Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11

Seeds of the Kingdom

The Heart (2) Our Hearts of Self Protection

by Anne Lawrence

Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.
Psalm 86:11, NIV

In yesterday`s seed on the heart we established that God’s heart towards us is love and He woos us to love Him too. His heart is FOR us and He seeks that same devotion from us.

However, if we look at our hearts, we’ll see that we aren’t 100% for the Lord, as much as we want to be, and think we are. Our hearts often have walls in them; hidden compartments and places.

What’s in these hidden compartments and places? There may be sin, fear, rejected parts of ourselves, insecurity, abandonment, pain, false beliefs about ourselves or others, or inadequacies. As a result of these things, we may have felt we needed to look after ourselves, or perhaps we couldn’t bear some aspect of ourselves and we’ve pushed it away, or we don’t want God to see that aspect, because it’s messy. We may have built up walls to hide these parts of ourselves. The Lord knows this and He desperately wants to help us with those bits of our hearts.

That’s why we have scriptures like Proverbs 3:5-6; ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight.’

It says ‘Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart’. The Lord’s saying “trust me with every part of your heart – not only the bits that are healed or the bits that are cleaned up or the bits that you can expose, but all of your heart”.

Many of us struggle with trust. We’re able to trust in certain circumstances, or we may be able to trust certain people, but we may not be good at trusting other people, or able to trust in other contexts. This might be because people have let us down in the past, or because, at some point, we made the decision that we needed to look after ourselves, because we didn’t feel safe growing up, or maybe we were made to take on false responsibility. But those reasons mean that we don’t trust the Lord with all of our heart.

You see, the next part says – ‘lean not on your own understanding’. This addresses self-protection. Our own way of fixing it, of protecting ourselves, is being challenged by the Lord. He says, “trust me – lean on my understanding. Let me protect you and lead you and guide you”.

These walls are what make up our ways. They are the things we hide and not just our specific sins. Maybe because of this, the Psalmist said ‘Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name’. In Psalm 86:11 (ASV or NIV) we read ‘Give me an undivided heart’.

This is a recognition that our hearts can be divided; that we can have these walls. The Psalmist is saying, “Lord, please bring all these parts of my heart together, so I can be fully toward You, and not only parts of me”. That prayer may well lead us on a journey, as the Lord reveals to us those parts of our hearts which have been hidden. But it’s a journey to greater wholeness and fullness of life, and greater intimacy with Him. So let’s come before the Lord and acknowledge any walls we have.

Prayer: Father, thank You for Your heart which is for me. I really want to have an undivided heart. Lord, please show me if there are any walls in my heart and what’s behind them. Lead me to the place where I can surrender those things to You and trust You to protect me, lead me and guide me. I truly want to honour You with all that I am. In your name Jesus, Amen.

Anne Lawrence joined the team at Ellel Grange in 2010 and is the Deputy Centre Director. She is married to Paul, Centre Director. Anne previously worked in education. Her last post was CEO of a College in Dublin. She has written courses, syllabi and a book for the English for Work series published by Longman. She has a heart for the broken and a passion to see people set free and released into more of what the Lord has for them. She loves to teach, listen, worship and create things.


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