Archive Monthly Archives: June 2015

The God of Our Heart

Jeremiah the prophet wrote: The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? -Jeremiah 17:9

So true. For within the heart swirls diverse emotions, doubt and fear. And it is beyond cure. In other words, we can’t cure it on our own. There will always be a conflict between the true self and the false self and who knows which one is given control to.

Thus, we give our heart to the one who can cure it. We give it to the Lord Jesus Christ.

But we can’t give our heart if we believe there’s nothing to cure. We have to give our heart in brokenness.

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. -Psalm 51:17

How is this possible?

For one thing we ask for His compassion to fill our heart. One beautiful worship song has these lyrics: “Break my heart for what breaks yours” (Brooke Fraser, Hillsong United).

So we need to know the heart of Jesus and the love that beats therein.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ… -Ephesians 3:17-18

This takes a constant surrender of ourselves to the Lord; a surrender of our weaknesses, our hurts, our discouragements, our struggles, our desires. We surrender the love of ourselves so that we may be filled with the love for God and for others.

The cure for our deceptive heart comes when we make Christ Jesus the God of our heart.

Meditation

Some say that meditation involves the quieting of the mind. On the contrary, I believe that meditation is a quieting of the heart.

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. -Psalm 19:14

It is difficult to quiet the mind. This is why some meditation practitioners advice that, as one meditates, he should not dwell on any thought that passes through the mind, but let it pass through without judgment. Yet, is it not an activity of the mind just to try to quiet the mind?

But it is not difficult to quiet the heart. In fact, it is through a quiet heart that God can speak. It only requires an environment of silence.

It is in silence that we can know –deep within– the love of God. God’s love does not enter through our minds. It enters through our hearts.
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. -Romans 5:5

It is in silence where we can listen to our breathing and realize how precious the breath of life is.
The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. -Job 33:4

It is in silence where we can give the purest of worship, for God sees the heart more than he listens to our words.
…And this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD… -Psalm 19:14
There will be silence before You, and praise in Zion, O God… -Psalm 65:1 (NASB)
Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord… -Ephesians 5:19

Silence prepares our hearts to listen to God’s voice.
“Be still, and know that I am God…” -Psalm 46:10
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him… -Psalm 37:7

The world is too noisy. It’s intent is to confuse, bewilder and weaken us.

The quieting of our hearts before God invites inner strength.
May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ. -2 Thessalonians 3:5 (NLT)

Gauging Our Hearts in Ministry

When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” -1 Samuel 17:28

The conversation above took place when David had gone to the battle lines as per instruction of his father, Jesse, to see how his brothers were. Goliath at that time was taunting the army of Israel and they were terrified.

Eliab noticed David asking questions about Goliath. As the passage above says, Eliab became angry with David and hurled accusations against him. Taking a closer look at these accusations, we can turn them onto ourselves, not to condemn ourselves, but to gauge the way we conduct our ministry.

1. Why have you come down here? Eliab questioned David’s motive. We can ask ourselves, why are we in ministry?

Are we in ministry to serve the Lord and others? We must check our motives. To have a wrong motive in ministry is to be pointless and unsuccessful. We are in ministry to fulfill the purposes that God has for us. It is not for our purpose. It is for God’s.

2. With whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? Eliab questioned David’s responsibilities.

Are we responsible enough in our ministries? Are we reliable? To be in ministry will entail being responsible, because ministry is part of church structure. If we become irresponsible, we can be a hindrance to the overall work of the church.

3. I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle. Eliab questioned David’s integrity.

More than our motives and responsibilities, we must always guard our hearts. Do we have purity of heart in serving God and others? In other words, are we walking blameless before God and not hiding sin? If we are not walking in integrity, we will be only hurting others and eventually ourselves.

It is sad that David’s own brother, Eliab, made baseless accusations against him. In reading the passage further, we will observe that David chose to ignore Eliab, but only because Eliab was wrong to make these accusations.

Yet, we must not ignore the opportunities to question our hearts, for to do so is to come before God and allow him to correct us, if need be, that we may become effective ministers for Him.