Monday, June 25, 2007

The Heart Prayer - My Heart is Christ's Home

Where Have All The Bloggers Gone?
I must begin with an apology. I have not been updating this blog as often as I would like. I could give you the long, drawn-out story, but I won’t put you through that. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me, and so... let’s blog.

I recommend you read My Heart - Christ's Home by Robert Boyd Munger. It is a powerful parable of the heart; an insightful vision of the inner-workings of the spiritual life. Much of what I want to share with you is inspired by this great work.

I want to issue a challenge to you. I want to challenge you to read Psalm 139:23-24 and simply begin praying this prayer of David daily until the Lord searches your heart.

Psa. 139:23-24 states, “Search me, O 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.”

When I invited Jesus into my life, in essence I made my heart Christ's home. The problem in my heart is that all too often He is a guest; a welcome guest for sure, but sometimes only a guest. He is expected to behave by my rules and be grateful for the blessing of being invited into my heart, my home. However, Jesus did not come into my life under such terms. He came to be more than a guest. He came to be owner and Lord of the whole estate, and there lies the problem. I find myself holding back certain places in my heart; places that may be relatively clean, by my standards, but none-the-less off limits to Him.

David gives us a reminder that God knows all and sees all things in our lives. We are not fooling Him, only ourselves when we hold back and deny Him the rightful ownership of our heart.

David closes this Psalm with a sincere desire, asking the Lord to search his heart. In this search the Lord may well find locked doors. These are places where we resist the Lord's will for our lives. But we must open them to HIm. We can trust Him to do what is right, but we cannot trust Him to do what we want. That can lead to terrible anxiety. He may discover that behind one of those locked doors is something we have held back, cluttering our lives. It may not be on our list of morally objectionable behavior, but nevertheless, if it does not please Him it must go. It may even be as simple as reorganizing the closets of our lives. Maybe there is something that simply needs to be put in its proper place.

There will be those difficult, locked places that bring as much shame as pleasure, but we must open and surrender it to Him. He can deal with it. He knows how to make that place clean again. Why worry about stains and unclean places? God knows that they are unhealthy for us and they give our enemy advantage over our lives.

There is yet another reason; He is holy. He is holy in ways we cannot even comprehend, which frankly is another good reason to pray this prayer for Him to search our hearts. It is an important prayer because we tend to think that if we have avoided certain "sins" then we feel satisfied that we have a relatively clean heart. In fact, we can clean your houses ourselves only to discover that having a friend over reveals places we've overlooked. Jesus has perfect vision and sees the things we overlook. We are not capable of discovering all of the stains, and we need Him to help us see what sin really is and really does in our hearts.

Revival and spiritual refreshment is something every child of God desperately needs. It begins when we simply ask Christ to search out our hearts. We need Him to test our lives at the point of our fears and anxieties, and discover any offensive way in us. Then He will lead us in the way everlasting.

Revive Me!
Ed Litton