“Let My love enfold you in the radiance of My Glory. Sit still in the Light of My Presence, and receive My Peace. These quiet moments with Me transcends time, accomplishing far more than you can imagine. Bring Me the sacrifice of your time, and watch to see how abundantly I bless you and your loved ones. Through the intimacy of our relationship, you are being transformed from the inside out. As you keep your focus on Me, I form you into the one I desire you to be. Your part is to yield to My creative work in you, neither resisting it nor trying to speed it up. Enjoy the tempo of a God-breathed life by letting Me set the pace. Hold My hand in childlike trust, and the way before you will open up step by step.” Jesus Calling, page 26-Sarah Young
Learning to Live From Your New Heart
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and lay bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”(Hebrews 4: 7, 12, 13, The Message)
One thing is absolute for the follower of Jesus—God gives us a new heart! The significance of this gift is immeasurable. Our heart of birth had been broken, bruised, battered, used, diseased, rejected, hardened, and corrupted. In short; it is unfixable. That’s why we are candidates for nothing less than a ‘heart transplant’. Anything else would fall woefully short. Prior to the new birth our old heart is as the Prophet Jeremiah proclaimed: “sick, desperately wicked…Who can know it?” Never has our Inner Journey been more critical than at this juncture in His-story.
“I’ll give you a new heart; I’ll put a new spirit in you. I’ll cut out your stone heart and replace it with a red-blooded, firm muscled heart.” (Ezekiel 11:19, The Message) “I will give them an un-divided heart…”
Too many of us characterized our old heart as shattered, decimated, and broken to pieces. King David expressed the cry of most, “Unite my heart to fear thy name.” This is what takes place slowly, day by day, as we remain sensitized to his encouraging words in our new heart.
The daily condition of our new heart becomes primary as we progress in our Journey. The experiences of our life are not what shapes us. Rather; it is how we respond to life’s experiences. Thus; our response becomes the greater determinate in defining our human and/or spiritual condition.
In no way does this suggest that our unique deep wounds leave us to fend for . ourselves. Most have suffered some form of trauma; either by abuse done to us by significant others or by being neglected or abandoned. Unfortunately, the pain and struggle during your journey has been devastating to your development and ability to function in life’s most critical areas.
Jesus, Immanuel; which means ‘God with you’ will come to your wounded life and embrace your heart with deep healing, restoration, forgiveness and peace. He will strengthen your inner life and deposit his joy to empower the remainder of your journey. He understands our condition and knows better than we could imagine what we are up against. He takes our hands and gently walks us all the way to wholeness and maturity.
In his prevenient grace (the grace that gets us to grace) he reaches out to us before we even knew our need for him. “In that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us…” In this great grace hope springs forth in the midst of our pain.
Too many authentic believers have languished to long in the hurts of their dysfunctional upbringing. We have suffered too long in a code of religious silence. In this condition we become ‘glass’ people. A people that other people look right through.
While sincerely longing to move beyond these issues to maturity. We are so impaired that if we do not get repaired it will be very hard for us to become prepared to live the rest of our journey in the fullness that Jesus imparts to our new heart. It is at this point we can embrace Jesus in our new heart. He will nurture us to grow beyond past and present infirmities.
In the Bible, the word infirmity indicates a weakness or lack of strength that is the result of previous unhealed wounding or crippling. The word is rarely used in a purely physical sense. Rather, it indicates spiritual, moral, character, relational, development, mental, emotional weakness or a lack of strength. Having infirmities is not sin, but they do weaken one’s resistance to sin’s un-relenting temptations
“No temptation has taken you, but such is common to man. But, God is faithful, who will with the temptation-provide a way of escape, so that you will be able to endure it…”
The good news that you can look forward to from Jesus in your Inner Journey is that he not only understands the fact of your infirmities, but as your High Priest, he understands the feeling of your infirmities…not just the crippling, not just the weaknesses, not just the emotional hang-ups and chronic inner conflicts, but the wounding of self-hate, and pain that come from them.
He understands the shame, the frustration, the anxiety, the depression, and the sense of failure. He also understands the rejection of self and others, the abandonment, the struggle to stay attached in healthy relational bonds, the loneliness and the isolation. He understands the addictions, self-medicating behaviors and the repeated failures.
He understands the vain attempts to cope and cover up. He understands your secret wars and your many losses. He uniquely understands it all and can be touched by the feeling of our infirmities. Jesus will embrace all of these infirmities through our Inner Journey. He alone can heal our history, present and future as we daily come to him as the High Priest of our new heart!
“He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.” (Matthew 8:17)
“Like-wise his Holy Spirit also helps us with our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us…according to the will of God.” (Romans 8: 26-27)
In Hebrews 4: 15, Jesus is portrayed as the one “who can be touched by the feeling of your infirmities.” The scripture also exhorts the church in Romans 14 that the strong ought to bear with those who are weak, not passing judgment on them for their ongoing struggles.
His daily bread/word will penetrate our present heart condition. All of who we are will be laid bare before His and our eyes. His exposure is life-giving. It will enable us to better see and understand all the parts of our life that are out of harmony with his purposes.
