Monday, September 1, 2008

The Facts vs. The Reality

Every relationship in your life past, present, and future is directly related to the state of your heart. That means who you love and who you hate, who you are repulsed by and who you are drawn to, who you befriend and who you choose to call enemy is all wrapped up with the internal, invisible, mysterious part of you. There is no exception to this rule. We call this “core” of ourselves, our heart.

The state of your heart is the very essence of who you are as an individual. That means the reason people love you or hate you, seek you out or avoid you, trust or mistrust you is totally reliant on the person you project to the world. While other people’s hearts and the image they project to the world are also viable factors in any relationship, if you are almost always the one who is wronged, abandoned, angered, unloved, avoided, fired, accused, or left out then that is a pretty big personal message about you and the condition of your heart. Life is not about lousy coincidences or bad luck. There is no such thing.

I’m just an old chunk of coal,
But I’m going to be a diamond some day.
Billy Joe Shaver

Who you are as an individual is matchless, one of a kind. That means you’re priceless. Irreplaceable. It means that all the qualities that you have inside you from your ability to remember the exact words to every top forties song that’s ever been sung to your inability to understand even the rudimentary concepts of basic algebra are all part of the precious person that you are. It’s all necessary.

The unique person that you are is a precise design carefully and specifically created by God. That means that the way you are is the way God wants you to be. More than that, God planned for your existence and the very person you were born to be with all the precision that a rocket scientist puts into his or her life’s work. Not only are all your talents and foibles accurate, they were desired and planned for to make you the person God needed you to be today.

God does not make mistakes. That means that the very person that you are as you sit and read this is exactly the person God needs you to be. The person that gets pure enjoyment from spending hours upon hours being lost in the magic of painting a picture. The person who is poetry in motion cooking up a spur of the moment meal using just the leftovers in the family fridge. The person who can listen to a car engine and know exactly what is making that funny rattle. The person that needs to only hear a person’s name once and never forgets it. In addition, your weaknesses are the very areas in which God intends to show His greatest strengths. Your talents are the very tools in which God intends to show you your greatest joy. Your passions and loves are the directions in which God intends to lead you on this journey called life. You’ve got everything you need to succeed.

The heart has reasons that reason cannot know.
Blaise Pascal

So why are people so unhappy? While we spend precious parts of our life dreaming of what we wish we could be, we miss out on the greatness of what we are already. Why do so many people feel lost? It’s all about the state of our hearts. Our hearts lack faith, self-confidence, belief, trust, strength, commitment … We might talk the talk but we don’t always walk the walk. “I believe, it’s just …” “I know we’re supposed to have faith, but …” “I’m never good at …” “I have trouble sticking to …” More often than not we are more steadfast in our excuses as to why we can’t then why we can.

Our heart, when spoken of in the Bible, is the special thing that makes us unique and precious from all of God’s other creations. It is from “deep in your heart” where “true knowledge exists” (Joshua 23:14). According to Job, instinct comes from the mind but intuition comes from the heart (Job 38:36). The animal world is loaded with instinctual behaviors while we human beings are pretty helpless right from the start. But this ability to be intuitive – knowing or sensing or understanding something without being able to rationally explain it all - ratchets us right up there to the top of the earthly living population. Only we have the ability to function according to our own free will. In giving us the ability to choose how we live, God gave only us the ability to please or disappoint Him.

Only us.

Biblical author Amos said, “For the Lord is the one who shaped the mountains, stirs up the winds, and reveals his thoughts to mankind.” (Amos 4:13b). We’re the only creatures God talks to and reveals His thoughts to. Whispers His desires and plans. Gives His instructions and commands. He does this through the inside being that we are – our heart.

Only us.

It’s your inside person that God looks at and values. He could care less about your job title, your bank account balance, or the number of wrinkles you have on your face. The Bible talks about this inside and outside concept a lot. Samuel as he searched for Israel’s new king was told specifically not to judge by appearance alone.

People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
I Samuel 16:7b

Isaiah states clearly that Christ will “not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay.” (Isaiah 11:3) The truth of whom you are inside is all that He cares about and it’s where all of the most important things that He has given you come from. Not only does God delight in your uniqueness, He specifically desires for you to be one of a kind. He doesn’t want you to be like anyone else because He already thinks you’re exactly the way He wants you.
This life we live is one gigantic testing ground where we fumble and grope to succeed. And whether we are born rich, handicapped, talented, intelligent, or disadvantaged I firmly believe that the course of a lifetime pretty much levels the playing field for all of us. For you see, the measure of a person’s true success is not determined by the world’s standards but by God’s. The promise of salvation through Christ is the great equalizer. Our success is not dependant on anything but the choice we make or don’t make to have Him at the center of … you guessed it … our heart.

Once we choose the correct spiritual path, the different tools we have in our spiritual toolbox helps us refine the person God needs us to be. Are we using our God-given talents for Him? Are we utilizing those things that we enjoy doing towards godly pursuits? Does the primary way that I spend my time have a God-related tone to it? Am I making God smile?

My worth to God in public is what I am in private.
Oswald Chambers

Sigh. The human race hasn’t done a very good job in the listening and pleasing department. Right off the bat when the evilness of mankind got so bad “that every inclination of the thoughts of mankind’s heart was only evil all the time” (Genesis 6:5) God regretted ever making mankind saying specifically, “it broke His heart”. (Genesis 6:6)

On the flip side, “heart’s desires” (Job 17:11) are the most precious things we could imagine having or achieving. Only those whose hearts are “true and right” are the ones whom God shields and protects (Psalm 7:10). Finally, a person “after God’s own heart” (I Samuel 13:14) is the epitome of mankind’s God directed goals.

Obviously, from the biblical perspective the heart is the definitive way to measure a person’s credibility and worthiness. So, I’ll ask you: How’re your insides? Or, more specifically, are you a person “after God’s own heart”?

This is an excerpt from Sue's book: Biblical Women And Who They Hooked Up With available at her store:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Susan, thanks for this post. Very inspirational. I'm so thankful for such a wonderful God. The part where you say "God does not make mistakes." is so very reassuring.

Rest in that, we come from a God who does NOT make mistakes, how awesome is that?

Thanks again, have a great day, Susan.