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Daily Devo- Examine Your Heart

Proverbs 4:23 NIV

23 Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.

Our hearts are fragile and unfortunately pain is not something anyone can escape. At some point or another in your life, you will experience broken relationships. This is a direct effect from living in a broken world that is full of sin.

People who have been diagnosed with serious heart conditions need to change their unhealthy habits to help improve their overall heart health. Those that are diagnosed with ‘hardening or blockage or the arteries’ have recurring heart examinations with their doctors.

Just as a person with a heart problem diagnosed by a medical professional has to monitor their condition and identify any potential problematic areas, so should we on a spiritual level.

Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard our heart that everything in life flows from it.

Think about that for a moment– EVERYTHING flows from it.

That means the good, the bad, the bitter, the joy, the pride and selfishness, and the love or hatred that comes out through our actions and words. To live a truly joyful and blessed life– we need to intentionally examine our hearts (with God’s help) to identify any areas in which we need to grow and change.

Lamentations 3:40 Let us search out and examine our ways, And turn back to the Lord;

Examine your heart and pray– ask God to show you the areas in which need attention. Ask Him for discernment with your actions and words, that He would expose to you when you are reacting out of the flesh and not according to His will.

Psalm 26:2 NIV Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;

Take a look at these 8 potentially problematic areas in our hearts when examining our spiritual health

  1. Pride: Do I focus on how much I’ve been wronged? Do I have a problem admitting my faults?
  2. Faultfinding: Do I rehearse the faults of others in my life?
  3. Avoidance: Do I avoid being around people with whom I have conflict?
  4. Silence: Do I shut down and refuse to speak about my problems or feelings in a healthy way?
  5. Isolation: Do I withdraw from those around me emotionally?
  6. Unfaithfulness: Do I worry and fret of circumstances outside of my control?
  7. Hopelessness: Do I lack faith that God can and will work out my situation?
  8. Resentment/Bitterness: Do I hold on to my anger and hurt until it turns into resentment or bitterness towards the one who the conflict is with?

The heart examination only works if you are truthful with yourself and God about your feelings and results from ‘your exam’. Finding problematic areas in your heart does not mean you are a bad person or even that God is displeased with you. The condition of our heart and circumstances never surprise God– nor change His love for us.

True freedom and happiness in Christ comes when we acknowledge our problematic areas and seek to change them. Pulling each bad habit, thought, or opposition to God’s Word and will out by its roots and planting new healthy habits; creating new root systems based on His word.

Psalm 139: 23-24 NIV  Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Father for giving Your direction and help throughout every day of our lives. Lord, it is because of You and You alone that I am able to share Your love and truth with others. These words are not mine but Yours and I pray that all the glory be brought to Your kingdom. Lord I confess that I have not put much thought into my heart health on a spiritual level, forgive me God, for I only want to please You. Help me to search my heart Lord and expose to me problematic areas. Show me where I am lacking and help me to seek and understand Your truth and will. Lord, I pray You will guard my heart and give me discernment and peace, so that I will not hold on to hurt or anger and allow it to take root in my life. I pray for Your strength to help me to change from the inside out; owning my faults, and seeking to make each right according to Your will. In Jesus mighty name I pray
Amen

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Pain comes with a lesson to be learned.

Pain comes in all forms, emotional, physical, mental and relational– all of these are equally difficult to deal with when they arise in our own life. Pain is a powerful teacher, we must be careful that we are learning the right lesson and not falling into Satan’s trap of lies and deceit.

Throughout our life we go through many storms, each of which comes with it’s own destruction path of hurt and lessons to be learned. We must be very careful and aware what “life lessons” we are learning through each of these experiences and carrying with us throughout our life.

As we go through these storms, often starting at a young age, it begins to form lies in our mind about ourselves and our love from God. No matter how big or small these storms may seem to those around you, they do impact our life in ways beyond our understanding. Often times this is happening without us even noticing the hold these experience’s are forming in our life.

Proverbs 23:7 says For as he (she) thinks in his (her) heart, so is he (she).

This is a battle I have fought for myself throughout my entire life due to the amount of abuse (of all kinds) that I have endured from the time I was a very young child until about a year ago.

I had many lies form against my character, things I am sure many can relate to. My life experience’s, mixed with the influence of those in my life, I quickly began believing the lies that I was not worthy- not lovable- not wanted- not good enough, just to name a few.

I also began learning “life lessons” from these experience’s, later discovering it was all the wrong lessons to be learned. From the surface and perspective I was looking at my life I learned you can’t trust anyone- you depend on no one but yourself- everyone is out to hurt others- God must hate me to make me go through all of this, again just to name a few. Y’all I was a hot mess!

As life went on and I continued to go through massive storm after massive storm these lies began to subconsciously replace the truth’s about what God says about who I am. I was one that truly believed good things don’t happen to me.

To be clear, I was going to church I knew what God said about me, but unknowingly allowed Satan to replace what I knew was true, with lies he formed to destroy my life, faith, and future.

