Cultivate a Healthy Heart…


guard-heart

Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it flow all the issues of your life. (Proverbs 4:23) Your heart, your innermost being, that great citadel of your life is formed by the thoughts you hold onto and persist with day by day. People rarely make the connection between the thoughts they entertain and the things that come to pass in their lives. Instead people think or conclude that life is random with some folks being lucky and others not so much. Sadly, they have never been taught that their heart, the things they believe deep down in their hearts, end up manifesting as the life they live upon the earth whether they be good or bad. The only thing that we human beings can control in our lives is the thoughts we choose to hold onto, to rehearse, to cleave to in our minds. Thoughts left unchecked and uncontrolled sooner or later result in misery as our minds are constantly being challenged with negatives and potentially bad outcomes. Show me a person that lives a happy and successful life and I will show you a person that has learned how to control their thinking. You owe it to yourself and your experience of life to learn how to control your thinking which always leads, just as surely as the sun will come up tomorrow, to a happy life. Cultivate a healthy heart!

Typically when I bring up this crazy notion backed by God’s Word, people think I’m talking about their perception of life and the things that happen to them. They falsely conclude that by controlling their thoughts I mean trying to remain positive about everything that happens to them. And, while that is partially true, what I mean in actuality is that the things you believe in your heart are the things you will end up experiencing in your life, not simply your perception of them. If down in your heart you have learned expectations of poverty and the inability to have your physical needs met, you will always have trouble getting your physical needs met until you get that wrong belief out of your heart. The wrong belief didn’t begin in your heart. You put it there by your continual thinking and considering things that are not true. You put it there, not God, not your family and not the devil. You, like all of us I imagine, were taught things that simply are not true. Welcome to being a human. I used to teach a course and in the course I told people the amount of money they earned at this very moment in time was exactly what they expected to earn, no more and no less. This usually incensed them. You see, it is much easier to blame our lack of whatever it is we need on someone or something else. But, at the end of the day, it is the beliefs we have in our hearts that set the limits of our existence. You can apply this principle to every category of life. People who play the victim and are always being wronged by someone in some way have some beliefs in their hearts that need to be repaired. I’m certainly not proposing that life is fair, instead I am proposing that God gave us control over something that impacts our lives in an incredible way. Cultivate a healthy heart!

The way in which you can change the things that are in your heart that you no longer wish to experience in your life, is by learning to think correctly. Every wrong thing that ever got into your heart, got there by wrong thinking patterns. The devil and all of his evil associates work very hard to get your thinking going in the wrong direction. If they can get you good and scared of some negative health outcome, in that you worry about it and fear it day by day, watch out brother because it is on the way! And while that is certainly not the cause of all health issues, it is a powerful way to speed up your decline. The people who live in fear of diseases get them. Your heart won’t necessarily help ward off every thing that assaults a person, but it sure can help you believe God for a solution when you need it. You and I have a duty to control our thoughts. This may surprise you but Jesus controlled his thoughts at all times. I’m sure he experienced those wild ‘randos’ like we all do at times, but he never let them take root and establish a foothold in his heart. He simply refused to entertain anything that was contrary to God’s Word and God’s heart for people. If you want to change some things that are in your heart, which you can clearly discern by repeat negative things that seem to keep happening to you, you have to learn how to change your thinking. You have to confront those negative things that confront your mind. When you hear yourself think something foul about yourself or about your future, grab ahold of it and challenge it. Find some promise of God that contradicts it and say that instead. Soon you will discover that you can actually control your thoughts if you want to. Ever heard someone say they cannot turn off their thoughts? Well, actually they can control them instead of trying to shut them off completely. You can literally tell your mind, we are not going to think about that right now because it is bed time and we can get back to it tomorrow. (smile) Your mind doesn’t control you, you control your mind. If it goes bananas on you it is because you have gotten used to letting it go bananas. Grab those bananas one by one and get it back under your control. It takes some work; it takes some discipline and it takes some perseverance, but you can control it or else God would not have asked us to control it. Controlling your thoughts is the only way to cultivate a healthy heart. Cultivate a healthy heart.

God looks on the heart. In fact, when God is at work in your life, guess where He is at work? He is at work in your heart. He knows that your heart basically controls your life and He tenderly works with you to remove those wrong things out of your heart. He sees the things in your heart that have long since been hidden from your view. He knows what you need more than anything else. It has been my experience that God is always very gentle with me and never runs roughshod across my heart. He just sort of clues me in to life’s realities and then suddenly I become aware of a wrong belief, some of which I have been harboring for many years. But when I know, I know and am always immeasurably grateful. You can have this same experience. God will show you if you want Him to show you. He will get you to the real causes which generally are hiding out down there in your heart. You can learn to think differently. You can begin to control your thinking. You can become aware of the madness that just slithered across your brain waves and snatch it up and kick it the hell out. The end result is a healthy heart filled with positive abundant beliefs and as such you’ll end up experiencing a truly abundant life. The time is now to guard your heart no matter where you have been because God always provides a way out. Cultivate a healthy heart. You won’t believe how good your life can become…

