Clean Your Heart
“My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them and health to all their body. Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth and put devious speech far from you. Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil.” – Proverbs 4:20-27, NASB
I hope you all were able to celebrate and remember Dr. King’s birthday in a meaningful way yesterday. His life’s work and the sacrifice he made (and countless others) changed the world. The work is not yet done… Now, on to our devotion:
Resolution #2: Clean Your Heart
In our New Year: New You series we’re tackling three resolutions that will help us throughout this year. Think of these three as resolution-boosters that will help us with the list of other resolutions we’ve made. This week we’re focused on resolution number #2: Clean Your Heart.
People use the first of the year as a time to curb their sweet tooth and restart their appetites. For the last 11 days my church has embarked on a 21-Day fast. It’s a fast of no meat and no sweets. Around this time, we hear of other fasts, cleanses, and detoxes. I must admit, I’m a fan of cleanses and detoxes. I think they help jump start healthier eating and wipe the slate clean of the not so good eating habits we may have engaged in the months before. I’d like to think of our actions in resolution #2 as a detox for our hearts.
Just like your body, your heart may not operating at optimal capacity. I’m not speaking of your literal heart, the organ that circulates your blood thus keeping your physical body alive. I’m talking about the life source of your spirit. Much like your physical body, the things we consume greatly affect our spirit. Solomon says in our foundational scripture to watch over your heart because the springs of life flow from it. What you say, what you see, and where you go all have an influence on the condition of your spiritual heart.
What you believe determines what you say and your behavior. Every decision we make starts in the recesses of our heart. If my heart is not aligned with God that manifests through my speech. Have you paid attention to what you or others say? Many of the words I (and others) casually speak do not line up with God’s word. Things like, “I’m overwhelmed!” “I don’t think I can take another day of…” “I can’t win for losing.” Sadly, these things we say determine that we will get more of the same. What do you say specifically about your situation? Does it sound similar to the examples I just gave? Or are your words aligned with God’s?
Likewise, what you see, the mental pictures that loop in your head, also plays a role in the condition of your heart. Do you see yourself living the life God has promised you? When you look in the mirror do you see the wonderfully, fearfully made creation, or do you see every flaw and reason why you have already failed? There are two mirrors in my bedroom. One makes me look skinnier than the other. When I’m having one of those days I’m feeling down on myself, I tend to look in the “good” mirror for a pick me up. Do you have a “good” view of your life? Or do you tend to look in the “bad” mirror for a reflection of your life? Does the mirror you look into cause you to compare your life to others and you come away lacking? God offers us a mirror in which we always look our best. We always come out on top, regardless of what we’re wearing or what circumstances we’re facing.
You’ve heard the saying, “Birds of a feather, flock together.” There is definite truth in this old adage. I think whoever created it wanted to find a way to tell us that who we surround ourselves with and the places we go matter. If birds of a feather do truly flock together, are you comfortable with your flock and what this flock says about you? Are the places you go reflective of what you want your life to represent? If not, then it might be time to find so new places to frequent and new people to befriend.
If you see the need for a detox, then that’s a sign that there is opportunity for change. Attempting to detox what you say, what you see, and where you go may seem overwhelming. But just as you cannot sustain a Master Cleanse for long periods of time, you cannot sustain a total heart detox without trusting God. Trust Him to replenish what He’s taken away. Ask Him to show you His ways not only removing what He says, but you fill up that space with something sweeter and more nourishing. Trust Him to know what you need, because He knows you. He formed you and that indicates a level of intimacy that surpasses your parent’s or your partner’s.
A quote from Freeda Bowers tells us why a heart detox matters. She says, “Guarding your heart with all diligence causes the outflow of life to be pure and puts you in position to receive healing and everything else God has for you.” I want healing and everything else God has for me. Do you?
The scriptures below tell us who God is and what He promises. Use them to get in agreement with Him.
Think about what you’ve been saying? Write down some of the phrases or words you use regularly that do not line up with God’s word.
What have you been putting in front of your eyes?
Where have you been going? Physically or in your mind?
Up next week, resolution #3: Keep Saying What Goes Says.
Tamara & the Great Is Team