Guard Your Heart

April 21, 2017

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
–Proverbs 4:23

I recently attended a workshop where the speaker said,

Your circumstances, your outer life are a reflection of your inner one. Click To Tweet

 

WOW. This made a lot of sense to me. If I believe I deserve a “less than” life, the decisions I make or don’t make will reflect that. Let me pause for a moment and share what I’m not saying. I’m not saying poor people deserve to be poor or cause it, I’m not saying sick people or people with tragedies and hardships create their illness, tragedy or hardship. I am saying what I believe and who I am on the inside influences my thoughts, words, choices and actions which do affect my circumstances and how I live.

Take it a step further, and what I truly believe about God and who He is are reflected in my outer life. My “it’s up to me, I have to figure this out” shows I don’t really trust God to show up. My worry shows it too. Day by day, choice by choice I am acting out and practicing not just my faith but what I truly believe about God.

Stick with me here, I’m going to attempt a sports analogy, even though I am not sporty – at all. When we see a top athlete make the shot, score the goal, it seems an impressive display of talent and skill. There are exceptional athletes for sure – but top athletes practice – a lot. In fact, practicing and training consume most of their waking hours. By the time they make the winning shot, they’ve already practiced it thousands of times.

What am I practicing day by day?

Am I practicing worry or trust in God? Am I practicing serving others or checking off my own “to-do” list? Am I spending time with God and allowing Him to shape my insides so my outsides follow Him more closely?

My stinkin’ thinking and the lies I tell myself trip me up. If I feed them, these false beliefs become a corrupt operating system that drive my thoughts and actions. Sometimes it’s hard to believe it’s not the truth – these lies I tell myself. Often, they’re shaped through my experiences and perceptions – strong evidence I am right.

One lie I’ve internalized is I am a disappointment to God – He cannot possibly love me. He’s just hanging back waiting for me to get it together, get it right.

Isaiah 40:11 says, “He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those who have young.

When I first discovered this verse, it hit me hard – He carries me close to His heart like a shepherd carries a lamb – protectively, gently, lovingly. He does this not because the lamb is holy or godly or perfect – but because the lamb needs to be carried – because the lamb is weak.

More and more I realize the choices I make – even small, seemingly insignificant ones don’t just reflect where I am but what I practice and who I become. Thankfully, it’s not all up to me – God in His grace, love and mercy doesn’t leave me on my own. If I let Him, He can replace the lies, redecorate my interior and make it beautiful.

I need to practice letting go and giving God control – trust Him to handle things.
What do you need to practice?

More about Liz

I'm a free spirit. I hate rules and legalism. I love art and nature, music, the beach and dogs. I like to garden, take pictures and read. I tend to speak my mind and have a rip-the-band-aid -off approach to life. (Brace yourself, this might hurt.)

4 Comments
      1. Thanks Angela! That means a lot coming from you! I love your writing and what you do at barefeetandblackberries.com!

        Thanks for reading ❤️

    1. I need to practice letting go of fear. Fear consumes me in regarding my health and growing old.

      1. Hi Wandalyn!❤️

        I worry about the future too. I need to grow in this area – there’s tension for me between what I know – a big God – and the reality of possibilities I want to avoid. Thanks for sharing ❤️

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