A Heart on Lockdown

29 07 2014

I’ve discovered that my home reflects the condition of my heart. When my home is tidy and well organized, so is my heart.

When it’s a disheveled mess, well…you get the idea. I was going to post a picture of my work space, but it’s too embarrassing.

Every adult in the house has taken major hits over the last few months. In one way or another, each has locked down his or her heart.

It’s safer that way.

Waves  continue to buffet our vessel. While the Lord is in the boat with us, in His wisdom He has chosen to let the storm rage on – although He could silence it with a word.

There must be something we need to learn from this experience. We’ll be debriefed later, no doubt.

Over the sound of the rushing wind, and between crashing waves, I hear Jesus call out:

“Let down your nets for a catch.”

He isn’t crazy, you know, but infinitely wise.

However, we’d already ‘let down our nets,’ each one in his or her own way…

…and were let down in the process.

This was hard enough to take when the seas were calm…

But this feels like a Category Five storm.

“Now? You want us to fish now?”

Each one clutches his net a little tighter to his chest. The idea of being let down once again, and in the midst of this tempest is to risk more than we care to lose.

While cleaning my computer’s desktop this morning. I found the following quote. Seeing it today was a divine appointment, and a warning from my loving Father.

The Risk of Love (C. S, Lewis)

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.

If you want to be sure of keeping your heart intact you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully around with hobbies and little luxuries, avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safely in the casket of your selfishness.

And in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will not change, it will not be broken. It will become unbreakable, impenetrable, and irredeemable. The only place outside of heaven where you can be perfectly safe from the dangers of love –

-is hell.

Hell. Hmm, now isn’t that interesting?

What I’ve been describing is, for us, a living  hell. 

Whole days pass with little to show for them…a completed jigsaw puzzle, a bit of needlework. New levels attained on stupid iPhone games (Crowd gasps: “Oooh!”) Mostly, I wander aimlessly through the house.

It feels very much like being buried alive.

Are you sure that the Exodus took place on land? It feels like another lap around the lake. I’ve seen this terrain before, in this same boat! Only the faces are different. 😉

I don’t want to do this to myself anymore. The journey back out of this self-imposed grave is painful and laborious. I don’t have to lock away my heart again.

It’s risky; I’ll have to feel the pain instead of being numb. Can I trust the Lord? I did in the past, and He let me down – or so it seems.

(Or perhaps I didn’t see the whole picture?)

But He calls to me. I dare not decline. His plan for me is for good – not evil.

He does not have a dark side.

(I’ve stated this in many of my posts over the last few months – mostly to remind myself that He is pure Light, not a type of “Jekyll and Hyde.”)

A glance down memory lane shows countless times where He has been faithful.

He has  been good; I must trust that He will  be good to me.

Hmm. Looks like it’s time to go fishing.

Ever so slowly, I’m unlocking the door to my heart. It will probably get kicked around like a soccer ball. At least I’ll be feeling something.

I’m saying “NO” to a locked-down heart!





God Don’t Give Junk

19 09 2013

We are often told: “The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9), to show us how hopelessly awful we are.

Is this truth?

Didn’t God also say, “I will remove their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh?” (Ezekiel 11:19 & 36:26)

If He did, then did He give us a faulty heart?

Really?

Does God give junk?

I don’t think so.

Didn’t James write that “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights?” (James 1:17)

Then if He gave me a new heart, it is good and not desperately wicked…

…isn’t it?

As I looked through the gospels, it seems like Jesus was speaking to unregenerate people when He talked about the deceptive heart.

For instance, Matthew 12:34 is often coupled with Jeremiah’s verse (stated above). It says, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” By which the preacher usually means, “All that rotten stuff that you’re saying…yeah, it comes from your rotten heart.”

Context, please! Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees. Just prior to this verse, He called them a “brood of vipers.”

We’ve gotten good at lifting a verse out of its context and then using it to make our point. We must learn to use the “20/20 Rule” – read the 20 verses before, and the 20 verses after any single verse and then we will know what it pertains to.

What difference does this make? It affects how I think.

If I believe that my heart is desperately wicked, then when I sin I’ll think, “Duh! I have an evil heart. What else can I expect?” When tempted, I’ll be more likely to go with it because I believe it’s still part of my makeup.

On the other hand, if I believe that God gave me a new [good and perfect] heart, then when I sin, I’ll be shocked: “What’s that doing there? This is not my heart!” When tempted, I’m going to be less inclined to do the thing because I know it’s not in line with the new heart God gave to me.

This is why the Scripture in Romans is so important:

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed…

[How?]

…by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)

My head hasn’t caught up with my heart yet. I still believe and live by lies that are contrary to my life in Christ. 

I’m not ready to make a definite stand on this point. I’m still studying and asking the Lord about it; but I must say that I’m very nearly convinced.

What convinces me most is the way I approach sin now. I don’t expect to sin because I’ve been given a new heart by my Father. Whenever I do find it (which is often, by the way), I can take a look at what I’ve done or said, and ask what lie I believed that led me to commit that sin.

Incidentally, I find myself more aware of the things I do that displease God, not less. The things that He brings to light are attitudes in my mind and lies that need to be exchanged for truth – far more often than my actions.

Actions are an outward manifestation of an inward belief.

Thanks for letting me “throw this at you today.” I’d love to hear your thoughts on this matter. Like I said, I’m not ready to set this in stone.

One thing I do know is this:

God don’t give junk!

Many thanks to John Eldredge for pointing this out in his book, Waking the Dead. If you haven’t read it, you should. It will do your heart good!





What On Earth Is A Snoodle?

3 07 2013

If you’ve never seen “A Snoodle’s Tale,” you’re missing a great treat. Instead of writing today, I chose to share this with you.

(It’s a must-see for those who struggle with inferiority – and have been picked on by others.)

The video is only 13 1/2 minutes long. Go ahead…do something nice for your heart; you’ll be glad you did!

Afterward, you’ll want to do this something nice for someone else’s heart!

Jesus said that we must become like little children if we are to see the Kingdom of God. Here’s an opportunity for you to practice! 🙂