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The Heart of the Matter

January 11, 2012

     In my last blog I addressed our thoughts, where they come from and how they affect us.  Positive thoughts most always produce positive effects and negative thoughts bring us down, defeat us and even destroy our dreams and lives.  I hope you will begin a habit of renewing your mind.  Don’t stop with one blog on the subject.  We will never really progress in life away from our old man and toward our dreams if our thoughts maintain their old destructive and negative patterns.  The scripture is clear; our minds are transformed by the process of renewing.  Our thoughts are seeds.  Each one that is planted will produce a harvest; a harvest of love, caring and productiveness or a harvest of defeat.  It depends on the seed you plant.

     Today we are going to dig a little deeper.  We are going to the heart. It is from our heart that behaviors, attitudes, hopes, dreams and goals all are birthed. As your minds are transformed and we submit more fully to God’s truth our hearts are changed.  It is from our hearts that who we are, flows.  If you compare us to a computer, it works like this.  We input information into our minds, what shows up on your screen is your heart.  It can only show what has been inputted into it.  The good news is, that as Christians it is not only us who has possession of our hearts.  The Holy Spirit dwells within us living our lives better than we do on our own.  But when we invite Jesus to live inside us, he does not come in and take over.  He takes what we give him.  We see more of Him as there is less of us.  This starts with the thought process.  Whose thoughts rule our lives; ours or His?

     The word tells us that “from the issues of the heart the mouth speaks and that a good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.  Our storage is based on what we have fed our minds and hearts.

     We actually do feed our hearts.  It works just like our bodies.  If we feed our body’s garbage we become fat and unhealthy.  The mind and heart work that way also.  It is easy to just eat anything.  We can satisfy our hunger yet not give ourselves anything nutritional.  It takes planning, effort and self discipline to eat correctly and give our bodies what will benefit them, likewise, our minds and hearts.  It is so easy to just float through life and take every thought that comes our way.  It is easy to engage in worthless conversations and watch worthless TV and movies.  We can easily fill our time and days with worthless and ultimately damaging activities.  It takes some effort to give our minds and hearts those things that will store up good.

     So a major step in effecting what is stored in our hearts is to stop just going with the flow.  The flow takes no effort.  The flow fills our hearts and minds with whatever is convenient.  How can we dream dreams and set goals if the issues of our hearts are nothing of value.

     We can be very thankful that as Christians there is someone who lives within our hearts that fights against the flow.  Jesus sometimes allows us to float long for quite a while with nothing more than a quiet conviction about our activities.  Unfortunately our fleshly harmful desires don’t always listen to His still small voice.   I’m here to warm you, listen because you are heading for a waterfall.  That easy stream you are floating along in is a torrent ahead.

     I want each of us to succeed.  You may be saying, “What does all this have to do with reaching our dreams?”  We all dream dreams.  We set goals.  But how many times have you struggled to see that dream realized?  How many times have you set goals that never went anywhere?  What I am sharing with you is the core of the issue.  How we think and what is in our hearts will determine if you ever succeed.  That may seem like a strong statement.  I mean for it to be.  I truly believe that as long as a person allows defeating, harmful thoughts free access into their minds; and ungodly, un-redeeming activities to fill their lives; they lack the tools necessary to overcome and succeed.

     So, I have identified the problem.  That only helps if there is also a solution.  Good news, there is one.  We alone cannot “just stop” doing what is wrong for us.  It takes the Holy Spirit.  Many Christians are striving and striving to overcome, thinking that their action is the first step.  Don’t put the cart in front of the pony.  It is by the Spirit that we put to death the misdeeds of the body.  If we live by the Spirit we will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.  It is the Spirit who enables us; not we ourselves.

     So if you want to stop your floating you need to feed the Spirit.  God asks for us to ‘diligently’ seek Him.  How hard is diligently?  The definition of diligent tells us it is steady, earnest, energetic effort.  These are the efforts that we need to put toward reaching our dreams but before we put all that effort forth for our dreams we need to put it forth in our seeking of God.  This really is the first step because as you seek Him, He will place in your heart, the dreams that you were created for.

     You may already have a good idea of what your dreams are and what He wants you to pursue; but as you seek Him, He will reveal amazing new dreams that you never even thought about.  You are in store for an amazing journey.

     Today is the day to start.  Begin bringing those thoughts into captivity.  Replace negative and harmful thoughts with God’s Word.  Feed the Holy Spirit.  Ask Him what He is hungry for!  He loves the Word.  He devours praise.  He feasts upon prayer and He has an appetite for our devotion and meditation upon Him.  Now get ready, because those dreams are going to begin to well up within you, then you will be ready for the next step.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Noah permalink
    January 12, 2012 9:32 am

    I liked that illustration you used about putting the cart before the pony that shows the need for us to have the Holy Spirit more active in our lives. I know that I’ve tried to do a lot of things on my own not thinking to myself “I don’t need God’s help” but still acting like it. I’m thinking I need to listen to Him a little better 🙂

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