"GUARD your HEART above all else that you guard, for out of IT flows 'issues' that will determine the course of your life!" (Proverbs 4:23)
STOP 'Smiling & Lying' about the ISSUES in your heart! I know, a blunt & bold statement right? With all due respect, I meant for it to be! The above verse has to be ONE of the MOST compelling/gripping verses of scripture that reaches out and gets my attention on a REGULAR basis. Why? Well for one, I cried out to God, years ago, in one of my 'intimate' times with Him these words, "Father, PLEASE keep your finger on the ISSUES in my heart and HELP me free/rid myself of any heart issues that will HINDER my relationship with You AND others." To this day, God has kept His end of the deal and so have I. With His HELP, I am 'constantly' checking and guarding my heart against those things that has the potential to hinder my relationship with Him and others. I must be HONEST though, there have been times that I have NOT been successful with this because I allowed such things as offense, bitterness, resentment, regret and even unforgiveness to remain in my heart LONGER than they should have. I thank God for His mercy and grace and how He gently reminds me of our DEAL concerning this! His reminder sounds something like this, "With WHAT I'm doing in your LIFE, there is NO ROOM for these things in your heart.
Take NOTE that I have only made mention of the ISSUES in MY heart. One thing I have learned over the years is that I'm NOT responsible for nor can I CHANGE the 'issues' in someone else's heart. I have been charged, by God, to PRAY for others and love them unconditionally, not try and change them. That's God's job, not mine, Boy did it take me YEARS to learn that! Even TODAY, God has to remind me of that very thing. I charge it to the 'fixer' in me. LISTEN, this is not possible within our OWN ability or strength. It takes the strength and POWER of God to walk this way, taking 'one day at a time' with His help.
True story, I remember very clearly going to God one day feeling confused, upset and angry about an individual that I 'perceived' to have a problem with me. I went to God complaining about not having done anything to this person to receive the treatment I was receiving from that individual. I even reminded God of how HARD I was trying with this person to no avail and again how I had done absolutely nothing to this person to warrant the treatment I was receiving. God spoke these POWERFUL words to me that shifted my entire focus and way of thinking concerning this situation. He said to me, "You are NOT responsible for what is in the hearts of others concerning YOU, you are ONLY responsible for what's in your heart concerning THEM." WOW! I immediately knew what God was saying to me. What He was saying to me was to make sure that my heart remained PURE towards that person REGARDLESS to what was in their heart towards me. To this day, I focus MORE on what's in my heart concerning others versus what's in their hearts concerning me.
Back to the 'blunt & bold' statement I made earlier, "STOP 'Smiling and Lying about the ISSUES in your HEART!" In both the Old and New Testament, the word HEART is used to refer to the 'inner man,' the soul which is the mind, will & emotions of man.
~ The Hebrew Word for heart is "Lebab' - it means the seat of desire, inclination, will & emotions
~ The Greek Word for heart is "Kardia" - it's where we get the English word 'Cardiac'; it means the innermost center of the human being, the center of man's CHARACTER, the HIDDEN MAN
"What God is AFTER is TRUTH in the inner being, the hidden man!" (Psalm 51:6) God wants us to STOP ignoring the 'issues' in our hearts that is hindering our relationship with Him and others. He wants us to STOP acting as if these issues are not there. He wants us to 1st be HONEST with ourselves about theses things. Then He wants us to look to Him for strength, directives and even strategies on HOW to rid our hearts of these issues. These directives and strategies may involve us having an open and honest conversation with others about how we are truly feeling. Again, we must not try to deal with these 'heart issues' in our own strength. We must Invite God in on these things and allow Him to help us.
For INTEGRITY SAKE, let's work on making sure that our smiles, facial expressions, body language and even our actions are ALL congruent (in agreement) with our inner, hidden man! Those who will ASCEND in God must have clean hands and pure HEARTS!
Your Global Coach,