You know it costs to have a pure heart. A lot of people don’t know this but having a pure heart is not easy to master. The amount of struggles we face within us can easily be revealed through the way we talk to ourselves. You will know what is in your heart by the way you speak. Our hearts are so Precious in God’s sight. I cannot stress enough that when are hearts are in the right place, God Himself will be at Peace and He can dwell with us. When we are all over the place, we tend to make big mistakes that truly wasn’t our intention of doing. We look at others around us, comparing ourselves to them, making it seem as if God loves them more than ourselves, but ask yourself this question; is that really true? How could you think that God loves your neighbor more than you?
Could it be possible that your heart is not in the right place? You’re taking too much on yourself; you must learn to let go and let God. It is not everyday struggle with your heart. Above all things, guard your heart, for out of it flows the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23). What are you struggling with? What kind of issues have you got yourself caught up with? In this consumer-oriented, materialistic world, we are so caught up in ourselves that we forget God and others around us. Some of us are accustomed to very high levels of luxury by way of our comforts, pleasures and security. With this idea, it is said by society that happiness comes with accomplishments, recognition, rewards, material possessions and other things that led to quick satisfaction.
I used to always think that having everything my way will guard my heart and make me happy, but it is all a mistake! Nothing in this world can satisfy other that Jesus Christ! Bare in mind that the heart of man is desperately wicked because everyone is trying to make their own way in life. We are all too consumed in ourselves that we can’t even take the time to check up on our neighbor that we must fight to protect our comfort zones.
Scripture clearly teaches us that the real issues of life are spiritual and are really matters of the heart, the inner man. So what is your heart saying to you today? Are you thinking clean and pure thoughts? Are you still jealous or envious of other people’s success that you cannot be happy for them? What is the problem? The term heart generally speaks of the inner person and the spiritual life in all its various aspects. This multiple use of “heart” along with the way it is used strongly focuses our attention on the importance of the spiritual life. Like the human heart, it is central and vital to our existence because we need it to be alive. But imagine for every negative thought you made, think about how your spiritual heart would feel? Not having a healthy heart can cause early death. Are you aware of that?
Some of us are struggling to let go of people who have hurt us. Every time you hear their name in a conversation, your heart races and wants to pounce on them. But you are not doing yourself any favors. Instead of operating in the flesh, why not pick up your Bible and read the book of Psalms and Proverbs which emphasizes greatly on the importance of our hearts? Some scriptures for you to ponder on;
- Psalms: Psalms 27:8, Psalms 36:1, Psalms 15:12
- Proverbs: Proverbs 4:23, Proverbs 16:1, Proverbs 17:20
I will focus more on Proverbs 17:20 which says “A crooked-hearted person will find nothing good, and the perverse of speech will end in calamity”. So no matter what someone does to you, whether you retaliate back with them, the Bible says you will find nothing good. When you can sense that someone is deliberately trying to find fault in you, why not go into your secret place and just cry out to God? When Jesus was healing people on the Sabbath Day, the Pharisees were always trying to find fault in Him, because in those days you were not obliged to heal people on the Sabbath Day, but nowhere in the Bible that it said Jesus retaliated, because He knew the intentions of their hearts (they were wicked); Why waste all your energy on someone that you know doesn’t like you? When God gives you a discerning Spirit to know right from wrong, acknowledge it, and use it wisely. Jesus prayed countless of times to God to deliver Him from His enemies, and for our hearts to be at rest, we too must follow Christ’s footsteps and pray earnestly.
There are so many people out there who are looking for our downfalls, but as we continue to seek the Lord, He will come to help and bring us out of our situations. This is one of the ways to get God’s perspective on how to deal with critics. A second goal is to help us see afresh how the world really is in terms of its ideas on what and how we should deal with people who have offended us by talking back at them, relative to those who are already in Christ Jesus and our aspirations, MOTIVES and goals. The motive behind everything we do will be tested! You cannot expect to do bad and get away with it. We should learn to be slow at taking offence. David said in Psalms 119:165 “Great peace have they who love Your law; nothing shall offend them or make them stumble”. Yes we are in the world, and this is why we will always have opportunities to be offended. The temptation to become hurt, angry or bitter comes just when you least expect it, but Jesus says that we should pray that we don’t give in to temptation (see Matthew 26:41).
