in our spirit, through the Holy Spirit’s sound counsel and teaching, that to know God is to love Him. We get to know Him more, by seeking Him through His Word. God tells Jeremiah this, “I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.”
Although we may struggle with sin and the sinful nature of old recordings that this world has damaged our hearts, our minds, and our souls with – we are not sin and not slaves to sin, any longer. That sin lives in the only thing left that is of this world, for we are new creations in Christ Jesus. It lives in the flesh and we will either bring it under the obedience of Christ or we will give into the many lusts of the flesh. We are not called to be perfect, by any stretch of the imagination; but we are called to be set apart and strive to endure the race to which we are called according to the Grace given to us through the sacrifice of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, on our behalf. Earlier in his letter to the Romans, Paul writes to them about the continuation of sin, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.” Most assuredly, Yes, May it never be that we continue in sin! Jesus told us through His conversation with the disciples that in Him we would have peace. Yes, There will be temptations and trials, tests and tribulations in this life – but Jesus said, “Take Heart! For I have overcome the world!”
Nathan from the movie ‘Courageous’ says this about being a parent, “We have to have our children’s heart. If we don’t have their heart, they won’t listen to us.” That is a truth that runs so very deep! We choose to seek God because we have given our heart to Him, completely. We choose to listen to Him because we have given our heart to Him, completely. We choose to learn His ways and obey His commandments and know Him more because we have given our heart to Him, completely. One of my favorite scriptures that I will end with today is from the book of Proverbs. It says this, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” It does matter who we give our heart to. The matter of the heart matters to God. Let it be God. I urge you, brothers and sisters, let it be God that you give your whole heart to.
BIBLE READING CHALLENGE
Proverbs 3 – The Rewards of Wisdom
Proverbs 4 – A Father’s Instruction