In a previous post I shared how the Lord used a heated text conversation to show me the true condition of my heart towards people.
God is so good! Just like we use natural teaching moments with our own children, God uses these moments in our lives, to show us a part of our character that isn’t in alignment with His heart.
Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
The next handful of Scriptures go on to say:
Avoid all perverse talk;stay away from corrupt speech.Look straight ahead,and fix your eyes on what lies before you.Mark out a straight path for your feet;stay on the safe path.Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.
There’s a progression that is outlined here. Symptoms, as it were, that indicate a heart that has been unguarded.
Listen to the words that you speak. Are they full of love and truth? Or do they judge, condemn, and find fault? Sometimes this one can be unrecognizable to us if we’re not intentionally looking for it. What can sound like a statement based on the reality of negative circumstances, could in fact, be the onset of a heart that is getting hardened or bitter by life’s unattractive seasons or people.
Do your eyes wander from truth? When our hearts are unguarded, we begin to see, no longer with eyes of faith, but with our natural understanding and reasoning. Our eyes begin to stray from what we know to be true – God’s promises, His character and His nature, to what we see – impossible situations, hopeless feelings or challenging people. A guarded heart keeps focused on truth over facts.
The last part of this progression is that we take a detour. Instead of going in the direction we were originally heading, our words and eyes direct our steps and we wind up walking away from the plans and purposes of God.
As I stood in my office, my phone continuing to chime with each new text that bombarded my messages, I was overcome with the distance I had travelled due to my own hardened heart. I got down on my knees, tears streaming down my cheeks, and asked the Lord to forgive me for allowing my heart to grow so hard.
There was a journey that followed. (Read more about that here.) One of intentionally watching my words, eyes and steps, and bringing them back into alignment with the truth of Jesus Christ. But God is faithful. His love empowered me every step of the way, and continues to keep me in a place of a heart that is soft in His hands.
I love this quote by Bill Johnson:
“I can’t afford to have a thought in my mind about me,that God doesn’t have in His mind about me.”
In life, it truly all comes back to knowing how deeply, passionately and extravagantly you are loved.