We are developing a new website. Most of the details are still hush-hush... but one thing I can share is my heart in the matter. The drive to understand true discipleship and where transformation begins. For, in order to speak the Word and see deep change, these two matters must first be grasped.
Then a spark happens and I find myself scribbling these words across the middle of one whole journal page :
It’s a heart matter
It's like a key that unlocks the door to understanding. It is step one in discipleship. Change doesn't truly take place in the mind; it must take place in the heart if it is to have true and deep impact.
It isn't just warming a seat on Sunday and speeding down the road on Monday. It isn't about responding in expectation or going through the motions. No. It is completely and utterly about our heart and living, first, by allowing the Holy Spirit to move from there through us.
Faith is not an act or a motion. It is not something you can do. I take that back, there is something you can do: submit. This is often the hardest part of finding our way to the heart. Setting our selves aside. I'm not talking simply about servant (though that is part of the process). More-so I am speaking of stepping aside from what we want to do and who we want to be.
Our ambitions and desires often get in the way of Him. When a path HE desires does not lead to the destination we desire, we often fight and say 'no'. Things as simple as the movies we watch, the music we enjoy... to things more complex like the career we desire or the town we will live in.
I have seen in counseling families who struggle and can't understand the lack of transforming change, that submission to allow the Holy Spirit free roam from the heart side out is one of their biggest obstacles. I know, because I was there once.
When I first began attending church again, I sat in the pew on Sunday. I helped to run the projector, collect the offering, and hand out bulletins. But Monday-Saturday were mine. Through small group involvement and serious Bible study (not just the simple "Daily Bread" devotionals we picked up at the church) God began to convict me of His principles. Until I chose to apply them, liberally, in my life I would not feel any different. I wouldn't look any different either.
That was unacceptable.
To give an example: It was through submission that my flesh fought my Spirit calling me to stay in a tumultuous marriage. And as a result of not submitting to my self's desire to take the kids and leave, God broke me, pieced me back together, and really grew me. It was hard but through submission that I came to have not only a husband who worships now... but a husband whose heart heard the same call mine did to enter missions.
It didn't happen quickly though. It took 10 years of prayer and devotion, of daily (sometimes hourly) submission and purposeful living before God rewarded my faith.
This is just a piece of a bigger story though. A small example and a message to anyone who is reading today who might be struggling. I encourage you to ask yourself:
- Am I struggling against flesh or am I struggling against God?
- Is God providing a way I am not ready or willing to take?
- Am I trying to control that which only God can manage?
- Am I letting the Holy Spirit live through my heart first and foremost?
These are my evaluation tools every time I begin to sense I have gotten on the wrong track. Whenever I feel ME may be coming before HE, I assess my heart. Wherever I am first, He is not. And that is unacceptable.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,
- Ephesians 1:18-20
May you know today, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead resides within your heart ready to live before you so that you may be enlightened in His great Peace.
Be richly blessed,
A song that warms my hope today:
Linking up today with Mom's Mustard Seeds, Women Living Well, Seeds of Faith, Internet Cafe and A Holy Experience.