During a recent team training event, I was part of a group discussion about the heart. It really got me thinking about my heart in a way I haven’t done in a long time. One of the group members told us how he recently had to fix something, and went to his tool shed looking for a specific tool he needed for the task, but, because there was so much clutter in this tool shed, it took him longer to find the tool he needed than it took for him to finish the task he needed it for. He likened it to our hearts that can be so cluttered with a variety of things that we can’t connect with God or receive from Him what we really need in the situations we face in our lives.
Jesus tells us, in Luke 21:34, that we need to be on our guard and watch ourselves, because the worries, cares and busyness of this life can begin to overburden us and weigh us down. To put it simply, our hearts and lives can become so cluttered with the things of this world, that we lose sight of the things that have eternal value. What is uppermost in our hearts will consume our thinking, our emotions and ultimately what we work at and give our attention to.
Proverbs 4:23 (Amplified) says, ‘Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life’. The dictionary defines a spring as ‘an ultimate source especially of action or motion’. In other words, what’s in our hearts will ultimately determine how we live and act. The NIV version of this scripture says, ‘Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it’.
It seems to be vital, then, that we give attention to what we allow to occupy our hearts, because what habitually occupies our hearts will end up capturing our hearts, becoming that which is pre-eminent. Our prayer should be like that of David in Psalm 139:23: ‘Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting’. Like David, we should ask the Lord to point out the things that are cluttering out our connection with our heavenly Father – the true Source of our life.
What should I do when my heart starts to get weighed down by the cares, distractions and the busyness of life? Lamentations 2:19 gives good advice: ‘Pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord’ (Lamentations 2:19). Bring all the clutter to God. Empty it out in His presence and allow Him to restore back godly order on the inside. Get God’s perspective on the issues that occupy your thinking and your attention and ask the Lord to fill you with His peace. ‘And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:7).
I’m challenged to watch my heart, to guard more closely what I allow it to dwell on, and to ask the Holy Spirit to show me that which clutters out His pre-eminence within my heart.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, please forgive me for becoming so entangled in the clutter of life at times, that I lose sight of You. Today I choose again to allow You to be the Source of all I need and the One who directs my steps and brings godly order to the issues in my heart, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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