Our heart directly affects our thinking, choices, emotions, memories, relational reality and ultimately our daily walk of faith. In our Inner Journey we learn the heart attitudes that negatively affect our relationships with our self, significant others and fellowship with him. This happens as we simply listen and put into action (obey) all that he says to us.
Samuel replied, “Has the Lord as much pleasure in your burnt offerings and sacrifices as in your obedience? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. He is much more interested in your listening to him than in your offering the fat of rams to him.” (1 Samuel 16:22, LB)
Hearing and Seeing Hearts Jesus said, “I prefer a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual.” (Matthew 12:7, The Message)
This is how it works: whenever someone has a ready heart, the insights and understandings flow freely. But if there is no readiness of heart, any trace of receptivity soon disappears. That is why Jesus taught using ‘stories’ or ‘parables’.
They create readiness, to nudge you toward receptive insight. In a hardened heart state we can stare at the obvious till doomsday and not see it and listen until we are blue in the face and not get it. Not only that, but we also tend to leak out and forget what seemed plain and simple yesterday.
This is how (Isaiah 6:9, 10) put it; ‘your ears are open but you don’t hear a thing. Your eyes are awake but you don’t see a thing. The people are blockheads! They stick their finger in their ears so they won’t have to listen; they screw their eyes shut so they won’t have to look, so they won’t have to deal with me face-to-face and let me heal them.’
Through our daily Inner Journey he imparts to our new heart God-blessed eyes—eyes that see! And God-blessed ears—ears that hear! Ask yourself the following questions; do I have a ready heart? Are my ears on? Are the eyes of my heart focused on Jesus abiding on the throne of my new heart? If the ears and eyes of your heart are receptive and tuned to Jesus insight and understanding will flow freely.
God is continually using the story of our own Inner Journey with him to create readiness and to nudge us toward receptive insight/God-sight and God-sound. His story blending with ours creates a deepening hunger and thirst for intimacy (into—me—see). And it’s not only in us; but those around us gain fresh insight into their personal journey through our grace story as it is told in our daily journey and reflected through our heart.
According to the story of the sower in Luke, Jesus teaches that it is from our hearts that we gain all spiritual guidance and understanding. “But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a ‘crop’. “ (Luke 8: 15 NIV) The Inner Journey will shape that noble and good heart, which increasingly enables you to hear, retain and persevere with Jesus through anything!
‘All valid spiritual direction comes to us through our heart—the seat of true knowing and our ‘eyes’ and ‘ears’ in the spirit. If we discern the “will of God” it is through our heart. Knowing our true identity and destiny is achieved through our hearts as well.’ (Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You, pg. 67)
“In solitary silence we listen (in our new heart throne room) with great attentiveness to the voice that calls us beloved. God speaks into the deepest strata of our souls, into our self-hatred and shame, our narcissism (total self-focus), and takes us through the night into the daylight of His truth.” Brennan Manning
“A hostile world! I call to God (from my heart), I cry to God to help me. From his palace he hears my call; my cry brings me right into his presence—a private audience! (Psalm 18: 6, The Message)
Just like the mother of a newborn; his ears are attentive to our heart-felt cry for him. He alone will suffice. A daily private audience with the King of Kings keeps our heart soft, and pliable. So we remind ourselves as we learn this new life lived from the heart—I will daily veil myself in thee and wrap my tender new heart with the softness of your presence.
Contrary to the viewpoint of pop culture, our hearts aren’t just the ‘feeling’ or ‘emotional’ side of us. Feelings are certainly generated and experienced from the heart, but also by the mind/body. “The function of the heart is to organize our life as a whole. (Dallas Willard) This is especially true for our prayer life—a life not previously understood or experienced. Heart-felt passion takes us to places in Him we never imagined.
Our disorganized, wounded, incongruent ‘old heart’ betrays our masks, and reflects our daily core need for a Savior. Jesus (from the throne of our heart) sweeps into our ‘brokenness’ with a new heart—one that is capable of containing the very love of God—one that also develops the capacity to express Father’s heart to our own core, our family and friends, and then to the world.
The new heart Jesus gives us, passionately organizes our life around the Trinity. We tend to focus on either; ‘Jesus’ or ‘Father—yet we discover on our Inner Journey they are a relational community filled with their Holy Spirit. Jesus takes up residence in our new heart, the very essence of their community. From there, they model how we can live a whole, good and godly new life. Their heart beats with fiery passion and contrite humility. And that new heart is empowered by the redemptive blood of Jesus.
You/we are now charged with the high responsibility of caring for your/our new heart. The heart work of the Inner Journey keeps it pliable and molded to Father, Son and Holy Spirit’s awesome will lived out through us. Our new hearts literally become the ‘manger’ of Christ’s daily birth and journey in us! He alone can nurture his life in and through us! This is our intentional, continuous coming to Jesus to believe the gospel for our lives every day!
We are Nurtured by Father’s Heart in the Journey! Ron Ross