As an overview of these blogs, Preparation “H” asks the question: How is God calling us to prepare our Home, Heart, Health, Heirs, and Huddles for His Kingdom purposes. I think God has much to say, whether you read it here, or simply as you contemplate this question. There is so much spinning in my heart and head to help us conquer each aspect with hope, scripture, and God-size resilience as we respond to His calling of preparedness. This is part two – Heart. If you are just joining us and have missed part one, Home, you can find it by clicking here!
- We must strengthen our heart
- We must nourish our heart
- We must guard our heart
- We must trust NOT our own heart, but God’s heart for us.
It is our heart (desire-producer) that motivates our actions! The heart of our actions can be life giving and life receiving. Out of the heart flow springs of life! This two-part action is vital for life – We need to receive life-giving actions and offer things that give life to others. We can only do this when we have the atoning blood of Jesus flowing through our own veins…the ultimate blood that gives real life! Like the steady pumping of our heart, perhaps a habit of bringing life should be considered instead of habits that continually destroy. Allow the healing words of Life to carry away waste from our heart. Stay in the Word! Keep away from things that are harmful for the soul and drain your abundant life.
The heart must be exercised to stay healthy! In the little bit that I researched about the heart, I came across a children’s version of explanation. I thought it appropriate since we are to come before God with child-like faith.
The way to exercise the heart is to do what gets you huffing and puffing! So of course, huffing and puffing for me, means going through stuff that I don’t like! Isn’t it like God to strengthen us by allowing us to go through things that cause us to huff and puff and depend solely on Him? I never like it, but I have come to realize that strengthening my heart and my trust in God requires steady exercise that can be measured and seen with spiritual eyes.
- Have an intake of healthy foods – avoid unhealthy fats and at least 5 servings.
- Avoid sugary drinks – In a spiritual sense, avoid the things (or people) that may appear well intended but are harmful and leave you with a desire to want more! They leave you with an artificial satisfaction that is neither healthy nor life sustaining.
- Don’t smoke! – I giggled here because I automatically imagined the cartoon of an angry red face with smoke coming out of the ears! Of course the way to a healthy physical heart is to refrain from cigarettes. But for the spiritual heart, refrain from getting angry! This only damages the spirit and does nothing good for the heart!
In my quest to identify spiritual truths pertaining to the heart, I have learned that the heart needs to be properly nourished and strengthened by exercising behaviors that produce huffing and puffing! Another way to strengthen the heart is by reflection. When we spend time revisiting and reflecting on God's faithfulness in our lives, the heart becomes stronger as we face uncertainties. Our dependance on Father God grows deeper and our trust in Him preserves us. We must guard our heart from ourselves for it can not be trusted.
In our culture it is not uncommon to hear or even be taught to “Follow your heart!” This is dangerous ground! Scripture clearly teaches that our heart is deceitful and cannot be trusted. We should put all trust in the One whose heart is pure and His motives for us are life giving. In trusting The Lord with our heart, an attitude of peace permeates.
It is God's heart for us that gives us deliverance, life, direction, joy, and peace!
Keep thy heart with all diligence.
We must set a strict guard upon our souls;
keep our hearts from doing hurt, and getting hurt.
A good reason is given; because out of it are the issues of life.
– Matthew Henry
- Jeremiah 17:9-10 - The heart is sick and cannot be trusted.
- John 14:1 - Don't be troubled about the future!
- Proverbs 21:2 - Lord weighs your heart - intents, thoughts, & motives
- 1 Kings 8:39 - God knows every heart.
- Psalm 51:10 - Create a pure heart and steadfast spirit.
- Philippians 4:7 - Guard your heart - peace.
- Psalm 34:18 - I particularly like this verse because it speaks of the tenderness of the Lord.
Let me end by encouraging you to prepare your heart for the many ways that God wants to use you today for His Kingdom purposes! Maybe it is to pour out life-giving words of encouragement or acts of kindness to others. Perhaps today is the time when you need to be on the receiving end. Let His words of truth and the breath (oxygen) of life be nurturing to you as you seek to be strengthened, restored, and renewed for the purpose of pouring back out!
Applying a little Preparation H-eart is the way to a healthier happy heart! Diminish the negative and increase the positive not only for yourself, but for those whose life surrounds you. The 2-part functioning heart will prove to be strengthened & nourished, as you put your trust in God's heart for you.
You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear. Ps. 10:17