FOLLOW YOUR HEART BACK TO JESUS

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The heart is a marvel. It controls, literally, all the functions in our body and gives sustenance to all the other members, enabling each and every one of them to do their job. Emotionally and psychologically, we are also ruled by our hearts more than our heads. We find logic and reason difficult masters sometimes, and would rather follow the heart. Poets, musicians, artists and artistes would all be out of a job if not for the heart. No matter how large or small, important or obscure, we are all controlled by the organ no larger than the size of our fist. When it stops, we stop too.

Our Father, when He made us, gave us the heart so that we could be more than cold, unfeeling, logical robots. Instead, He gave us the heart so that we can feel, can love, and have life, and most importantly, so that we can experience His love for us. For He tells us through the author of Proverbs,

“Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23 [NIV]

Indeed, the heart is literally and metaphorically the wellspring of life. But even more than that, the heart is the key to the kingdom of Heaven for,

“Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.” Matthew 5:7

What we do with our hearts therefore, what we allow to fill it, matters, because from it stems our very natures. That is why when our Father, through the prophet Jeremiah, pronounced judgement over Judah, He said this,

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah 9:10

But how does the heart become deceitful and wicked?

“Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
And makes flesh his strength,
Whose heart departs from the Lord.
For he shall be like a shrub in the desert,
And shall not see when good comes,
But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness,
In a salt land which is not inhabited.” Jeremiah 17:5-6

When we trust in man, in the person whom we think is going to give us our next break, in ourselves, our own strength, that is when our hearts depart from the Lord. When this happens, our lives become parched, dry, lacking all good things necessary for us to grow and bear fruit. For our Father tells us that,

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

When we stop depending on our own efforts and put our trust in the Lord and live according to His leading, then we are like that tree, getting nourished by our Father, the fount of every blessing, and the source of everlasting living waters, just as He told the Samaritan woman at the well,

“Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:13-14

When we are being nourished by our Father, we need not worry about the troubles that the world piles up on us. That is the heat that Jeremiah was talking about. The world’s expectations give us heat and pressure to perform as the world expects. But beloved, we who are planted by our Father’s river, who draw sustenance from His everlasting living water, need not fear the heat of the world for it is promised us that even when the world is in famine, we will not cease from yielding fruit.

When we trust in our Father and in Jesus, then we also are like sheep, letting The Great Shepherd lead us. And when He leads us, this is where He will guide us,

“The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.” Psalm 23:1-3

He will lead us into plenty, so we shall not want. He will lie us down in green pastures, so that we can feed without effort. He will lead us beside still waters, for the waters that He gives is living waters. So He will lead us into everlasting supply, peace and rest for Jesus has said,

“I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” John 6:35

He will also restore us, so that for those of us who feel dirty, compromised, unclean, we will have confidence knowing that we have right standing with God. And Jesus does not leave us alone after cleaning us up, He keeps us right by leading us in the paths of righteousness.

In fact, our Father described the process in a little more detail.

“For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 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. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” Ezekiel 36:24-27

If you are lost, our Father has promised to pull you back, cleanse you, and most importantly, change the old and hardened heart for a new heart of flesh, one that can beat, can feel, can experience His love for you again. And when you experience His love for you afresh, your eyes will be opened to His goodness by the His Spirit, and you will therefore, walk in His statues, and keep His judgements and perform them; that means, you will live the good and Godly life. Naturally. Effortlessly. By His strength.

And when you walk in His ways, just as it is told to us in Psalms 23, and the blessings of Deuteronomy 28, our Father is faithful and will meet all our needs, even our wants, exceeding even our own expectations.

“Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God. I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations.” Ezekiel 36:28-30

We will have land, so we will have possessions. We will have our grain multiplied, so we will have food. We will have no famine, so we can be assured of continued growth. All these our Father has promised when we let Him clean us and make us right with Him. For He says,

“My Son, give me your heart and let your eyes keep to my ways,” Proverbs 23:26 [NIV]

And when we do, we can have the confidence to say that,

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26 [NIV]

So beloved,

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6: 19-21

Instead,

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” James 4:8 [ESV]

Let us ask Him to

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10 [ESV]

So that we can

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Beloved,

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18 [ESV]

It is alright if your heart has been wandering for a long time. Jesus said,

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Mark 2:17

Come as you are to Jesus. He is ready and willing and longing to take you back into the fold, restore your heart and give you the abundant life He came to bring.

If that is you, then say this prayer with me.

“Father, thank You for loving me so much that You would call out to me. I know that You have been calling out to me but today, right here, right now, I am heeding Your call. Father, thank You for loving me so much that You would send Your Son Jesus to die on the cross for me. That by His death, I have died to sin, and by His rising, I rise to a new and better life in Him. Thank you, Jesus, that by your shed blood, I receive now full remission of sins. I am now cleansed from all my filthiness and I have a new heart, a heart not of stone but of flesh, a heart that can fully experience Your love. I receive Your Spirit now, gladly and willingly; knowing that because You are now in me, I will walk daily in Your statues and keep and do your commands, through You willing and working what is pleasing to You in my life. Thank You Father for everything. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Beloved, Jesus is standing ready to do all things for you. Follow your heart back to Jesus and let Him love you right now.

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