Just some good thoughts…

God is in the Details…


detailsThere’s a common expression used today, namely that the devil is in the details. Meaning, in order to track down the real source of problems and difficulties, you have to be able to look below the surface and see the things you haven’t seen before. But, if you really give it some thought, God is also in the details. You don’t have to look much further than the creation to recognize that details are very important to God. Too often we gloss over so many details and simply draw conclusions that are not true. We let a few cleverly planned circumstances and so called facts lead us in directions that are not the reality of a thing. The reality is what God says the reality is and everything that contradicts that reality is a lie. The devil has had thousands of years to perfect his craft and he is always counting on people to fall for the same tricks over and over again. Once you begin to learn that God is also in the details, you can begin to trust Him with the important things in your life. There is no part of your life that God is not aware of and He wants you to know that what is important to you is also important to Him. God is not too busy for you and He is infinite in His wisdom and His understanding. God is in the details…

One of the things I love most about God is that He looks on the heart of man. People, often deceived, think God is somehow concerned with everything they do wrong. How foolish to think you could separate yourself from your Creator because you used a swear word, chose a wrong path or acted with the wrong motive. God formed, made and created people and as such knows everything about them. Everything… Your human nature doesn’t escape God. He knows when you are being tricked and He knows what is behind it. I think people would have a much easier time wrestling with sin; missing the mark with God and all of that associated guilt and condemnation, if they realized that God is not deceived and sees quite clearly where you are being worked over and why. God’s heart is never to convict you of sin. His heart is that you learn which aspects of your life are causing you to miss the mark and as such, miss out on the blessings, prosperity and health that come from being on the mark. It isn’t morality for morality’s sake alone. It is doing things that don’t allow the enemy access to you and making choices that will lead you to your good. God knows all about you and still loves you. God has already seen your entire life through. He sent His son to save you (and me). Once you finally get past the sin issue (It is finished), you can really start to live for God. God looks on your heart. He knows who you are inside. He has heard your every prayer. He knows where you are strong and where you struggle. God is in your details.

The devil also is in the details. However, unlike God he does not know everything. He does not have foreknowledge and is certainly not infinite in his wisdom. What he is counting on is that you and I will behave like all other humans. His methods have worked for centuries and will continue to work. He plots and schemes and plans in order to present you with a picture of reality that is very hard to refute. (If it walks like a duck…) He works to close you off from life (and from God). He closes the doors, one by one and closes the windows, one by one, until finally you are alone sitting in a dark place convinced there is something wrong with you. He drives your focus back to yourself and your imperfections. He points out your flaws, reminds you of your errors and accuses you and your motives night and day. Yet, he himself and his cohorts, are behind your every flaw, your every mistake and every motive you have ever had that wasn’t good. These are the details we are missing. If there were no evil, there would be no sin. You did not make any mistake you ever made, no matter how grave, on your own. Every time you zigged when you should have zagged, you did so because of the influence of evil. That is certainly not to justify error, but rather assign the blame rightfully where it belongs. The devil was in the details, but God always is above him.

The real joy and beauty in life is when you begin to discover God in the details of life. He took the time to make that flower perfect in its perfection, but you think He doesn’t know what you need? He came up with electrical and chemical impulses that are able to tell your brain in a nano-second that you are touching something hot, in order to protect you, but still you insist on the idea that He is unaware of something you need, be it ever so small and seemingly inconsequential. I think often, the things you really need the most happen in your heart, which God both looks on and works in. You don’t need God to fix your circumstances. You need God to fix your heart, heal your heart, establish your heart. You need Him to help you track down those minute details, those bulwarks of error, those false notions you have been carrying around for years and years. I can always tell when God fixes something in my heart because my eyes react with tears. When I well up I always say, “thank you Papa” because I know you just repaired something for me. How foolish it is for us to reduce life down to such simplicities when it is so obvious how intricate and detailed the creation is; the creation God made for you and for me. There is a reason nature holds such a powerful appeal over us. We can scarce describe it or explain it but we know how much we need it. God does not content Himself with supplying our major needs or things we think most important. He seeks to supply our every need in every category of life. He sees your lonely heart and seeks to fill the void. He sees your fears and worries and seeks to make you feel secure. He sees your hesitation and encourages you to move. He sees what is behind your every problem and seeks to help you see and understand so that you can finally live the life He has given you. Indeed God is in the details.

There is a life available to us that is everything we always wished it would be. We have all had our share of heartaches and pain. We have all gone completely off the path and paid a price because of it. We have all spent years and years buried in sin and in the difficulties it produces. We have all been sick and suffered with imperfect bodies. We have all carried things in our hearts that are not true and led us to the problems we have today. But, we do not have to live that way any longer. God is in every detail of our lives and sees and knows all. He sent His son to save us and in his completed work we live. It does not matter what has gone on in your past. All that matters is today and the future life you build with God. God already knows the details and as such has a blessed life waiting for you. God is in the details. Enjoy your life today!

Just some good thoughts…