Our thoughts typically derive from our circumstances regardless if they are recent or distant past. You see we were all designed in the image of God, we are all perfectly and wonderfully made with a great purpose in His kingdom but our adversary, our enemy, Satan, plots against us and our life from the time we are born, he does not want us to live the life God has planned for us.

John 10:10 says The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

So I ask you today how many lies do you believe? Prior to reading this article had you ever thought about your thoughts? Depression, Anxiety, PTSD and more are all related to our brain chemistry and thought life, these along with many other mental health issues derive from our life experience’s and the lessons we learned from them.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common lies we believe and the absolute truth from God.

Lies we believeTruth’s about who we are in God
I am unlovable.I was designed for love and God loves me.
– 1 John 4:19
I am not good enough.I am fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of Christ.
I am good enough.
– Psalm 139:13-16
I am unwanted.I am chosen by God.
– 1 Peter 2:9
I am a bad person.I am created by God to do good works.
– Ephesians 2:10
I am a failure or will fail.I will succeed. I can do all things through Christ.
– Philippians 4:13
I have to be perfect.EVERYONE sins and falls short of the glory of God.
– Romans 3:23
God is mad at me.God is NOT mad at you! Nothing can separate you from the love of Jesus.
– Romans 8:38-39
I am permantely damaged.God will renew your mind.
– Romans 12:2
I am discouraged, fearful, and alone.God is with you wherever you go, you do not have to be afraid.
– Joshua 1:9
I am weak.I am strong.
– 2 Corinthians 12:10
I am defeated.I am an overcomer!
– 1 John 5:4
I am powerless.I have all the power over the enemy, I am Powerful.
– Luke 10:19
I have no value.You are valuable- established, anointed, and sealed by God.
– 2 Corinthians 1:21-22

It is important to be aware of what we are thinking about and pondering on. Just as the Bible says in Proverbs- what you think in your heart is what you are or become. So I encourage you today to take inventory of the feelings and emotions you are holding in. Are they negative or toxic? Is it time for you to ask God to help you let go of what’s holding you back? Let’s pray and ask God to expose our hearts to ourselves and replace the lies we have been believing with His truth.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

You are an amazing father of love, patience and forgiveness and I am so thankful for the freedom I have in You. Lord, forgive me for falling trap to the devils lies and holding them as truths in my life. Lord, I pray you examine my heart and bring to my attention the areas in which I am believing lies and may not even know it. Expose my heart to myself so that I may see where I need to begin searching Your word to renew my mind in Your truth. Lord I ask that you give me clarity and understanding of this message from you. God help me to see Your hand working in my life. Protect me and guide me in the way you want me to go. Lift me up and shelter me under your wings of refuge. Show me Your love and how to live and love according to Your plan. Thank you Lord for your never ending patience, love, and understanding. Thank you Lord for working in my life even when I don’t see You or feel it. Thank you Lord for the blessings you shower upon me each and every day. I pray you continue to help me grow and become more like You and who you designed me to be in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Hope in His Mercy

A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen, a feeling of trust is the definition of hope.

Compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm is how mercy is defined.

The action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil this is the meaning of redemption.

Now let’s take these three definitions and replace them in the scripture for the words used. This will give us a more clear understanding of what Psalm 130:7 is telling us.

O Israel, expect or desire a certain thing to happen,have the feelings of trust in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone who it is within His power to punish,
And with Him is abundant action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil.

The Bible is telling us in Psalm to expect or desire a certain thing to happen that we should trust in the Lord. That God is compassionate and forgiving towards us and that He will save us from sin, error, and evil– abundantly!

That alone should bring us peace and give us a great reason to put our hope in His mercy. God is patient with us and always by our side showing compassion and saving us from our sins and the errors in our ways. God knows we will make the wrong choices from time to time and find ourselves in a mess and He is already there waiting to save you– to rescue you from the evil.

We have to keep our hope in His mercy in order for us not to become defeated and choose to give up instead of pushing through. The Bible also tells us in Psalm to be of good courage and He will strengthen your heart as you keep your hope in Him.

Psalm 31:24
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord.

God wants us to come boldly to His throne– to ask Him for help in our times of trouble. (Heb. 4:16) Without God we can often get wrapped up in trying to solve our own problems in the ways of the world– only to leave us feeling hopeless. With God we can be of great courage, confident, peaceful, and full of hope in His promises and His mercy!

Prayer

Heavenly Father,
Lord I want to thank you for your mercy and redemption. My hope is in You alone Lord. I am thankful you have called us to come boldly to Your throne and I ask You today to fill me with Your Holy Spirit– let me be filled with Your hope and love. God, forgive me for trying to solve my problems in my own strength. Forgive me for allowing myself to feel hopeless in my efforts and not seeking Your guidance first. I pray that You will strengthen my heart as I hope in You, in Jesus mighty name I pray.
Amen

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- January 28, 2018

Proverbs 4:23- Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring issues of life.

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- April 7, 2017

Ezekiel 36:26-27- I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgements and do them.