People who want to desire to live a great life must become EXPERTS at forgiving those who offend them. When someone hurts your feelings and is insensitive, tell your heart “I will not be offended”. If the person is in your presence, you can say these words quietly in your heart (I have been in those situations, trust me), but later when the memory of what he or she did returns to haunt you, repeat aloud “I WILL NOT BE OFFENDED”. In this situation, ask God to help you forgive them.
Let me tell you that there will be times where God will lead us to confront others who have committed offenses. He may lead you to initiate a necessary reconciliation. But we should never let the offenses of others cause us to stumble, to become hard-hearted, or to harbor unforgiveness in our hearts.
Exhortation is another principle that we must endeavour to use when mastering our hearts. It is an appeal for personal application that we might each deal with the inner life in the light of God’s Word in practical and personal ways. Practical ways can consist of meeting with other Christians to fellowship and be transparent about our struggles, so as to help edify and uplift one another. On the other hand Personal ways is where it is between you and God; where you can be REAL WITH HIM and just surrender everything to Him without holding anything back; the things that you cannot tell anybody, you can be sincere with God.
Last principle is ENCOURAGEMENT! We all need to be encouraged to seek God for ourselves as we struggle with various pulls of our sinful natures in the ups and downs of life. No matter how successful you are, you will struggle, and this is why we must be able to make time to build our sisters up in Christ, to remind them that they are not alone. I have a dear friend and sister of mine who shared her story with me recently, and everything she said is what I too am going through. When I tell you the relief I had when she opened up to me was so amazing because I too was able to confide in her. I thought I was alone in my struggles as well as she did, not knowing that we both were encouraged. We just poured our hearts to each other and honestly it felt so good! Ladies, you will always assume you are alone in the struggle, but until you open up your heart to someone, you won’t be free!
Our hearts are so important because God is deeply concerned about our inner being. He does not want us to wake up thinking about our problems, because they will become a big distraction. When we are distracted, we cannot focus on anything but ourselves, and this is where pride kicks in. God hates a proud look! You must realise by now that the people God places around you have their own problems, so we must all be aware of that before having our own pity-party. If our hearts are constantly on ourselves and what we can gain, how is God going to get the Glory? In Jeremiah 17:9-10 it states that “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? (10) I the LORD, search the heart; I test the mind even to give each man according to his ways according to the results of his deeds”. We should know that yes the human heart is wicked, but we have a choice to change our own. Ladies we have a choice to change our hearts, to make them happier and healthier and thinking right and doing right.
Maybe some of you are finding it hard to stay fit. You cannot expect your heart to be healthy if you are constantly eating junk food 3 times a day. Make a decision to cut it down and drink lots of water. From a Spiritual perspective, some of you could start making a journal of all the things you want to learn about the Bible and write them down. It always starts with a thought. It may not be easy at first, but as long as you keep at it, you will be fine :).
Sometimes people will look down on you and make you feel small because of your physical appearance, but remember 1 Samuel 16:7 says “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart”. I find it amusing when people look down on others simply because of the way they look or how they speak. If you hair isn’t the way others expected it, you are not one of them, if you dress in certain way, you are not one of them. Umm excuse me, I know who I am in Christ! When you can confidently stand up to who you are in the Lord, your critics will run from you! Some don’t even like it when you stand up for yourself, BUT DO IT ANYWAY! Do not allow your feelings to control you, because although the heart is Precious, the heart can also encourage you to make bad decisions due to the torture of others. Ask God to create a clean heart so that He may purify you and make you whole. This was David’s sincere prayer (Psalm 51:10).
I love and deeply cherish you ladies, and I hope that these blog posts continue to encourage you. Keep the Faith and keep your Heart HEALTHY!
Your Sister in Christ,