“Engage brain before opening mouth”, I heard, many times when growing up. What did that mean? Words spoken around me were not encouraging or uplifting, so I came to the conclusion that when my mother made this statement to family members “engage brain before opening mouth” meant there was a better way to say things.
At a young age I wanted to learn if there was another way of living which would promote encouraging words instead of discouraging ones. On my journey of growing up I ended up in an environment where head knowledge and performance seemed to be prized more than anything else. You had to understand and explain what you knew, so others would understand. There also seemed to be a competition for the best brain, which was certainly not mine. All this shaped my thinking and understanding, which sometimes was different from what God intended.
We were meant to live out of our hearts with God, and not just the understanding of our minds. Our hearts may have had many assaults from events in our lives, and many lies which have been written on them, things which are not God’s truths. We may have erected protective walls to protect ourselves, and our emotions may have become frozen within.
But our heart is where our spirit is, not in our heads. When we live out of our hearts we are connected to our true identity. We can connect to our Father and relate to Him spirit to spirit. (heart to heart).
How gracious is our Father! He knows all this and sent Jesus to rescue us. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, and meant to function in His care and protection. We are to be in relationship with Him, and it is a two-way partnership. We cry out to Him and He responds. As He responds to us, He longs for us to respond in trust to Him.
Recently I made the mistake of leaning on my own understanding, which led me to step into a situation my heart had no peace about. This not only caused grief for me and my husband, but also to Jesus, I ignored the peace that was trying to guard my heart that day. Philippians 4:7 says ‘and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’
Trusting in the Lord with all our heart requires us to experience His love in all the areas of our heart. It is knowing that He really does love and care about us, even when the evidence around us seems to say otherwise. It is allowing Him to touch any wounded places within us, and receiving the healing balm of His love. I received His grace in the days following the wrong decision I made. His grace is never ending.
Our walk with the Lord is a matter of growing of trust, as we learn how He sees us, and what He desires for us. Then we can connect to our true self; who we really are, and live out of our true identity as the son or daughter of the King, trusting in Him, rather than the understanding of our rational mind.
Prayer: Thank You, Father, that You’re so compassionate and gracious to us. Help us to trust You in the timing of growing us up in You. Encourage us with positive experiences of Your restoration work in us, so we can grow in patience and strength, as You change us from the inside out. Help us to grow in trust of Your care for us, and not lean to our own understanding. Show us how to live as Your sons and daughters, by receiving all that Jesus died for, so He could bring us back to You. For Jesus’ name sake, Amen.
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