In my last blog I shared how I’d been caused to realize a habit that I’d long had. I didn’t know it but it was actually destructive. It worked against the very thing I wanted most. If it weren’t for my daughter earnestly working to have me realize it, I would still be operating in the same way, while wondering why I wasn’t experiencing the desires of my heart.
It can happen to any of us.
Jeremiah 17:9-10 reads, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperate wicked; Who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.”
Unless we are willing to cooperate with the Lord, allowing Him to reveal what He sees in our hearts, we will continue through life, ignorant of our own failings. If you, or I, continue to receive things in life that are less than desirable, we should consider that we may be receiving “according to our ways, according to the fruit of our doings.”
Proverbs 23:7 is another Scripture that should encourage us to seek the Lord’s gentle heart revelation, “For as he [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he.” Or a more contemporary way of saying it is, “What we entertain, we attain.”
As I shared previously, I had developed a habit that originated as a way to preserve me from a measure of pain. But over time it morphed and actually caused me and others more pain. It was time for this to come to a halt and as difficult as it was to be made to realize it, I’m grateful.
We can go to God the Father who is gentle and kind and never condemning. He wants to help us purify our hearts and minds so that we can be in position to receive all the many good and perfect blessings He longs to lavish upon us—because it is His nature to do give lavishly. He wants to help us purify our hearts so that we can be His loving point of connection to bring others to Him.
I suspect that God had tried more than once to get me to see my own destructive behavior, but I didn’t “hear” it, perhaps because I considered it “justified” by the pain. But because I didn’t heed His gentle prodding, He had to take it more public. When we don’t respond to God in private He will bring it out in public—not to humiliate us but to cause us to deal with it once and for all.
So my Transformed Living Challenge* for you is to find a time when you will not be interrupted. Turn your cell phone to silence and intentionally seek the Lord, asking Him to reveal any wicked way in you. Then listen, without any defensiveness (which is rooted in pride, so I’ve learned). Don’t be intimidated by the enemy to skip this challenge. First, God will never reveal more than you an bear, neither will He reveal anything before the right time for you to deal with it. Whatever He brings to mind is what He wants you to deal with here and now so that you are no longer hindered from your personal progress. Then, respond with a sincere heart of repentance. You may shed some tears, but as my dear spiritual mentor says, tears are nothing less than liquid prayers.
When we genuinely repent, we have God’s promise “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” That is to say, He will give you and me a heart that is newly sensitive and responsive to our God. Amen!
*Transformed Living is the name of Pamela’s complimentary bi-monthy ENewsletter. With each edition she shares from personal experiece, offers Scripture then challenges her readers to go deeper with the Word of God applied to their personal lives. New subscribers receive the option of a special gift as a thank you. Subscribe using the box on the upper right of any page.