I remember hearing a whisper on that bright afternoon as I turned the keys of my front door. I was hurriedly stepping out for a meeting so I couldn’t stay back then to take down the flow of information flooding my spirit, sequel to the first statement that got my attention initially.
“The throne of our hearts is a very special place…”, I had heard. I knew without doubt that it was the Lord and instinctively knew that statement held so much more, yet untold and would require a great deal of time investment; however, my curiosity and appetite to get to the root and nitty- gritty of what the Lord was going to show me had already been steered. Suffice I say that this series would take on an instructive undertone as I share with you this time some help I’ve been able to “cull” out from God’s presence and from my “me” time .Proverbs 15:32
We probably have heard a number of times the famous scriptures rolled off from preachers’ lips : ‘guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it flows the issues of life’.. Proverbs 4:23. The heart is often used interchangeably as the mind, the soul, the seat of our affections and mentation. I have wondered many times, how the Lord would have us “guard our hearts”. It’s not like we are to put a chain with locks around that fragile and shielded organ in our body, that special, delicate part of us is a major responsibility. Little wonder, He didn’t say, “I will guard your heart” even though He knows how best to take care of us.
Here are some ways I’ve learnt really works when it comes to the heart:
1. Isaiah 26: 3 says “He keeps his mind in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Him”. One of the surest ways to nurture and nourish your heart is to keep it on God, the one who cares about you the most in the whole wide world(WWW). The way your mind is practically overtaken by thoughts of the one you love or even have the slightest crush on. You want to know everything about such, you admire and celebrate their slightest achievements, you ponder on their interests, likes and dislikes with a view to getting an inkling on how best to please them. This might not come naturally to most of us initially but with practice, we get better at it. This does us a lot of good by keeping our focus on our relationship with the Lord aside aiding our meditation in the word of God as required in Joshua 1:8.
Another dimension to this is setting our minds on things above. Collosians 3:1-2 admonishes us to set our affection on things above, not on things of the earth. Setting your mind on things above does not mean being earthly irrelevant nor to be dull or without inspiration; rather, it means we should re- align our focus on the things that are of eternal value and not necessarily on visible or transient things but matters of great significance to God and humanity.
2. Become a master of your senses. Boss your senses. A mind left undisciplined will grow wild and untended. It can be likened to an untended garden, growing thorns, weed, without pruning and with haphazard shoots. It is clustered, without order ,littered with dung and debris. An undisciplined mind will feed on anything, think about anything, its imagination and visual perception will run loose and untamed.. Such minds are feeble grounds for the enemy. Collossians 3: 5 talks about mortifying our physical members i.e our adamic nature and its tendencies; while the book of Phillipians 4:8 state expressly an excellent way to assess the quality of the meditation of our hearts and its inventions.
The heart can be occupied with one thing at a time-
• You can’t have faith at the same time as fear.
• Love cannot accommodate lust and covetousness at the same time.
• Selfless giving and service cannot share domain with greed and self centeredness at a time.
• Openness and trust cannot share quarters with grudges, malice and suspicion at the same time.
I remember a friend of mine who was in the habit of taking inventory of her progress per time, character wise as much as was dependent on her. It seem to me that she simply took a proactive step in pursuit of self mastery. She had become quite aware of herself as an individual and was willing to take responsibility for her turn out. I had “caught” her a number of times make a list of “what’s working” and “what’s not yet working” and she’d probably list stuff like: emotions, intolerance, time management issues, e.t.c. In a nutshell, I simply see a picture of someone who knows her destination , counts the cost and is accountable, willing to pay the required prize to get there and in set time too. That’s how seriously we should take responsibility for the quality of our hearts and lives, especially with a view to pleasing the Lord.
A cultured and well groomed mind is also a rich soil for the world’s greatest discoveries, solutions, inventions and innovation.
3. Let the Holy Spirit lead, guide and direct the course of everything you do. Your relationships is not an exception here. We experience pain and heartache too many times on a course often because we either didn’t seek His guidance in the first place or we make His opinion and direction an afterthought along the way. Too many times, children of God experience heartbreak from failure even on a God ordained path because we don’t allow Him unveil to us it’s details, His intents and entire design for us per time. I believe that even Christ Jesus, having being led into the wilderness didn’t get a go ahead to stop fasting until the fourtieth day. I think it must have been an everyday journey. You should know at this juncture that if the Lord has led you into something, the light at the other end of the tunnel is also up to Him to reveal with time as we seek Him. Asking the Lord for direction is a characteristic of the matured.
4. Lead a transparent life. Be like an open book that can be read by all. Ensure that the content of your heart, motivation and actions or dealings at all time is publishable. Let your yea be yea and nay. nay to all persons at all times. Let your fantasies be such as can be shared at least with a close friend.
5. Be accountable. Accountability is a character trait too many of us didn’t grow up with, especially for the so called ‘independent from childhood’. This may not totally be our fault as the family system seem to have taken the back seat in some of it’s roles in child raising. Too many parents are too concerned about making ends meet and their economic obligations at home and to the larger society that family relationship tend to be taking the blow. Being accountable means being answerable, liable or responsible. Children under parental scrutiny perhaps learn pretty early the importance of recounting the events of the day and their roles In it to their parents, getting mum and dad’s approval for a choice of outfit, hairdo or some timeout with friends, bringing “friends” home for parents’ assessment and approval, presenting a table of expenses, e.t.c.
God did not place certain authorities over our lives for show or as “dundees”.It is our role to identify, recognize and be answerable to our God given mentors, respect them enough to access and harness their godly wisdom in specific areas of our lives.
Being accountable does not connote weakness, lacking initiative or clinging, rather it is being open enough in our dealings especially to those above us to access proper guidance and requisite wisdom that’d shield us from pain resulting from likely pitfalls. Checking up( as in a WHOT cards game) requires proper checks and balancing.
I’d bring you more on this in subsequent posts. I sincerely hope you find this helpful. Endeavour to share this with some friends within your network as someone out there might need this desperately today.
From me to you.