God’s Word tells us in Proverbs 4:23 to watch over our heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. In studying this scripture I discovered different words used for springs such as; source of true life, issues, source of life’s consequences but I think my favorite is the MSG version. “Keep vigilant watch over your heart, that’s where life starts. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left, leave evil in the dust.” And in Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV) “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
I know first hand that my heart has been deceitful and I have fooled myself way more times than I would like to admit. It’s funny how God gives us everything we need to keep us healthy and whole. But we choice to ignore the gifts He so desires for us to have. Peace, joy, love, happiness are ours for the taking; but for some reason sometimes we think we can do it on our own. We get sidetracked with deception (of the heart) because what we want isn’t happening as fast as we wish. God knows when we are headed for a fall and speaks to us to try and redirect us so we don’t fall face first into trouble, heartache and pain. But because of our fleshly desires we still manage to deceive ourselves.
Emotions can cloud our judgement and influence our decisions. However the Bible doesn’t tell us to follow our heart because certain actions and decisions our heart urges us to do will lead to hurts, disappointments and eventual destruction in life. All too subtle these hurts, disappointments, and heartache lead to actual physical pain and aliments brought on by the choices that we made. I believe we bring our own death and destruction by the way we live our life! But what if we followed Jesus instead of our desires? What if we only dare to believe and trust the one who created us and knows what is best for us?
I have learned all too well as of late the death and destruction of following my heart. You all know that I am an open book and when God has me share it’s because He has a purpose in my pain. It’s difficult to allow the world to see the ugly in me but as I write with tears in my eyes I know I will heal and perhaps help someone else too. So here is my story as of late:
So much has happened in the past 2 years but even just since Hurricane Florence my life has been a complete wreck. Running from what God has called me to do because I felt inadequate and unfocused as my mind was on everything going on around me. God provided a way for everything to be taken care of and although all repairs are not complete as of yet, I know they will be eventually. I’ve encountered many blessings and many lessons over the past 6 months. But one of the greatest lessons that I have learned is to listen to God when He speaks, follow Him regardless of what I think and that life and death are in the tongue.
Proverbs 15:13 “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance; but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” When I made the choice to not obey the voice of God; I may have deceived the world but not myself and truly not God, for He knows all. For months now; I have felt my peace and joy slowly slip away. And the icing on the cake was when I allowed my heart to open to someone that I knew was not of God. My foolishness is no ones fault but my own, I take full responsibility. The enemy saw an opening as I let my guard down and with my heart of gold (as I have been told) I allowed the enemy to come crashing in. I have felt my peace and joy slip away as I inadvertently started slipping back, forgetting who I had become in Christ. No longer am I thrift store merchandise but I felt myself slowly becoming someone I never want to see again. I am more valuable than what I had begun to settle for. And as God’s daughter I do not have to settle for anything less than God’s best because my Father desires the best for me!
The enemy will take advantage of a good heart; therefore we must truly stay focused not looking left or right but straight on God. Thinking I was a strong Christian and Disciple of Christ; I have realized just how deceptive my heart can be. Proverbs 18:14 “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?” When we feel crushed from the circumstances that we endure especially when self-induced, satan comes creeping in with unhealthy thoughts, feelings and guilt with an overwhelming sense of depression and anxiety. But the pain and heartache doesn’t end with just us; it affects those around us. Our thoughts, actions and reactions affect others and everything we do flows from our heart and I will get more in-depth into this in part 2 of The Heart of the Matter.
On the way home from work on Friday of last week, with so many thoughts on my mind from changes at work to things in my life; tears streamed down my face as I cried out to God. I asked God, ” What is wrong with me that no one wants me?”. The answer didn’t come until the next day when it hit me again and my beautiful and brilliant daughter was with me. I told her what I had asked God as once again tears streamed down my face. Her response was this “Mama, God knows your heart to help other ladies who have been battered and abused. If you have someone in your life, you wouldn’t be free to just up and go…they may not understand!” After that God reminded me that He has great plans for me and that he’s still working on my helpmate-soulmate…that my future husband will have a heart like me to help others who are hurting.
I’m definitely far from perfect but I have repented and ask God to remove anyone and anything that I have allowed to become God in my life. And when you ask Him to do that; be prepared because it’s then that you find out the truth of things. True hearts are revealed through this regardless of how painful it is to swallow. But I know that God’s plans for me are far greater than anything I could ever dare dream or imagine. And I have discovered to make room for the best you have the clear the rest!
Ladies, when I come back in part 2, I will go more into detail. But today, I just wanted to reach out and let you know that even a seasoned Christian like myself fails God. So if you are out there thinking you have blown God’s plan for your life by committing the worse sin (in your eyes) and you think you can’t be forgiven; then think again. God has just reminded me that in our weakness we are made strong because its when we hit rock bottom that we finally stop and look up! God only wants our heart; our true heart and He will never crush it as the world has. We want our ideal world and He will give it to us; if we only dare to believe and trust Him. It’s in His perfect timing; not ours! Nothing is impossible with God on our side! Let go and let God!
My prayer today is that His will be done in our lives; I ask that you empty me of me Father God and fill me with you. I don’t like the old me as she was a walking corpse. But the woman of God that He has created me to be is full of life, light, love, hope, mercy, grace, forgiveness, compassion, and on fire for the kingdom of God.
Be Blessed for you are truly loved by God & by me!
Love Your Sister in Christ,